A3 Working with leaders

  • The support of local leaders is very important in the process of mobilisation. The rest of this guide will lead your group through a process that has been well tested elsewhere. It will take you step by step towards understanding the needs and priorities of your community. It will help you plan and work together to bring about positive changes. Work through each page together as a small group and then use the information with others in the community.
  • First you need the agreement of the local leaders. Build up relationships with them. Make sure you are aware of all the important people – not just political leadership, but also traditional leaders, leaders of other community groups and religious leaders of all faiths. When you are ready, meet together to discuss your suggestions.

Discussion
  • Make a list of the names of all the local leaders that members can think of, who need to be supportive of the process of mobilisation.
  • When you arrange to meet local leaders, it can be very helpful to invite someone who is well respected by the local community to introduce and lead the discussion (as long as they will not dominate). For example, is there a successful business person from the community? Could you invite, for example, the head of the nearest secondary school?
  • Why is it important to invite all the local leaders, even if they choose not to attend the meeting? How can you make sure you do not leave out anyone important?
  • Some leaders may prove very unhelpful in supporting community mobilisation. What is the best way to talk with them? Is their agreement to support change important?
  • If leaders fail to give their support, is it possible for changes to take place when motivated individuals take the lead instead? What are the possible risks and the likely benefits?