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Defining a Job by its Requirements

by Phil Bartle, PhD

Dedicated to Gert Lüdeking

Training Handout

What do Mobilizers Do?


Elsewhere (in the Participatory Management module), the value of job descriptions, and how they can be used in participatory management, are described. Here, in the managing a mobilization programme module, is a possible job description for a mobilizer.

A manager should discuss the content of the job description at least once a year, more often as needed, with each mobilizer, because jobs are always changing. The mobilizers in your programme will have different job descriptions, and they will change with time.

This potential job description, therefore, can be a start for you, which you can draft, modify according to the different objectives of the programme, and offer to the mobilizer to begin a discussion session. Ask each mobilizer to suggest variations in it, based on her or his experience.

The Possible Job Description:

The title of the job description should be the title of the post (followed by the words "Job Description" or "Terms of Reference"). The introduction should open with information about the geographical and administrative area, the agency, a summary of its overall aims, and an indication of the role the mobilizer will play in reaching those aims.

General Responsibilities:

This is a suggested description of general responsibilities of the mobilizer, and should be entered here in the job description. Other descriptions may be equally valid. You need to make this applicable to your situation.

To initiate and develop a social process in selected communities of collective analysis of community problems and collective action leading to solutions of those problems, and to make that process self sustaining and self managing.

Specific Tasks:

Specific duties might include any of the following:

  • To begin baseline research of selected communities, and continue to monitor social change and new social information relevant to community empowerment;
  • To identify potential leaders and/or organizers;
  • To motivate and encourage potential leaders to talk to their fellow community members about unity and self reliance;
  • To initiate actions aimed at breaking down passivity, apathy and attitudes of letting others do things for them;
  • To raise awareness that community members themselves can move each community out of poverty, and to show them ways they can do this for themselves;
  • To assist community members to identify needs and to generate solutions, identifying priority issues and to analyse their problems;
  • To encourage and stimulate community members to organize for action aimed at solving their problems and to plan, implement and monitor action that they define themselves;
  • To provide community leaders with management skills and knowledge in getting community members interested, organized and motivated;
  • To develop trust, tolerance and co-operation among community members;
  • To assist the community in obtaining available outside resources, warning of the negative effects of becoming too dependent upon outside resources;
  • To encourage and stimulate full participation by all community members; with special attention to those who are usually forgotten, marginalized and overlooked in community decision making;
  • To assist the community in obtaining information and knowledge that may be available through governmental and non governmental agencies, through extension and outreach programmes; and
  • To assist the community members in developing their own capacity and strength to the point where they no longer need the services of you the mobilizer.

Add more tasks according to the specifics of your programme. Begin each with the word, "To."

Required Qualifications:

The following requirements should be listed on a job description. Applicants not having any of these would be automatically eliminated. Some of them, such as personal qualities, will not be revealed by the cv, but perhaps by the interview, and interviews with referees.

  • Middle school level of education;
  • Ability to read and write well in local languages, and the national language;
  • Ability to speak and listen well in local languages, and the national language;
  • Computer skills, or potential to learn them, focus on word processing;
  • Internet skills, or potential to learn them, focus on research (and email);
  • Ability to stand in front of a group without showing fear or arrogance;
  • Ability to learn mobilization skills (as included in this web site);
  • A desire to contribute to national development through community empowerment;
  • Strong morals viz. honesty, transparency, generosity, altruism and respect;
  • Well motivated, team member able to work alone and/or without supervision;
  • Ability to observe and analyse social indicators; and
  • Willingness to undertake further training offered by and required by the programme.

Similarly, modify this according to the requirements of the programme that you manage. Carefully analyse what your programme should achieve, and therefore the attributes of the mobilizers who will carry out the programme.

Qualifications not Required but Desirable:

  • Education higher than middle school;
  • Social science diploma, certificate or degree;
  • High ability to read, write, speak and listen, in same or other languages;
  • Skills, training and/or experience in management, social animation, and/or extension, social research, adult education, acting, journalism;
  • Advanced skills in computer, internet;
  • Previous mobilization experience, or training.

Note that these characteristics are not required. Some applicants will not carefully read these as desired but not required. If that stops them from applying, then perhaps it is better if they are not part of the programme.

Information on How to Apply:

If this job description is used as information in recruiting new mobilizers of a programme, then include information about how to apply.

Originals or copies of certificates and testimonials should not be enclosed, but originals brought to interview if applicant is short listed. Copies will be made by the manager, not by the applicant.

A CV (resume) should include the following categories::
  • Full name, name of general profession, single sentence description of career goals,
  • list of specific skills related to the job;
  • detailed work experience (in reverse order by time, last job listed first, including name of employer, post held, work done and dates of beginning and completion);
  • list of formal education passed (with certificates, diplomas and/or degrees obtained);
  • informal training and short courses;
  • voluntary or unpaid work (if applicable);
  • personal information (contact address, telephone, email address, contact persons);
  • Name, title, phone number, email and address or three referees, one professional, one personal and one either or other.

A CV should not include marital status, number of children, political or religious affiliations, birth date or ethnicity (these are not required, and should not be considered when selecting applicants). The CV should be attached to a full and formal letter of application, indicating the post for which the applicant is applying, reasons for applying, and the strengths the applicant would be bringing to the job.

Supervisor / Worker Contract:

The same job description can be used as a participatory management tool, and then does not need the information about how to apply. Because jobs change over time, the job description should be reviewed jointly by the mobilizer and the manager, after the first six months, then every year.

As a non monetary contract between the manager and mobilizer, the bottom should have room for signatures and dates to be filled out by each of them. After discussions between them, and suggestions for updating by both mobilizer and manager, the job description should be changed. After being signed and dated, copies should be made for the manager and the mobilizer, and perhaps copies for the manager's supervisor and the project HQ if applicable.


A Mobilizer in the Field:

A Mobilizer in the Field

© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
Web Design by Lourdes Sada
Last update: 2012.07.26

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