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Basic Community Organizing Process

1. Entry to the Community

The decision to enter a community and establish a helping/working relationship


with the people should be based on the following:

a. clarity of purpose of the relationship between the agency/community organizer and the
people in the community through initial dialogues with formal and informal leaders and
some community members.

b. the identification of social problems and needs around which the organizing process
can start. Aside from the initial dialogues, this may be done through occular visits to the
community and a review or gathering of preliminary data from existing documents or as
provided by key contact persons; and

c. the community desire for the need for change and its willingness to work with the
community’s organizer to bring about desired change/s.

2. Integration with the People

Integration is establishing rapport with the people in the continuing effort to


imbibe community life by living with them and undergoing the same experiences, sharing
their hopes, aspirations and hardships towards building mutual trust and cooperation.

The organizer tries to immerse himself or herself in the community to get to know
the culture, history, economy, leaders and lifestyles of the people.

Some suggested activities to facilitate integration are:

a. participate in direct production activities of the people such as planting or harvesting


rice, fishing, etc.

b. conduct house to house visits.

c. seek out and converse wi9th the people where they usually congregate (e.g. corner
store, water wells, washing stream, etc.)

d. lend a hand in household chores like cooking food, dishwashing, fetching water,
housekeeping and even baby-sitting.

e. avoid gambling and too much drinking.

The process of integration should make the community organizer learn to respect
the people’s strength to struggle, their values and lifestyle. The organizer must also be
more understanding, tolerant and committed as well as recognizing his/her own
limitations.

3. Social Investigation/Community Study

Social investigation (S.I.) is the process of systematically learning and analyzing


the various structures and forces in the community, economically, politically and socio-
culturally. This results in a community study write-up in order to draw a clearer picture of
the community.

The community study is a long phase and process. A phase of community


organizing, it comes at the beginning, and as process, it is continuous, i.e. no community
study is ever complete. This means that we do not have to wait for information to come in
before proceeding with our organizing work.

The objectives of the social investigation/community study are

a. to gather data on geographic, economic, political and socio-cultural situation of the


community in order to identify and understand the problems and issues that need
immediate and long-term solution.

b. to identify the classes and sectors present in the community in order to determine their
interests and attitudes towards the problems and issues in the community.

c. to determine the correct approach and method of organizing.

d. to provide a basis for planning and programming or organizing activities.

4. Problem/Issue Identification and Analysis

Problem identification and analysis is the process of defining, analyzing and ranking
community problems and needs. It facilitates the systematic use of data as means of
helping communities perceive and analyze their situation from a more comprehensive
and analytical viewpoint.