The process of enabling communities to increase their power and control over their lives is called community empowerment. Community empowerment may be a thriving phenomenon or a failed one. A community may not be spatially connected but it shares broad interests and concerns. Regardless of its definition, empowerment entails gaining control over the factors that affect people’s lives and developing capacities to access and exercise their voice. However, the process of empowering a community cannot be completed by others. A community must be willing to take action in order to be successful.
Using the term community empowerment is an oxymoron. Empowerment refers to the process by which a community regains control over its own destiny. It is an empowering process that explicitly aims at social change. It also recognizes that while some will share power, others will share power. In the realm of health promotion, community empowerment is an important concept, as it is the best way to address the cultural, social, and economic determinants of health.
A key element of community empowerment is its focus on inclusion. For example, a community-based response will include the inclusion of excluded groups. In the case of CEF, the organization incorporated sex workers into the research team, where they were actively involved in the development of the training program. They are also involved in reporting on results. And the impact of this approach is profound. Its mission is to help people improve their lives and attain self-sufficiency.
Community empowerment involves involving the excluded population. For instance, the SEWA women in Durham and Orange Counties, North Carolina, started their own bank and took action to address the problem of access to credit. They also organised child care and health insurance. They campaigned for child care to be an entitlement for all women workers. And this is just one aspect of a CEF initiative. The goal of CEF is to change lives and empower communities.
In the case of community-based self-determination, community members can take steps to gain control of their lives. The goal of self-determination is to create conditions where communities are able to live in accordance with their values. In addition, communities can choose the direction of their lives, achieving greater independence. As a result, the empowerment of these individuals is essential to ensuring that the health system is accountable and efficient.
The ACE program has been designed to improve the skills of community members. The six organizations participating in the project have a diverse range of interests and goals. ACE helps them improve their communication and advocacy skills. The goal is to increase their self-determination and reduce social isolation. This is a critical part of the ACE movement. It is essential to include the needs of all groups in the work of community-based projects.