10 Steps of Community Organization

Content Outline 
  1. Introduction 
  2. Steps of Community Organization 
  3. Assessment of Needs and Problems
  4. List the problems
  5. Prioritizing the needs
  6. Understanding and selection of Problem
  7. Redefine the problem 
  8. Formulate achievable objective
  9. Work out the alternatives
  10. Work out a plan of action
  11. Mobilization of resources
  12. Implement the plan of action
  13. Evaluate the action


In the previous chapter, you came to know about the concept and meaning of community organization. Let us know about the primary steps of community orgnization. The community organization has a series of steps. By following these steps one would be able to apply the different principles, methods, and models 'of community organization

Steps of Community Organization

  1. Assessment of Needs and Problems
  2. List the problems
  3. Prioritizing the needs
  4. Understanding and selection of Problem
  5. Redefine the problem 
  6. Formulate achievable objective
  7. Work out the alternatives
  8. Work out a plan of action
  9. Mobilization of resources
  10. Implement the plan of action
  11. Evaluate the action

 1-Assessment of Needs and Problems

Community the organizer has to know about the needs and problems. At the same time he has to enable the people to make an assessment of the needs and problems. In order to do this the community members have to come forward and express their views for further action individually or collectively. In this process, the people get empowered by way of acquiring the skills of analysis and raising the levels of consciousness.

2-List the problems

All the identified needs and problems of the community are listed by the community with the help of the community organizer. This is a process that makes the people to understand their own situation. Realization of the needs and problems will bring awareness about their own situation. The involvement of the community in identifying the various needs and problems will increase the participation of the people. The problems in different settings are likely to differ and hence accordingly the identified problems are listed.

2- Prioritising the needs

All the needs and problems cannot be considered together for further action. Therefore all the needs and problems are analyzed for their severity, magnitude, symptoms, and causes based on which they are ordered and priority is given to the needs and problems. 

3- Understanding and selection of Problem 

From the priority list, the most urgent problem which needs to be taken up immediately is selected. All the problems cannot be approached simultaneously therefore there is a need for selecting any one problem to initiate further action. Based on the order of priority the first in the list is taken up for working out solutions.

4-Redefine the problem -

The selected problem is redefined for better understanding by the community. For better planning the problem has to be analyzed and defined before taking any further steps in addressing the problem. Many times one may look at a phenomenon as a problem by its appearance or at the peripheral level, instead, it has to be further analyzed as to what is the real problem. Does it affect the normal functioning of the community? How many people are being affected? How are they affected? If nothing is done towards this how it will disturb the community? These are some of the questions by which we can easily analyse and redefine the problem

5-Formulate achievable objective - 

The redefined problem is converted into achievable objectives which will be considered for further action. At times the objectives have to be split into many parts so that they could be converted into programs and activities towards fulfilling the needs and solving problems. Let us assume that illiteracy is a problem in a community. It is further analyzed that majority of the people of the locality have not gone to school in their childhood. One of the reasons for that was that there was no school in their locality. At present, a school has been constructed and teachers are appointed. Now nonavailability of the school is not the reason for illiteracy, it is further analyzed and found that the children are not sent to the school. Though there were many children in the school-going age, the parents do not send them to the school because the teachers are not regular on the one hand, and on the other, when the teachers are present they do not teach the children. In this situation the general problem externally appears to be illiteracy but. its root cause is the defective functioning of the school.

6-Work out the alternatives -

One should not be content with a problem with one solution because it will limit the practice of community organization. In order to solve the selected problem, the community has to generate the maximum number of alternatives to address the problem. Let us take the problem of illiteracy as stated in the previous stage. How do we solve the problem? The problem is directly related to the defective functioning of the school. What are the different ways to solve this? The concerned teachers can be met and advised. The defective functioning can be brought to the notice of the higher authorities in different ways. The higher authorities can be met by the representatives with a written representation or various alternatives may be tried. Motivate more children to join the school, withdraw all the children from the school, close the school, organize a protest march, organise a hunger strike, etc. There could be many such alternatives to pin-point attention on the problem and initiate direct action to solve the problems on a long-term basis.

7-Work out a plan of action

In order to realize the selected alternative an action plan is proposed in which the responsibilities are assigned and a tentative organisational structure is prepared. The time frame, resources needed and personnel involved are decided at this stage. Supposing the illiteracy problem of a community is to be taken up first, it may be decided to meet the authorities and present a petition. This has to be discussed at length in order to decide about the date, time, who, how many, where etc will be the meeting. Also at the time of meeting the authorities who is to speak? What to speak? How to speak etc will have to be decided early and role play and sufficient practice is done in a perfect manner in order to get the desired results

8-Mobilization of resources

To implement the plan of action the required resources are to be assessed, identified, and mobilized. The resources may be in terms of time, money, manpower, and material. An estimate is made and the sources are identified for mobilization. Many times manpower resources alone may help to arrive at a solution. Therefore the community has to have a thorough understanding of the uses of manpow& due to which people by themselves may come forward to offer themselves for further action. Apart from this any other resources have to be mobilized internally and if it is not possible, only then think about getting them from external sources.

9-Implement the plan of action

After having made a plan of action along with the resources, the plan is implemented. The implementation takes care of the time and resources towards fulfilling the fixed goals. While implementing the plan of action the involvement of the people and their active participation by accepting the responsibilities has to be ensured. The people have to be prepared and guided to become a partner in the problem-solving process

10-Evaluate the action

The implemented plan is evaluated to find out the success and deviation of the action against the objectives. Any shortfall or any undesired results are identified and the reasons for the deviancy are discussed. The positive and desirable results are to be appreciated. The evaluation can be made as an ongoing component of working with the community. It could be organized either at the periodical level or at the end of the activity either within the organization, by the organizational personnel or by an outsider or an expert. The task is not complete unless the evaluation is completed.


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