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C O P A R

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING PARTICIPATORY ACTION
RESEARCH
DEFINITIONS:
- A social development approach that aims to
TRANSFORM the APATHETIC, INDIVIDUALISTIC, and
VOICELESS POOR into DYNAMIC, PARTICIPATORY
and POLITICALLY responsive community.

- A process, by which a community identifies its
needs and objectives, develops confidence to take action
in respect to them and in doing so, extends and develops
cooperative and collaborative attitude and practices in
the community.


IMPORTANCE OF COPAR:
> COPAR is an important tool for community
development and people empowerment as this:

 helps the community workers generate community
participation in development activities.

 maximizes community participation and involvement.

 prepares people/clients to eventually take over the
management of development programs in the future

PRINCIPLES OF COPAR:

1. People, especially he most OPPRESSED,
EXPLOITED, AND DEPRIVED ( women sectors,
children, handicapped, elderly, youth ) open to
change, have the capacity to change, and are able
to bring about change.
2. COPAR should be based on the interest of the
POOREST SECTORS of society.
3. COPAR should LEAD TO SELF-RELIANT
COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY.

PROCESS USED:
 A PROGRESSIVE CYCLE OF ACTION-
REFLECTION-ACTION which begins with small, local
and concrete issues identified by the people and the
evaluation and reflection of and on the action taken by
them.

 CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING through experiential
learning is central to the COPAR process because it
places emphasis on learning that emerges from
concrete action and which enriches succeeding action.
 COPAR is PARTICIPATORY AND MASS-BASED
because it is primarily directed towards and biased in
favour of the poor, the powerless and the oppressed.

 COPAR is GROUP-CENTERED AND NOT LEADER
ORIENTED. Leaders are identified, emerged and tested
through action rather than appointed or selected by some
external force or entity.


P H A S E S O F C O P A R

by: Sister Jimenez

A. Pre-Entry Phase

> Community consultation/dialogues
> Setting of issues/considerations related to site location
> Development of criteria for site selection
> Site selection
> Preliminary social investigation
>Networking with LGU’s, NGO’s and other departments

B. Entry Phase

> Integration with the community
> Sensitization of the community; information campaign
> Continuing/Deepening social investigation
> Core group formation
> Coordination with other community organization
> Self-Awareness and Leadership Training (SALT)/
Action Planning

C. Community Study/Diagnosis Phase

> Selection of the research team
> Training on data collection methods and techniques
> Planning for the actual gathering of data
> Data gathering
> Training on data validation
> Community validation
> Presentation of the community study/ diagnosis and
recommendations.
> Prioritization of community needs/problems for action


D. Community Organization and Capability Building Phase

> Community meetings to draw up guidelines for the
organization
> Election of officers
> Development of management systems including
delineation of the roles, functions and task of officers
and members
> Team building exercises
> Working out legal requirements for the establishment of
the CHO
> Training of the CHO officers/ community leaders




E. Community Action Phase

> Organization and training of CHW’s
> Setting-up of linkages/network referral system
> Project Implementation Monitoring Evaluation (PIME)
of health services
> Initial identification and implementation of resource
mobilization schemes




F. Sustenance and Strengthening Phase

> Formulation and ratification of constitution and by-laws
> Identification and development of “Secondary” leaders
> Setting up and institutionalization of a financing
scheme for the community health activities
> Formalizing and institutionalization of linkages,
networks and referral systems
> Continuing education and upgrading of community
leaders, CHW’s and CHO members
> Development of medium/ long term community health
and development plans





CRITICAL STEPS (ACTIVITIES) IN BUILDING PEOPLE
AND ORGANIZATION
1. INTEGRATION
***A community becoming one with the people in order to:
A. Immerse himself in the poor community
B. Understand deeply the culture, economy leaders, history
rhythms and life style in the community.
2. SOCIAL INVESTIGATION
- a systematic process of collecting and analyzing data to
draw a clear picture of the community.
> Also known as the “Community Study”



3. TENTATIVE PROGRAM PLANNING
- CO to choose one issue to work on in order to
begin organizing the people.
4. GROUNDWORK
- going around and motivating the person on a one
on one basis to do something on the issue that has been
chosen.
5. THE MEETING
- people collectively ratifying what have already
decided individually. The meeting gives the people the
collective power and confidence .Problems and issues
are discussed.

5. ROLE PLAYING
- means to act out meeting that will take place
between the leaders of the people and the government
representative’s .It is the way of training the people to
anticipate what will happen and prepare themselves for
such eventually.
6. MOBILIZATION OF ACTION
- actual experience of the people in confronting the
powerful and the actual exercise of the people power.
7. EVALUATION
- the people reviewing the steps 1-6 so as to
determine whether they were successfully or not on their
objectives.

8. REFLECTION
- dealing with deeper, on going concerns to look at
the positive values CO is trying to build in the
organization. It gives as the people time to reflect on the
starch reality of the life compared in the ideal.
9. ORGANIZATION
- the people organization is the result of many
successive and similar actions of the people .A final
organizational structure is set up with elected officers and
supporting members.