You can think about most types of community mobilizations as either utilitarian, addressing specific needs for developing local communities, or transformative, changing the conditions that set up a scenario. Many NGOs have a more utilitarian, development-oriented approach, and many activist groups and social movements have a more transformative approach, but the opposite can be true as well, and you can certainly combine the two approaches at various times.

Here are three different videos where mobilizers talk about different projects that follow different measures.

Ruwwad al-Tanmeya – Locality Development
The first are Samah, Hanaa, and Hiba, from Ruwwad al-Tanmeya in Palestine. They work on the locality development model, which aims to enhance the well-being of a given community. There is an emphasis on capacity development in order to address problems, enhancing local leadership and promoting social integration.


Jai Sen – Social Welfare
This second video is of Jai Sen, a community mobilizer and scholar from India, who works on housing rights issues. Jai discusses working on a social welfare model, where people work to increasing a community’s access to social services by building coalitions or lobbying.

Trycia Bazinet – Social Action
Finally, this third video is of Trycia Bazinet, a white settler Canadian who is active in decolonization and indigenous issues activism. She describes her work in the social action model, which is transformative and aims to redistribute power and help marginalized people gain access to resources. Here she discusses her experience organizing a mobilization which involved people putting up a Teepee on Canada’s Parliament Hill.

In your e-Portfolio, answer the following questions:

  • Which of these models seems like the best one to work on your issue? Or do you think you need a different model to work it?
  • Are you more interested in working in a utilitarian or transformative manner? How can you combine both styles of work?

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