COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT STRATEGIES
Empowerment refers to the process of increasing the spiritual,political, social and economic power of individuals and the community(Janes, & Lundy, 2016). It requires an enabling environment,empowered participating in decision-making and a holistic approach.The holistic approach is used to achieve people-centered development.Effective participation of community members, as individuals andgroups, in making decision about their lives, results in solutions tothe economic and social problems they experience. Other outcomes ofempowerment are behaviors change, improved social relations, andsocially sustainable development. There are defined strategies forattaining these results. This paper focuses on empowerment strategiesand the role of a community nurse in their implementation.
Theapproaches to empowerment are developing a trusting relationship,advocacy, information and skill development, and capacity building.Relationship building is a two-way process, where nurses assist thecommunity members in setting goals and negotiating theirresponsibilities in achieving them (Dixey R. 2013). In advocacy,nurses represent the community in developing policies for addressingproblems it experiences. Empowerment through skill development andinformation aims at enabling members of a community to make informedchoices and act on them appropriately. Capacity building is areflective and empathetic technique where individuals are assisted inidentifying resources required to achieve their goals (Janes, &Lundy, 2016). It focuses on strengths of members of a definedpopulation instead of their weaknesses.
Communityhealth nurses play a significant role in ensuring the effectiveimplementation of empowerment strategies. They help community membersto identify, prioritize, and solve the issues affecting them. Thenurses encourage people to be self-sustainable by educating them onthe ways they can use to increase their productivity. The healthprofessionals advocate for the active participation of the communityin making health-related decisions. Nurses develop health programsusing the community’s understanding of their problems, resources,and networks. They support their clients as team members insteadacting as organizers (Janes, & Lundy, 2016).
Communityhealth nurses use various empowerment strategies to ensure a holisticdevelopment of a defined population. Empowerment strategies includecapacity building, advocacy, skill development and informationprovision, and creating of trusting relationship. Community nurseshelp individuals to addresses various issues and attain sustainableand holistic development.
Dixey R. (2013), Health Promotion: Global Principles and Practice,CABI
Janes, S., & Lundy, K. S. (2016). Community healthnursing: Caring for the public`s health. Jones & BartlettLearning