The NEN works side by side with communities as they advance their self-identified resilience goals by fusing classic community development models with a collective impact approach. This method is now encapsulated in the Empowered Communities Program (ECP). As a result of creating the ECP, the NEN has been able to move ownership of community resilience down to the neighborhood level, where it rightfully belongs.

Specifically, the ECP offers communities a bottom-up planning and implementation process that puts community leadership in charge of creating their resilience strategy from the very beginning; as a result, it increases the likelihood of sustained participation by key local stakeholders at the neighborhood level.

ECP Vision:

Every resident lives in a healthy, resilient community supported by local networks rich in trust and reciprocity.


ECP Mission:

The ECP Program Management Team is committed to developing tools, resources, training, and methods that empower Partner Communities with the capacity to successfully negotiate times of sever stress and ensure that all residents, especially the most vulnerable, will recover to a healthy condition and remain in the community.

Overview of the ECP

The ECP partners with community leaders and facilitates the development of a Resilient Action Plan (RAP) that advances a community’s overall resilience. A team of professionals from partner agencies – organizations with a stake in the community’s well-being – support community leaders and residents in identifying and advancing their resilient goals.


Leadership / Governance


Increase resident ability to lead their community under any circumstances in an inclusive manner

Problem Solving


Increase the level of day-to-day, cross-sectoral coordination among local and external stakeholder organizations to manage short and long planning processes



Increase internal and external communication capabilities



Provide neighborhood leaders with skills to effectively and sustainably engage and organize residents

Fundraising & Financial Management


Train communities to generate funds to advance their goals and manage money effectively to ensure long-term funder partnerships

Why Focus at Neighborhood Level?

~Neighborhood networks can be effective partners to crisis management organizations in meeting the needs of vulnerable populations and essential neighborhood institutions~


~Residents and organizations are more likely to adopt smart resilience behaviors if they are introduced via peer-to-peer engagement~


~Social networks, regardless of size and mission, offer the best platform for peer-to-peer~


~Over time, local organizations’ efforts to advance resilience will generate higher capacity at the individual, organizational, and community levels~

~Essential stakeholders will join and contribute to those networks which they trust and which they believe address their individual and organizational goals~


~Capacity building organizations can leverage community networks to engage key local stakeholder organizations as champions for resilience by providing them with streamlined access to training and resources that will increase their capacity to meet resident’s needs during times of stress~

Current ECP Communities