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Community action and the test of time: learning from community experiences and perceptions, case studies of mobilisation and capacity building to benefit vulnerable children in Malawi and Zambia

Publication year: 
Corporate author: 
USAID, AED, Save The Children.
Publication details: 
Harare, SAfAIDS, 2006

The case study review aimed to identify lessons learned from community experiences and perceptions, and to share these with a wide audience of policymakers and program designers. To test DCOF’s original assumption that community mobilization can lead to long-term and selfsustaining activities, the consultants developed four hypotheses: 1. The mobilization processes in the Malawi and Zambia were effective in catalyzing genuine “ownership”—the sense among those involved that the problems identified are theirs and that they hold primary responsibility for addressing them. Ownership in turn generated high levels of participation within the wider community. 2. Community-led action occurred because of genuine ownership. 3. Where community ownership was present, committees were able to sustain activities to benefit especially vulnerable children. 4. Through ownership of decision-making and action processes, communities could ensure that vulnerable children benefit from the support they mobilize internally or access externally.