Community mobilisation and strengthening engages communities in the design and implementation of initiatives that reflect their needs and priorities. It uses community partnerships and collaboration to support communities to find their own solutions.
Community mobilisation can be an important technique for communities that are marginalised and denied a voice in decision-making.
Types of community mobilisation and strengthening activity
Community-driven initiatives and events
Challenge the drivers of violence against women through local activism and community initiatives, such as community meetings, workshops and cultural activities.
Undertake multiple, coordinated activities across a community which are aligned with a regional prevention strategy or plan. These activities are undertaken by different organisations, across a number of settings, and can often reach people in different parts of the community.
Good practice principles
- Engage key organisations, community leaders and diverse community members at all stages of your work — this will empower the community to be part of decision making and to claim ownership of the initiative. This is particularly important when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Recognise communities are diverse with people from many different backgrounds and with multiple identities and experiences. Tailor initiatives to be inclusive, relevant and culturally sensitive.
- Take care not to unintentionally reinforce existing power relations when partnering with key individuals in the community. Ensure marginalised community members and organisations have an opportunity to contribute to decision-making and to participate in the program.
- Consider that building relationships with a community takes a lot of time and commitment from both sides — if it is not done respectfully and sensitively, people may not trust the program or organisation, and may not be willing to participate.
- Determine the community’s readiness and willingness to participate during initial consultations to identify any resources that may be missing or additional training that may be needed.
Examples of community mobilisation and strengthening initiatives
A set of posters that challenge gender stereotypes
The Mums Can, Dads Can Project, run by the Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention Program (TFVPP), aims to challenge rigid gender stereotypes regarding the parenting roles of men and women.
A community initiative to promote primary prevention of violence against women
The Community, Respect & Equality initiative aims to inspire, innovate and connect community leaders, sectors and service organisations, and government to work together on creative and sustainable strategies for the primary prevention of family violence in Geraldton.