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Community Organizing Approaches

Community Organizing
Jack Rothman’s Three
Development Models of
Community Organization
Locality Development or
Civic Organizing
The objective of this model is to alter
human attitudes and behavioral
patterns through education,
exhortation, and a number of other
methods for stimulating
self-development and fulfillment.
This model has two key aspects
Community Change or economic and
social progress comes about through
the active participation of the
community people at their own
The concepts emphasized are that of
democratic procedures, voluntary
cooperation, self help, development
of indigenous leadership and
educational objectives.
Social Action
It aims to effect reforms in
major legal and functional
systems of society. It relies upon
political mobilization and host
of other instruments for coping
with powerful trends and
Social Planning
It aims to alter social conditions by
changing the policies of formal
organizations. It is undertaken to
modify the amount, the quality, the
accessibility and the range of good,
services, and facilities provided for
the people.
Saul Alinsky’s
The conflict confrontation
model was systematized and
popularized by Saul Alinsky
based on his experiences in
organizing black ghettos in
Conflict-Confrontation Model
His ideas quickly took root and flourished in those social action agencies, the
foremost of which was the Philippine Ecumenical Council for Community
Organizing (PECCO), which organized the Zone One Tondo Organization
(ZOTO) with the urban poor in Tondo.
This approach became a leading and effective strategy during that period of
severe political repression because it allowed the tackling of issues at the
grassroots level while avoiding much of the “ideological branding” that often
led to detention by the military.
Nature of Conflict
Conflict occurs when there is a situation in which two or more persons
desire goals that they perceive as being attainable by one of the other, but not
by both.
Recognition of this interdependence is prerequisite to managing or resolving
Some Assumptions About Conflict
We face conflict all the time.
Conflict implies contact. If there is relationship, there will be conflict.
Conflict exists: it is neither good nor bad. How we deal with it determines
end results.
Where groups suppress conflict, there will be an accumulation of feeling,
leading toward the possibility of an eruption in a disastrously polarizing row.
Conflict faced and managed creates real potential for growth and change.
Some Positive Functions of Conflict
Empowerment: energizes and gives power to group life. A healthy amount of
conflict, challenges and tension brings out best skills and resources of
Establishing Identity: “He is not with me is against me, and he who does not
gather with me scatters” Differentiates between in-group and out-group.
Unifying the in-group: having a common adversary has this effect.
Some Positive Functions of Conflict (cont.)
Helps persons to Bear the Intolerable: Can be release, and can give hope.
Fact that one can confront organization when outraged by a policy allows
person to remain within the organization and support it other areas of
common life.
Facing and resolving conflict between two people or among a group
strengthens and deepens the relationship.
Can lead to real transformation: of situation, values of relationship.
Basic Features of Saul Alinsky’s Conflict-Confrontation Model
The use of conflict or controversy to agitate action for change.
The recognition and use of self-interest to fan discontentment toward
involving people in personal and community issues.
Mass mobilization involving the most number of people possible.
Negotiation with conflict-confrontation.
Issue to issue approach, relating the macro issue.
Developing organizational structures for people’s power
Pressure tactics and pressure packed training.
Paolo Freire’s
Conscientization Model
Paolo Freire’s Conscientization Model
Conscientization comes from the Portuguese word
“Conscietizacao” which means the process of developing the
people’s critical awareness of their situation in relation to
bigger social realities and their own capacity to transform
Principles of Paolo Freire’s Model
The education is neutral or un-political
Issues must have importance to the people
Problem posing approach
Reflection and action
Radical transformation of life in the local communities and the whole society.
Eclectic Approach
(The Alinsky-Freire Fusion)
Eclectic Approach
After experimentation, many organizers began recognizing some of the inherent
limitation of Alinsky’s approach, particularly that it did not offer a long term
program for training the people and because it was not grounded politically on
the class struggle unfolding around them. In the light of these limitations,
Freire’s theory of conscientization was grafted into the Alinsky strategy serving
as the educational component which gave a sharper ideological focus/dimensions
to their work with the oppressed.
Organizing Process
Prepared by: Rachel Anne Ballar
A. Entry into the Community: Starting the Work Right
❏ Ostentatious Entry- The community worker, through a padrino
(usually the boss), is formally introduced to the people through a
village assembly during which, the worker’s image is boosted and
project output is promised.
❏ Banking on People’s Weaknesses- Organizers think of the most
irrelevant methods just to get people’s attention. Trying to create an
impression on the people seems to be their aim.
❏ Simple Way of Getting into the Community- going directly to the
community and introduce yourself to the locals.
A. Entry into the Community: Starting the Work Right (cont)
❏ Academic Style of Entry- have all clearances required -- from all
commands and local government offices concerned to
ensure effective entry.
❏ Formal Entry Style- Some organizers believe that entry into a
community would be best if it is formalized.
❏ People-Centered Approach- Contact persons in the community take
care of the organizer’s entry.
A. Entry into the Community: Starting the Work Right (cont)
❏ Towards a Well Planned and Well Executed Entry into the
a. It is best to gather information about the situation in the community which
can be used to prepare one’s entry.
b. One should not make a grand entrance and refrain from raising the people’s
c. It will not hurt to pay attention to recognized leaders of the village.
d. Methods should fit with the conditions of the community and must always
reinforce our goal of facilitating the realization of people’s potentials.
e. It is better to have contact persons in the community even before entering
the place.
