This study addresses the research question: What community organizing models are implemented in the programs of the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC)? The purpose of this study is to describe the organizing models implemented in the UPC’s programs which have inspired the urban poor to fight back against forced eviction in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is a case study utilizing interview, observation, and focus group discussion. Fifteen community organizers working for the UPC were interviewed and attended the focus group discussion.

The research identified three models implemented by the UPC, i.e. Alinsky’s model, a feminist model, and the mixture of Alinsky’s and a women-centered model. The strategies and tactics utilized were mass-pressure, embracing education, women’s savings groups, herbal medicines, composting and traditional healing practices, a media campaign and community radio, rap/canvassing/knocking on doors, providing alternative solutions to policy issues, engaging in horizontal and vertical networking, as well as training and skills building.

Each model presents certain strengths and weaknesses. While the mass-based organizing demonstrated in Alinksy’s model widens the chances of attaining the goal, constructing a militant mass-based organization requires expensive resources, energy, and time. A women-centered model is suitable with the local action to challenge the patriarchal social structure because women are more credible in terms of managing household expenditure and more actively involved in the programs. As for the implications of implementing the models, the organizers have to gain a deep understanding of the rules, goals and objectives as organizers. In terms of the UPC’s management, cultivating and recruiting local or indigenous leaders as organizers could change the orientation and expectation of community organizers to be UPC employees.


Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change