Community Organization in Yemen
Dr. Belkis Muthar Al-Ariqi
When we talk about the philosophy of organizing the local community, we will mention the wisdom in managing and developing local communities and making them able to depend on themselves and their resources. Community organizing is a set of facts, values, skills, knowledge and foundations on which the method of organizing the community is based on determining its needs, objectives, and prioritization, and performing its duties, with the presence of confidence and the desire to work to meet these needs and achieve them within the framework of the local community.
The philosophy of organizing the local community in which a great development occurred from the 1950s until now, and is still in continuous development, as the National American Association of Social Workers (NASO) in 1951 A.D referred to the most important ideal values of social service on which the philosophy of community organization relied, developed by scholars as Spurin, Yanks , Dunham, Roland, Meridrab Cohope, Ruth and Lurthen between 1982 AD and 1983 A.D where they all emphasized the importance of looking at the human being in an integrated framework, taking into account the respect for human dignity, and the use of community, human and material resources and laws to address the problems of the local community, in addition to rejecting discrimination and racism in all its forms. They also stressed on the importance of achieving social justice on the scale of individuals or groups, whereby a certain group does not control the community’s resources and leaves other groups suffering from lack of services, marginalization and injustice.
Among the theories and knowledge related to the philosophy of community organization methods and upon which the community organization specialist relies as theories related to development, the skills of inventorying the resources, services and opportunities of the local community, knowledge of social management and theories of human and group behavior and the factors affecting them, theories related to the identification and development of local leaders as they are the link between the society and the competent authorities in organizing the society, familiarity with administrative sciences, economics and politics, recognition of the values, principles and local cultural heritage, knowledge and theories related to methods of planning and evaluating social programs and projects, and conducting research and social studies related to the nature and needs of the local community. All these theories help in organizing the society and achieving its goals.
Few governmental and non-governmental agencies in Yemen apply the method of community organization in the right ways due to the deficiency of the concept and application of community organization and participation when implementing development projects. Despite this remarkable lack, there are pioneering bodies in implementing the principles and standards of community organization represented by the Social Fund for Development of the Presidency of the Republic during planning and implementation and assessing the impact of the projects and programs implemented through it. As these entities start with the initial surveys of the local community as a first survey, followed by the field visit of a multidisciplinary team to stimulate the local community and stimulating it by means and methods of rapid research with participation, analyzing its problems, conducting preliminary studies for the region, enumerating its capabilities and natural, material and human resources, and forming of voluntary community committees from the people of the region to facilitate the implementation of projects in the area and solve any problems that may arise and lastly protect the project to ensure sustainability.
When embarking on the implementation of Yemeni development projects, it is necessary to take into account the standards of organizing the local community, because they work to empower and stimulate members of the local community to work within a collective framework, and this embodies the principle of participation in determining the priorities of the community's needs and taking appropriate decisions for realistic and possible solutions according to the capabilities and resources of the local community, achieving self-reliance of the local community, and working on the delivery of services to all members of the society, and embodying the principle of social justice, and in this way local individuals feel confidence, a sense of responsibility and loyalty towards their communities, as well as a sense of ownership of the services they have obtained, thus achieving sustainability of developmental projects.
In conclusion, Yemeni governmental and non-governmental agencies related to construction and strategic planning for development projects must observe the principles and standards of organizing the local community, in addition to working on implementing specialized training courses in this field.
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