Local Capacity & Leadership: Challenges & Examples

Limited access to resources and a lack of economic opportunity are among the challenges that can restrain community capacity. However, when local leaders are empowered to make positive change in the places they care about, challenges become easier to address. Network building and leadership programs are some of the methods that can be used to increase local capacity.

Connecting Elders with Resources

As anyone with aging parents or grandparents knows, growing older creates challenges for everything from cooking healthy meals and shoveling the steps to remembering medications or taking blood samples. Island residents have the added challenges of long ferry rides and few medical or transportation resources. Many elder islanders end up moving to an assisted living facility on the mainland, removed from their family and lifelong home. However, eldercare services at a variety of levels, from a weekly ride to the grocery store all the way to residential care homes, can enable islanders to age in place, staying close to friends and family in their home community.

Solution Examples

Enabling Community Leadership

Island and remote coastal communities face many challenges. Decreasing year-round resident populations threaten the diversity of human capital that make isolated communities viable. Limited access to resources, high cost of living, and limited economic opportunities all provide particular challenges as well. However, despite their small populations, volunteer participation is much higher per capita in island communities, indicating a high level of social capital. Critically, a single individual can have a greater impact because the populations are small and invested.

Solution Examples

Offering Educational Support

Islands and rural communities can be severely limited in their educational systems. Many islands have very few school children, and often only one or two teachers. Finding the time and resources to provide children with the educational and social experiences they need can be a challenge.

Solution Examples