A theory of change can help guide campaigners, their teams and communities. James Whelan from the Change Agency addresses four common pitfalls and some remedies so your theory of change works for you and your team.
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.
Be inspired with this list of movies and documentaries about social movement struggles, victories and leaders – Selma, Milk, Silkwood, Norma Rae, Gandhi and more.
Links to useful resources in the area of advocacy, policy change, and social movement evaluation.
Learn how to be an effective community organiser and about the Community Organising Fellowship run by James Whelan of The Change Agency.
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.
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.
This excerpt from the Community Organising Guide provides an introduction to community organising. Organising is about generating and wielding people power.
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.
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.
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?
This article outlines three frameworks of organising. They are broad based organising; social movement organising; and community development informed organising.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.