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The Community Empowerment Collective Society Category:Virtual Volunteering

The Community Empowerment Collective Society (CECS) is a compendium of material designed to assist workers in communities throughout the world in their efforts to initiate and/or upgrade community empowerment or development programs.

Organization and Function[edit]

CECS exists in cyberspace, embodied by its website and volunteers. The fledgling website has grown to a comprehensive program of instructional modules designed to "train the trainer" in communities seeking to empower themselves to develop and prosper. There are five introductory modules comprising an initial workshop on mobilization. The 17 intermediate modules work to move the community forward from mobilization to action. Additional modules aim to broaden the community's knowledge, answer questions it may not have yet asked, and round out knowledge of sociology, the science behind the notion of empowerment.

Modules are translated into 18 languages, and are available in three formats, all available for download and use in whatever way best suits the individual community. The work of translation has brought together volunteers from all over the world who communicate via the internet, getting to know each other and the CECS in cyberspace.


CECS is at once the offspring of the Community Management Program (CMP) in Uganda and the brainchild of Dr. Phil Bartle who worked with the CMP from 1994 to 1998. When Danida and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, cosponsors of the CMP, ended their participation in the program, Dr. Bartle sought a way to carry on its work. Realizing the training materials could find use throughout the developing world, he found a sponsor for the website in the Seattle Community Network. The body of work that is the CECS is not static, but rather a growing, developing "community" of knowledge in its own right, facilitated by the ongoing work of Dr. Bartle and his legion of committed volunteers.

Recognition and Awards[edit]

Every year the United Nations Volunteers Program Online Volunteering Service selects ten teams for its "Online Volunteering Team of the Year Award". The stated purpose of this award is "to recognize the contributions of online volunteers to human development, to demonstrate how development organizations can strengthen their activities through effective online collaboration with volunteers, and to showcase the diversity in which online volunteers can support development organizations". [1] The Community Empowerment Collective Society (CECS) was selected for this award on 2007.




  1. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
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