Friday, November 14, 2014

16 Steps. Starting the Mpowerment Project in your community

via the Mpowerment Manual - Module 1 Overview.


Admit you have a problem - you need to implement your Mpowerment Project (MP) and you haven't a clue where to begin. That's the goal of this blog post, to guide you through the general steps of starting an Mpowerment Project in your community. Developing a time frame to start a Project differs from community to community and from budget to budget. Each community must adapt these steps to it's Project's goals, funding for the program, and level of interest they are able to generate within the community. 

Keep in mind that many of these steps overlap. You can work on more than one simultaneously. You do not necessarily complete one step before beginning another. For example, you will be meeting with leaders in your community to promote awareness of your MP during the same time that you will have your coordinators conducting a community assessment and establishing a Core Group.

RELATED:  What is the Mpowerment Project? Download Module 1: Mpowerment Overview.

The Evolution Project | Mpowerment Atlanta GA

Step 1 The Executive Director and HIV Prevention/Education Supervisor become familiar with the basic ideas of the Mpowerment Project. Review materials on, including the Executive Director audio- slideshow (an online presentation that summarizes information critical for Executive Directors). Consult with Technical Assistance providers at the UCSF Capacity Building Assistance Partnership.

FUSE | Mpowerment Dallas Texas
Step 2 Assess whether the agency is ready to implement the Mpowerment Project’s Core Elements, following the Guiding Principles. The Guiding Principles are explained the Overview Module. Determine if the Mpowerment Project is a good fit for the agency and community.

Step 3 Secure adequate funding for the Project. (Download Module 3:Implementing Agency for more information about funding issues.) Starting the Project with only a half-time staff person is unlikely to result in a well- functioning program. Technical Assistance providers from the UCSF Capacity Building Assistance Partnership can also help by providing sample proposals and budget information, and by reviewing draft proposals.

RELATEDFunding best practices, interview with a funder.  

Step 4 Identify appropriate staff to serve as Coordinators for the Project by sending job announcements to agencies, by placing ads on appropriate Internet sites (e.g., craigslist), and by placing ads in local gay/bisexual, alternative, and university newspapers (See Module 4: Coordinators). Hiring staff that are appropriate for the intervention is one of the most important issues with respect to being able to implement the Project successfully.

Step 5 Hire and train Project Coordinator or Coordinators (Download Module3: Implementing Agency, and Module 4: Coordinators), review materials on the Mpowerment website, and attend the Mpowerment training. Let us know how we can assist your organization.

RELATED:  Join us. Attend the Mpowerment Project training

Step 6 Perform baseline evaluations of sexual risk behavior among young gay/bisexual men in the community before starting to implement the Project  Download Module 12: Evaluation.

Step 7 Coordinators conduct the community assessment (Download and read Module
SOMOS OC | Mpowerment Orange County CA
2: Community Assessment). This will help you to identify the different groups of young adult bisexual and gay men in the community, community resources, and people in the community who are relevant to the Project. It is important to note that this is not a “Needs Assessment,” which is generally a much larger, more complicated, and more expensive task.

Step 8 Meet with community leaders and relevant agencies to inform them of the Project.  Download Module 2: Community Assessment, Module 4:Coordinators, and Module 11: Community Advisory Board.

Step 9 Assemble a Core Group (Download Module 5: Core Group). This involves: 

  1. identifying potential Core Group members from the different segments of the young gay/bisexual men’s community, and 
  2. convening a meeting with them in which the Project is described to them and they are invited to join the Core Group.

Step 10 Coordinators and the Core Group (with approval from implementing agency) locate a Project space and furnish it (Download Module 6:Project Space).

Step 11 Identify and train additional M-group facilitators if you only have one Coordinator. Be sure to download our latest M-Group facilitators guide for free at

Step 12 Initiate Social Outreach Events to attract men to the Project and to begin community-building. Download Module 7: Formal Outreach—SocialOutreach Events and Outreach Team.

Mpowerment YVR | Vancouver BC
Step 13 Begin the process of the Core Group selecting a Project name, logo, and tagline (See Module 5: Core Group and Module 10: Publicity), and identifying initial Social Outreach Events that the Core Group wants to conduct and attend (See Module 7: Formal Outreach—Social Outreach Events andOutreach Team).

Step 14 Begin conducting Social Outreach Events. Projects often start off with a medium to large Social Outreach Event as a way of announcing the Project to the community. Other smaller Social Outreach Events are also started (Download Module 7: Formal Outreach—Social Outreach Events andOutreach Team).

Step 15 Develop Project promotional materials, develop a publicity and social media plan, and conduct publicity for Project and Social Outreach Events (Download Module 10:Publicity).

Step 16 Meet with potential Community Advisory Board members, and invite them to join the Community Advisory Board (Download Module 11:Community Advisory Board). 

Grand Opening The Q Austin with a Proclamation by the Mayor in 2014 | Mpowerment Austin Texas 


The Mpowerment Manual Module 1 Overview and the additional Mpowerment Modules are free downloads when you register at

Be sure to connect with the Mpowerment Project on Facebook and Twitter.

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