Creating a volunteer program is a great way to create meaningful and important jobs. This model, which is usually applied at the individual level, has been used in studies on women's empowerment and, more recently, in asset-based community development. If a comprehensive community initiative (or a program or policy that is part of it) is successful over a long period of time, it can be used as an example for other communities to follow. We believe that contemporary community initiatives must resist the current processes of depoliticization and strengthen the external vision of the structural pathways that range from empowerment to health equity in order to reduce inequalities. However, their current dominance in many community initiatives is hiding the outside view of supporting communities to exercise their capacities of collective control in pursuit of greater equity.
Secondly, the original concept of community empowerment must be recovered, which includes processes that help those with little power to exercise greater collective control over decisions and actions that contribute to social transformation and political change. Communities often have a local support system, which can include elements such as financial resources or service networks, which help the initiative to make a difference in the community. For some, the growing number of empowerment initiatives are opportunities for communities to gain power as governments engage with them to address contemporary issues. To begin with, it is necessary to understand the paths that go from empowerment to health equity and the factors that drive the depoliticization of contemporary empowerment practices. Successful community associations develop, adopt, or adapt promising interventions and practices that will work in their community. Clarity is needed on the pathways that range from empowerment to health equity and the processes that drive the depoliticization of contemporary empowerment initiatives.
The most important thing will be for the most disadvantaged communities and increasing pressure will be exerted on health promotion to strengthen the inward view and focus increasingly on equipping communities to use their “assets” to manage “crises” such as COVID-19 in order to adapt to existing inequalities, rather than transforming them. Community evaluation can help communities recognize their own capacities to achieve change and then act on the basis of that knowledge. However, when communities aren't making things happen, the role of the community evaluation team can shift to holding the initiative accountable for its actions.