B. Living in Solidarity with the People in the Community:
❏ The “Now you see me, now you don’t” Style- Organizer cannot break
the barriers between her and the people and does not get the chance
to know the villagers’ way of life.
❏ “Boarder” Style- Living on her own inside a house on the village and
does not share the life of the household.
❏ Elitist Style- Organizer is always seen in the company of the captain
and some other key persons in the community.
B. Living in Solidarity with the People in the Community:(cont)
❏ People-Centered Method of Living with the People
a. Pababahay-bahay or Home Visits- An effective way to establish deeper
relations with the villagers is by occasionally visiting them at home.
b. Huntahan or Informal Talks with the Villagers- Informal talks help a lot in
integrating into the community.
c. Participation in the Production Process- It makes the organizer understand
the economic system within which the people operate.
d. Participation in Social Activities- There are occasions and social functions
which help the organizer know more about the people.
B. Living in Solidarity with the People in the Community:(cont)
❏ Towards Deeper Understanding of the People’s Lives in the Village:
We cannot fully comprehend the people’s lives unless we truly live with them.
He must consciously discard his visitor or guest image.
If we are working for the poor, we must live and work with the poor.
Integration is a continuous process. As it goes on, one realizes that the
people’s problems and aspirations become her own.
C. Social Analysis: Towards Learning with the Villagers
❏ Program Style- They undertake a community study based on the
nature of the program they bring to the community.
❏ Technical Style- Extension workers follow a technical plan in coming
out with a community study.
❏ People-Centered Style- An organizer who follows this style lives with
the people and learns with them, believing that people are capable of
examining their social situation.
C. Social Analysis: Towards Learning with the Villagers (cont)
❏ Towards a More Meaningful Learning Process With the People:
a. Research becomes genuinely pro-people when they are able to fully
participate in its entire process.
b. It is effective to use tools and symbols that are familiar with the people as
starting points to popularize technical research methods.
c. Research becomes meaningful if it is used as instrument for
d. Research must develop a collective consciousness among the people.
D. Spotting and Development of Potential Leaders
❏ Key Informant Style- Key informants or traditional leaders are
usually the barangay captains and councilmen, plus the officials of
other traditional barrio organizations. These people are usually the
well-to-do and well-educated residents whose interests do not
always coincide with the villagers.
D. Spotting and Development of Potential Leaders (cont)
❏ People-Centered Style- there are a number of opportunities where
potential community leaders from the poor can be identified.
Participating in informal discussions with the people.
Participating in economic and social activities.
Conducting training programs.
Social analysis
D. Spotting and Development of Potential Leaders (cont)
❏ Towards a More Effective Identification and Development of
Potential Leaders
a. Organizing must focus on identifying and developing leaders from the
b. We should be patient in dealing with the poor’s attitude towards leadership
c. Leadership identification and development cannot be done haphazardly.
d. It is the people and not the organizer who spot and develop potential leaders
from among their ranks
D. Core Group Formation
❏ Samahang Nayon Style- This program could have been more
meaningful if peculiar problems and needs of each community had
been considered in the formation of the organization.
❏ Blitzkrieg Style- When the Barangay Brigade Program was launched,
a quick assembly was called in each barrio.
❏ People-Centered Style- Core groups are formed for each sector.
D. Core Group Formation (cont)
❏ Towards a More Effective Formation of People’s Organization
a. The peculiar conditions and needs of each community play a decisive role in
the process.
b. The formation of organizations cannot be instantaneous.
c. The formal establishment of a people’s organization serves as avenue for the
people to formalize their unity.
d. The organization must be active, dynamic and democratic.
F. Strengthening the Organization
❏ Pre-packaged Organization Development- The cooperative should
have started according to the capacity of the people who would
manage it.
❏ Organizer-Centered Style- The decision to undertake any collective
action must always come from the people themselves.
❏ People-Centered Style- Collective management capabilities of the
poor continuously develop in the course of their working together.
F. Strengthening the Organization (cont)
❏ Towards Effectively Sustaining and Strengthening People’s
Organizationa. Collective action should not depend on the organizer entirely
b. The best form of collective actions comes from the people themselves.
c. Consolidation and expansion of the organizations must be done on a
continuing basis.
F. Strengthening the Organization (cont)
1. The orientation of the organization must be continuously clarified.
2. The orientation of the organization must be operationalized by a clear and
sustained program of action based on a thorough social analysis.
3. The program of action must be carried out on a collective fashion.
4. The program of action must be collectively monitored, evaluated, and
summed up.
5. Consolidation and expansion entails a continuing education program for the
mass membership and prospective members.
6. Spotting and development of new leaders must be done on a continuing
7. Alliance building and networking must be done on a continuing basis
Thank you
Manalili, A. G. (1990). Community organizing for people's empowerment. Kapatiran-Kaunlaran
Ohmer, M. L., & DeMasi, K. (2008). Consensus organizing: A community development workbook: A
comprehensive guide to designing, implementing, and evaluating community change initiatives. Sage
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