3. Community EmpowermentCapacity to empower communities to meet goals
In order to help a person quit using tobacco, you need to convince that individual that he or she has the capabilities of quitting. Likewise, organizing a community program requires that you empower the community, convincing its individuals that they have the capabilities of running a successful program. A key ensuring this is achieved is having clearly stated goals, and convincing the local individuals that are running the intervention that they can accomplish the objectives set forth by your program. To do this, you will need to provide goals that start small and lend themselves to a clearly defined set of actions. Also, you will need to provide any assistance necessary, be it technical, educational, or psychological, that local facilitators need.
Community programs led by people within the community tend to have better effects than programs led by those outside of a community. This does not mean you cannot start a program outside of your specific community; it just means you should incorporatelocal individuals into the running of your program. Ideally, facilitators will have a strong tobacco use cessation background; however, you may need to provide literature and other materials that can educate the people running your program. Make sure these materials are relevant and up-to-date; you do not want a person that will be in charge of your program to feel incompetent in his or her skills. Additionally, you should provide the educational materials the facilitator will be using in the actual sessions in order that he or she may become familiar with what will be taught.
Once you are confident in your community’s ability to run a program, encourage the local individuals to suggest ways to tailor the program so their community will best be served. Allowing local feedback for change promotes a sense of ownership, initiative, and independence, which increases an individual’s pride, and strengthens his or her work ethic for the program. Successfully persuading individuals that they can truly make a difference could mean the difference between a thriving program and an ineffective one.
A Ability to identify, nurture and develop leadership skills in local citizens so that community members can truly make a difference
B Abilityto partner with programs already in place within the community to achieve goals
C Ability to provide motivating, population-specific data and information that community leaders can use to achieve program objectives
D Ability to work with community members in identifying specific action steps that lead to goal accomplishment
E Ability to engage community members in the implementation of action steps that have been identified
F Ability to provide technical assistance and tools to local peopleso they can accomplish their priorities and goals