Today Issues on Community Empowerment

Various community empowerment program that is partial, sectored and charities that have been done, often face unfavorable conditions, such as wrong targets, foster dependency on external assistance, the creation of social fragmentation, and weaken the social capital that exist in society (mutual cooperation, deliberation, self-supporting). Lack of social capital, in turn, also encourages a change people’s behavior that is increasingly distant from the spirit of independence, togetherness and concern to overcome their problems together.

The condition of social capital and community behavior that weaken and fade is one of them caused by decisions, policies and actions of the empowerment program managers and community leaders who have been not oriented to the lower-class community, not transparent and no accountability. It would cause suspicion, leaks, stereotypes and skepticism in the community, due to these injustices. Unfairness of these decision, policies and actions can occur in civil society situations, which one of the indications can be seen from the condition of community institutions that has not been empowered, are not oriented on fairness, not managed by honest and transparent, and not fight for lower-class public interest.

Empowered community institutions that have not basically caused by the characteristics of public institutions which exist in society tend to not representative. In addition, it is also suspected that the institutions of society that exist today in some ways more oriented toward the interests of parties outside the community or even for personal interests and specific groups, so they lack the commitment and concern for the community in its territory. This condition will be more profound crisis of public trust in public institutions in its territory.

The condition of community institutions that are not representative and cannot be trusted in general thrives in situations of behavior/attitude of people who have helpless. The powerlessness of the community in addressing and encounter situations in their environment, which in turn encourages the attitude of skepticism, indifference, no matter, no confidence, relying on outside help to solve the problem, not independent, and the waning of moral orientation and noble values in social life, which is mainly sincerity, fairness and integrity.

Independence of public institutions is needed in order to build public institutions that can truly become a place of struggle of the lower-class economy, an independent and sustainable voicing their needs and aspirations and are able to influence decision-making processes relating to public policy at the local level to be more oriented to poor (pro poor) and to realize good governance, both in terms of social aspects, economy and environment, including housing and settlements.

Community institutions such as referred to above conditions will only be achieved if people who were given the mandate as leader of the community is a collection of people who care, have a strong commitment, sincere, honest and willing to volunteer and sacrifice for the benefit of society, not to take advantage for personal or group interests. This is of course not an easy task, because of the efforts to build awareness, voluntarism, and commitment is basically associated with the process of changing people’s behavior.

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