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James Whelan

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Campaign Strategy Planning Template

This planning template prompts you to apply a number of different campaign strategy, community organising, and civil resistance concepts and tools. Copy the template into your own document. As you complete each section delete the instructions (text in italics) until you have your own plan, or initial document to discuss in your organisation.

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Elements of Campaign Strategy

This overview of campaign strategy elements is offered to clarify language shared by campaigners. The elements include campaign focus and goals; vision; situational analysis; critical path analysis; organisational considerations; allies, constituents and targets; objectives; tactics; evaluation and success indicators.

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What is Community Organising?

This excerpt from the Community Organising Guide provides an introduction to community organising. Organising is about generating and wielding people power.

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Action group meetings

This tip sheet has been written to help you and your group work well together and achieve your objectives and highlights some group habits and actions that resilient community groups have relied on: effective meetings with an agreed agenda; clearly-defined roles; mindful decision-making; accountability; and inclusiveness.

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Introduction to Community Mapping

Community organisers need to continually analyse their communities. What’s going on that has implications for our issue and campaign? Which groups do we need to be connecting with? How is power being exercised?

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Three Approaches to Organising

This article outlines three frameworks of organising. They are broad based organising; social movement organising; and community development informed organising.

Photograph of a number of paper plates laid out on the ground with a person pointing at one. The plates have writing on them describing campaign steps.

Critical-path analysis

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. Critical path analysis can shift focus to outcomes rather than tactics and provide experience and skill in defining clear objectives. The process also deepens understanding about how change happens and clarifies key threads running through a campaign.

Photolanguage - photograph of set of photos.

Photolanguage

A process guide to be used in training workshops, planning sessions and team building. Photolanguage has many uses, including to facilitate self-­awareness; deepen engagement and relationships; stimulate connections between intellectual reflection and personal experience; and stimulate creativity in personal expression.

Diagram made up of a central circle (Group Development) surrounded by 5 connected circles labelled Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Mourning.

Stages of Group Development

A handout and process guide for training workshops focused on working in groups and organisational effectiveness. The process introduces participants to Bruce Tuckman’s model of stages in group development; encourages participants to reflect on their experience of group development; and identifies and address challenges and opportunities that accompany each stage.

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Workshop: Assessing and Opening Policy Windows

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions. The workshop introduces the idea of ‘policy windows’ and ‘political opportunity structure’ and enables participants to critically evaluate the political opportunity structure apparent in current campaigns.

Diagram showing Problems, Proposals and Politics all leading with arrows to the Policy Window

Resources: Assessing and Opening Policy Windows

The policy window is an opportunity for advocates of proposals to push their pet solutions, or to push attention to their special problems. When everything comes together a problem is recognised, a solution is developed and available in the policy community, a political change makes it the right time for policy change, and potential constraints are not severe.

Photograph of posters reading 'Building Alternative Institutions', 'Care taking & service delivery', 'Social change through personal change'.

Mechanisms of Change

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions about theories of change. This session facilitates political analysis, reflection and dialogue. Why start with a theory of change? This isn’t asking people to be academics, it’s just about being clear about our own and each other’s assumptions.

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Lobbying Workshop

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to introduce participants to lobbying in an experiential way; identify lobbying as just one tool in a community organiser’s toolkit of skills and techniques for change; provide resources and information for future reference.

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Cutting the Issue

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. This process will help reduce the scope of campaigns in order to focus efforts on where change can really be achieved, and consider the possible consequences of working on one part of a problem rather than others.

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Community Organising Guide

The Community Organising Guide is 296 pages of training resources to deepen our understanding of core organising skills: relational meetings and self-interest, the power of story in organising, building alliances, coalitions and networks, holding decision-makers accountable, leadership development, recruitment, doorknocking and phonebanking.

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Campaign Strategy Guide

Social movements become more powerful as more people are equipped to analyse their political context, consider paths to change and mindfully plan tactics. This Campaign Strategy Guide equips activist educators to facilitate a range of participatory exercises with activists, organisers and citizens. It can also be used as a do-it-yourself guide for campaigners.