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Community: Scottish Community Empowerment Action Plan - Celebrating Success: Inspiring Change

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WHAT IS COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT?

The Scottish Government and COSLA have agreed the following definition:

"Community empowerment is a process where people work together to make change happen in their communities by having more power and influence over what matters to them."

Coming up with a definition wasn't straightforward, but it was absolutely necessary to be as clear as we could about what we mean by community empowerment. There may be debates about the specific wording of this definition. But if we put these to one side, on one level, communities who feel a sense of control over what happens at a local level know exactly what empowerment is. Fundamentally, it is about people taking collective action to make change happen on their own terms.

Community empowerment is a highly complex process to achieve and requires the active understanding and commitment from a wide number of stakeholders to achieve it. Community empowerment can be a slow, gradual process which involves continual learning and the constant building of a community's capacity to take on more - there is no finite end point in the process of community empowerment.