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Is Your Community “Empowered” Yet?. Looking Ahead to Graduation. The Community Empowerment Program is different from other programs. It’s More Than Just About. Creating jobs Building new facilities Offering better services Improving citizens’ lives. It’s about. Empowerment !.

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Is your community empowered yet

Is Your Community “Empowered” Yet?

Looking Ahead to Graduation



It s more than just about
It’s More Than Just About . . . programs . . .

  • Creating jobs

  • Building new facilities

  • Offering better services

  • Improving citizens’ lives


It s about

It’s about . . . programs . . .

Empowerment!


Empowerment is about
Empowerment is About . . . programs . . .

  • Building the capacity to keep your progress going

  • Never again being caught in despair

  • Climbing the “Empowerment Staircase”

  • Graduating at the end of 10 years


To graduate you must pass all the tests

To Graduate, programs . . .You Must Pass All the Tests

But How Can You Know What Your Grade Is?


You can count the number of
You Can Count the Number of . . . programs . . .

  • Jobs created or saved

  • Small business loans awarded

  • Health clinics opened

  • Water treatment plants constructed

  • New homeowners

  • Youth enrolled in programs


But how do you count empowerment
But How Do You Count programs . . .Empowerment?



The empowerment staircase

The Empowerment Staircase programs . . .

Empowerment is a process,

like climbing stairs


First steps
First Steps programs . . .

5. Converting vision

intoworkplan

4. Creating

soundstrategies

3. Finding

partners

2. Building broad

participation

1. Building a

solidfoundation


Next steps
Next Steps programs . . .

10. Achievingsustainable

development

9.Adaptingstrategic plans

8. Building community

capacity

7. Creating

successes

6. Finding

resources


Where should your community be now
Where Should Your programs . . .Community Be Now?

  • Progress is individual to each community

  • Round I – graduated

  • Round II – at 9-year point, one year left

  • Round III – one year left


Where is that on the staircase
Where is That on the Staircase? programs . . .

Sustainability

Adapting

Years 7-10: Building Sustainability

Capacity

Successes

Resources

Workplan

Years 4-6: Working Your Plan

Strategies

Partners

Participation

Years 1-3: Startup

Foundation


How do you know where your community should be

How Do You Know Where Your Community Should Be? programs . . .

A checklist for

community empowerment


1 building the foundation
1. Building the Foundation programs . . .

  • Focus shifts from “problems” to “opportunities”

  • Citizens talk about “vision”

  • Little whining about “lack of money”

  • Enthusiasm is widespread

  • Cooperation, not finger pointing


2 building community wide participation
2. Building Community-wide Participation programs . . .

  • No single leader

  • Unfamiliar people are involved

  • Uncomfortable issues are addressed

  • Disagreements are viewed as healthy

  • There are no “outsiders”

  • Everyone has a useful role to play


3 finding partners
3. Finding Partners programs . . .

  • Organizations offer resources

  • Cooperation replaces competition

  • Credit is freely shared

  • Work is shared among groups

  • No single group “sets the terms”

  • Nobody has to “show how it’s done”


4 creating sound strategies
4. Creating Sound Strategies programs . . .

  • Citizens talk about strategies, not projects

  • Every project is part of a larger strategy

  • Projects rejected when they don’t fit the plan

  • Funding turned down when it doesn’t fit the plan

  • Projects are linked to achieve goals


5 turning vision into workplan
5. Turning Vision into Workplan programs . . .

  • Strategic plan is specific

  • Each goal has benchmarks

  • Projects changed when benchmark targets not met

  • Citizens know benchmarks and monitor progress

  • Responsibility and resources clearly assigned

  • Leaders held accountable when targets not met


6 finding the right resources
6. Finding the Right Resources programs . . .

  • Most projects use multiple funding sources

  • EZ/EC dollars are mostly seed money

  • Leveraging ratio is more than 11:1 for EZs and 50:1 for ECs

  • Non-dollar resources are counted

  • Volunteers widely used

  • Creative means to tap local resources used


7 creating successes
7. Creating Successes programs . . .

  • Community often celebrates successes

  • Community reports something good each month

  • Average citizens can name at least one success

  • Community has “stories” to tell about its work

  • Community has new heros and champions

  • Benchmarks used to keep score publicly


8 building community capacity
8. Building Community Capacity programs . . .

  • Community actively seeks new leaders

  • Regular training is provided

  • Senior leaders mentor rising stars

  • Multiple organizations proudly share the community’s work

  • Lessons from failures are used in training


9 adapting strategic plans
9. Adapting Strategic Plans programs . . .

  • Two or more meetings a year to review successes and modify plans

  • At least one idea borrowed from outside

  • At least one “sacred cow” has been killed

  • At least one major strategy changed


10 achieving sustainability
10. Achieving Sustainability programs . . .

  • Projects self-financed or need no bailout

  • Strategies fit community’s vision

  • Environment an asset, not to “use up”

  • Leadership transitions are smooth

  • New participants come in regularly

  • USDA support no longer necessary


What to do now
What to Do Now? programs . . .

  • Take a really hard look at your community

  • Are you where you want to be?

  • When graduation comes, will you be ready?

  • What do you need to do about it?


Is your community empowered what must you do to prepare for graduation how can usda help you
Is your community empowered? programs . . .What must you do to prepare for graduation?How can USDA help you?


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