A thought while reading about a youth community empowerment study (Delp, Linda ; Brown, Marianne ; Domenzain, Alejandra ‘Fostering Youth Leadership to Address Workplace and Community Environmental Health Issues: A University-School-Community Partnership’ Health Promotion Practice, Jul 2005, Vol.6(3), pp.270-285)
- if research projects and funding guidelines for health promotion projects focus on small-scale projects (eg at local level), they don't provide evidence on how local projects can link in to broader advocacy
eg in this project, the community empowerment model involved linking high school youth to community capacity in the sense of local organisations
however issues such as environmental regulations or workplace conditions are legislated at state or federal level
where this project (above) might have such links could be eg through local union branches (since workplace conditions for youth were one of its concerns) which would in turn link to the broader union movement
but are other links being made and is anyone investigating this area (in practice or in research)?
emphasis on local may lead to fragmentation and lack of power?
Students did engage in lot of community education and were involved in action to prevent local incinerator and ensure clean up of school grounds
authors acknowledge at very end that 'community infrastructure" is needed such as "government agencies that effectively enforce workers’ rights and environmental law,"
However the potential risk from teaching people about their rights and encouraging them to engage in activism when those things don't exist are not considered.
Risks of empowerment approaches and community empowerment, community building, CBPAR