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the Change Agency

the Change Agency

The Change Agency is an independent social movement education initiative. They work with community organisers and activists in the Australia Pacific region to help people win social and environmental change. Major projects include the Campaigners Toolkit, the Community Organising Fellowship and the People Power Manual.

For many years tCA has developed, collected and shared an amazing array of tools to help activists and community organisers define and achieve their goals. A selection of these resources, many of which equip social movement trainers, are included on the Commons.

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Black and white photograph of a chess board with overturned king..

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.

Picture of an orange manual.

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.

A group of people stand on a bridge holding large letters spelling 'Global Goals'.

Tactics analysis

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. Activists often love our tactics! We can even be wedded to our favourite tactics. Here’s a tool to help move from tactics to a larger strategy conversation by analysing tactics.

Photograph of a group of people having a meeting.

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.

Picture of an orange manual.

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?

Picture of an orange manual.

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: Process Guide

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 – Communicate through images

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.

Photograph of a group of people standing in a circle with a beach ball.

Games and energisers for your workshop

Games are great to use during a workshop. They may be scheduled into the workshop at various times or you may just toss one in when you feel that the group could benefit from playing a game. The games in this handout are separated into the categories of introductory games, name games, dynamicas (energisers) and fun ways to get people into groups.

Photograph of a sandwich board on pavement, it reads 'Awesome' with an arrow pointing to the right, and 'Less Awesome' with an arrow pointing to the left.

Tips on how to give and receive feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is a core skill for people engaged in social change projects. These slides and related text outline what can maximise or minimise the effectiveness of feedback and useful phrases. 

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

Stages of Group Development: Handout and guide

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.

A group of people stand together around a ping pong table covered in paper and pens.

Diagnostic Tools for Trainers and Facilitators

Facilitators and activist educators rely on a suite of tools to diagnose the group, to learn about people’s needs and priorities, and to move the group forward. A number of tools are outlined in this resource including: One-on-one conversations; Maximise/Minimise; Ambivalence charts; Questionnaires; Sociograms; Skits, mime and tableaux; Noticings; and Evaluation.

Two women sit together in conversation.

Active Listening Roleplay – A guide for training workshops

A process guide for training workshops focused on working in groups, communication, conflict resolution, community organising and conversation frameworks. The objective of the session is to practice active listening and assertive communication.

Photograph of a window with curtains opening.

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

3 resources to assess and open 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 guide by The Change Agency

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.

Cards read: 'The social movement that has had the biggest impact on me...', 'I became an activist because...', 'When it comes to politics Iam a...', 'One ingredient in my vision of utopia is...'

Naming political assumptions: A guide

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to identify the political assumptions that shape our opinions and analysis. Analysis and planning is improved by being aware of the lens through which we see the world. Our lens is influenced by our assumptions and values.

12 people standing in front of Australia's parliament. A speaker is stepped forward from the group, wearing a pastor's collar.

Lobbying Workshop Guide

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.

Three people sit around a desk, talking together.

Lobbying: a tactic for social change

Lobbying is one method of raising public awareness of an issue and enlists support for a particular cause. The objective of lobbying is to persuade decision makers to take or not to take particular actions. This handout covers the skills, knowledge and qualities of effective lobbyists, as well as the essential steps to preparing for lobbying.