Once community members and their partners have defined a goal, they may want to consider several possible approaches to pursue their goal.
Community Surveys for Organizing Purposes
Instead of investigating the connection between an exposure and a health outcome, community surveys can also be conducted for organizing purposes. This type of survey would not be able to provide information on the cause-and-effect relationship between exposures and disease. However, it can be a helpful tool to organize and advance the community's goals.
Community surveys can help answer questions such as:
- What does a community need?
- How do community members envision using the land once it is cleaned up?
- What policy options are of interest to community members?
- What concerns about safety do community members have?
- What is the level of awareness in a community about contamination in their neighborhood?
If community members have access to the internet and email, an internet survey could be considered. Several software companies offer these services; prices vary, and some are free.
Direct Action Organizing
Direct action organizing happens when people affected by a particular issue work together towards concrete changes. This process also includes confronting those in power who make decisions that affect community members.
Policy advocacy is the process used by community groups to define a problem, develop policy goals to solve the problem, and carry out a campaign to carry out the goals.
Media advocacy is a tool used to advocate for policy change at a small or large scale. The media advocacy process involves developing a clear description of the problem, a clear policy goal to address the problem, identifying a person or group with has the power to make the policy change, and mobilizing groups to influence the target through well-developed media strategies.
If funding is needed, community groups may be able to obtain a grant. Local grant-writing trainings may be available.
Find Out What is Possible in Your Community!
Talk to your fellow community members, organizers, and health educators to learn more and discuss your collective priorities and what you can do in your community.