Factors Involved in Social Mobilization for Citizen Participation: An Analysis of Voluntary HIV/AIDS Community Initiatives
The study examined the factors involved in social mobilization and citizen participation while analyzing voluntary HIV/AIDS community initiatives. The study reviews and examines theories that are applicable to social mobilization including; Resource mobilization theory, functional motivation theory, social role theory of gender, empowerment and social capital model in relation to citizen participation. The study amalgamates aspects of the reviewed theories generating a more comprehensive understanding of the process of social mobilization. The study aimed at developing a path model that examines the interplay among social learning variables namely; social capital, psychological sense of community, community organization social climate, member satisfaction, and psychological empowerment and how they culminate into citizen participation while doing an analysis on volunteer motivation and the factors that maintain participation of volunteers in community activity. The respondents were volunteers in HIV/AIDs organizations who have had training and have served in their communities for a long time. The Concurrent nested mixed method design was used for the study in which both quantitative and qualitative methods are simultaneously employed. The method gives priority to one of the methods and guides the project, while another is embedded or nested. Correlation and regression analysis were carried out assessing relationship between variables and predictive power on empowerment respectively. Findings confirm positive correlations among the study variables namely; social capital and psychological sense of community, community organization social climate and member satisfaction, psychological sense of community and psychological empowerment, member satisfaction and psychological empowerment and psychological empowerment and citizen participation. Furthermore, the suggested model had two converging paths leading to psychological empowerment, one through psychological sense of community and the other through member satisfaction and the linear regression analysis aimed at identifying which one of the two paths had greater predictive power on psychological empowerment. Psychological sense of community was a stronger predictor of psychological empowerment than group member satisfaction. Consequently the study contributes to knowledge through revealing a new perspective in the analysis of variables involved in citizen participation by testing the proposed path model and discovering that it holds and is a good fit. Findings also agree with the social role theory of gender that women were more likely to volunteer than men. The study also reveals that the motives that drive volunteers include; the self-serving and achievement motive, affiliation and relational motive, power motive and the belief Motive and participation is maintained over time by feelings that their efforts are appreciated, Having positive impact on others, attainment of the group goals, development of personal skills and the development of strong supportive relationships. Finally the study discusses implications for development of theory extending earlier findings through integrating aspects of earlier theories in citizen participation and makes recommendations for future research, pointing out where emphasis needs to be placed.