Community Organizing Participatory Action Research (COPAR) – is a continuous and a sustained process of: 1. Educating the people – to understand and develop their critical consiousness 2. Working with people – to work collectively and effectively on their immediate and long term problems 3. Mobilizing with people – develop their capability and readiness to respond, take action on their immediate needs towards solving the long term problems The process and structure through which members of a community are/or become organized for participation in health care and community development activities
Process: – the sequence of steps whereby members of a community come together to critically assess to evaluate community conditions and work together to improve those conditions. Structure: – refers to a particular group of community members that work together for a common health and health related goals. Emphasis of COPAR: 1. Community working to solve its own problem 2. Direction is established internally and externally 3. Development and implementation of a specific project less important than the development of the capacity of the community to establish the project 4.
Consciousness raising involves perceiving health and medical care within the total structure of society Importance of COPAR: •COPAR maximizes community participation and involvement •COPAR could be an alternative in situations wherein health interventions in Public Health Care do not require direct involvement of modern medical practitioners •COPAR gets people actively involved in selection and support of community health workers •Through COPAR, community resources are mobilized for selected health services •COPAR improves both projects effectiveness during implementation Phases of COPAR Process: . Pre-Entry Phase – is the intial phase of the organizing process where the community organizer looks for communities to serve and help. Acitivities include: Preparation of the Institution oTrain faculty and students in COPAR. oFormulate plans for institutionalizing COPAR. oRevise/enrich curriculum and immersion program. oCoordinate participants of other departments. Site Selection oInitial networking with local government. oConduct preliminary special investigation. oMake long/short list of potential communities. oDo ocular survey of listed communities.
Criteria for Initial Site Selection oMust have a population of 100-200 families. oEconomically depressed. oNo strong resistance from the community. oNo serious peace and order problem. oNo similar group or organization holding the same program. Identifying Potential Municipalities oMake long/short list. Identifying Potential Barangay oDo the same process as in selecting municipality. oConsult key informants and residents. oCoordinate with local government and NGOs for future activities. Choosing Final Barangay oConduct informal interviews with community residents and key informants. Determine the need of the program in the community. oTake note of political development. oDevelop community profiles for secondary data. oDevelop survey tools. oPay courtesy call to community leaders. oChoose foster families based on guidelines. Identifying Host Family oHouse is strategically located in the community. oShould not belong to the rich segment. oRespected by both formal and informal leaders. oNeighbors are not hesitant to enter the house. oNo member of the host family should be moving out in the community. 2.
Entry Phase – sometimes called the social preparation phase. Is crucial in determining which strategies for organizing would suit the chosen community. Success of the activities depend on how much the community organizers has integrated with the commuity. Guidelines for Entry oRecognize the role of local authorities by paying them visits to inform their presence and activities. oHer appearance, speech, behavior and lifestyle should be in keeping with those of the community residents without disregard of their being role model. Avoid raising the consciousness of the community residents; adopt a low-key profile. Activities in the Entry Phase oIntegration – establishing rapport with the people in continuing effort to imbibe community life. ?living with the community ?seek out to converse with people where they usually congregate ? lend a hand in household chores ?avoid gambling and drinking oDeepening social investigation/community study ?verification and enrichment of data collected from initial survey ? conduct baseline survey by students, results relayed through community assembly Core Group Formation Leader spotting through sociogram. Key persons – approached by most people Opinion leader – approach by key persons Isolates – never or hardly consulted 3. Organization-building Phase Entails the formation of more formal structure and the inclusion of more formal procedure of planning, implementing, and evaluating community-wise activities. It is at this phase where the organized leaders or groups are being given training (formal, informal, OJT) to develop their style in managing their own concerns/programs.
Key Activities oCommunity Health Organization (CHO) ?preparation of legal requirements ?guidelines in the organization of the CHO by the core group ? election of officers oResearch Team Committee oPlanning Committee oHealth Committee Organization oOthers oFormation of by-laws by the CHO 4. Sustenance and Strengthening Phase Occurs when the community organization has already been established and the community members are already actively participating in community-wide undertakings.
At this point, the different committees setup in the organization-building phase are already expected to be functioning by way of planning, implementing and evaluating their own programs, with the overall guidance from the community-wide organization. Key Activities oTraining of CHO for monitoring and implementing of community health program. oIdentification of secondary leaders. oLinkaging and networking. oConduct of mobilization on health and development concerns. oImplementation of livelihood projects.