Scottish Community Empowerment Action Plan

The Empowerment Action Plan offers the definition of empowerment as "...a process where people work together to make change happen in their communities by having more power and influence over what happens to them."

Community engagement and community capacity building are key components of community empowerment processes and integral to the Community Empowerment Action Plan itself.

The action plan states that ‘capacity building is a critical step in laying the foundations for community empowerment' and that ‘communities, particularly those facing high levels of disadvantage in both rural and urban areas, will need support to help them build the skills, confidence, networks and resources they require'. It recognises that investment in highly skilled support is required to support the process of community capacity building if community empowerment is to be achieved.

The action plan locates community capacity building firmly within the context of Community Learning and Development and wider local Community Learning and Development Partnerships. This is reinforced by the joint COSLA and Scottish Government statement on Working Together Learning Together, the introduction to which states that ‘community capacity building can contribute to community empowerment through people working together to achieve lasting change in their communities.'