Empowering people means encouraging them to be more involved in the decisions and activities that effect their lives. It means providing them with opportunities to show that they can come up with good ideas and that they have the skills to put these ideas into practice.
Community participation is an active process where participants set the direction and the execution of a development project with a view to enhancing well-being in terms of income, personal growth, self-reliance or other values they deem important.
GNC uses an empowerment approach to hand over any initiatives to the community over three main phases:
1. Work for the community
2. Work with the community
3. Work by the community
Each phase takes about 5 years to be able to evaluate progress and develop community capacity.
GNC gets the community involved in the process of problem identification, planning, monitoring and evaluation. In the first phase, GNC focuses on building the capacity of communities, building a community leadership structure and providing humanitarian activities based on the basic needs of community.
By the second phase, the community should be playing an active role in problem identification, selection of activities, and implementation of their projects. GNC decreases both human and financial support, while the community increases their participation and contribution.
In the final phase, the community works with their own resources and takes all responsibility for ongoing management. GNC hands over the development activities to the community when they are ready.