By Jason MacLeod, Karrina Nolan, Sam La Rocca
This training process guide is an excerpt from Building Power: A Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Who Want to Change the World. You can download the full guide from Original Power.
- Give participants an experience of responding to different scenarios to explore different approaches to solving different problems
- Investigate how different problems require different approaches to change to solve them
- Clarify the differences between community organising, community development, advocacy and service delivery.
NOTE: This process guide uses three scenarios to clarify the differences between community organising, community development, advocacy and service delivery. If the group grasps the difference quickly you may wish to use only one scenario. You might also like to create your own scenarios that resonate with the experience of the group.
1 – 1.5 hours
You might like to create your own scenarios and possible actions that describe community crises and problems that are likely to be encountered in workshop participants’ own communities.
- Write up the actions for each scenario on a piece of butcher’s paper
- Handout | Four Different Approaches to Making Change
- Masking tape or rope (optional).
- Mark out the room into four quadrants with rope or masking tape (optional).
- Scribe the four different actions for each scenario written up on butcher’s paper and place one in each of the quadrants.
How it is Done
- Assign each of the four possible actions to a corner in the room.
- Explain that you are going to read a scenario. While people listen to the scenario, invite them to consider which action they are immediately drawn to. Listen to all four actions before prompting people to choose where to stand (or sit).
- Ask people move to a quadrant based on their immediate response to this situation. This may not necessarily be an exact match with their preferred or instinctive response, but people need to pick the response that best describes their instinct. If one or more quadrants are not occupied, ask if there is anyone who considered standing in the empty quadrants and invite them to move there.
- Ask people in each quadrant to discuss:
- Why did you choose or consider that action?
- How does that action contribute to positive social change?
- What are some of the strengths and limitations of the action?
- What is the timeframe needed to undertake this action?
- After participants have discussed the questions in small groups, bring everyone back together to share their thoughts on the questions in the large group.
- If you chose to do this exercise with more than one scenario, read the next scenario and possible actions, then repeat steps 3 and 4.
- Write up the framework to categorise the different approaches on a piece of butcher’s paper:
- Providing a service
- Advocating for people in need
- Community organising: working with affected people to find solutions to root causes
- Community development: inclusive, non-conflictual processes designed to support people to meet their needs themselves.
- Revisit the actions for each scenario and ask if people recognise which element in the framework each action corresponds to.
- If you read out more than one scenario, ask if people changed their choice of action between scenarios? Why?
- Distribute copies of the handout. Clarify the four different approaches to social change in each scenario. Discuss how different problems require different approaches in order to make change happen. Value all the approaches. Ask: ‘When might it be useful to try community organising?’
SCENARIO 1: A NATURAL DISASTER
In one of the islands, a cyclone has torn through the town. Four hundred houses have been destroyed as well as a number of shops and organisations. The youth centre has also been damaged. Many more homes are cut off from power and water. Around three hundred people are still unaccounted for and the hospital has been unable to treat people as they have limited medical supplies.
The national government’s response has been terrible both in terms of preparation for a disaster like this and also for its emergency response. The government have the resources to respond but are taking their time to organise teams of people and services to reach the community.
Possible actions (Note: Don’t categorise the actions until step 7)
- People may be trapped under the rubble and need help. We should go to that area immediately and try to help the rescue efforts. Even if we can’t help them, there are probably children or elders who need care and could use our help. Maybe we could set up some shelters or support people to get food. (Service provision.)
- We need to contact the provincial and national government to ask what’s keeping them from doing their job and demand that the disaster relief funds are released immediately. (Advocacy.)
- We need to get the people to come together. We need to hold the national government to account and ensure better planning, preparation and emergency response next time there’s a cyclone. (Community organising.)
- We should run some activities for those who are staying at the temporary shelter. Maybe something at night time to try and make sure those young people have a safe space to go to now the centre has been destroyed. (Community development.)
SCENARIO 2: YOUTH JUSTICE
A young man has just been arrested by the local police. It is the third time over the last month he has been picked up off the street when he hasn’t broken any law. One of the other times he was badly beaten by police.
This kind of thing is happening more often in town, and more young men are being targeted and assaulted by police.
Possible responses (Note: Don’t categorise the actions until step 7)
- We should set up a legal service to provide legal advice for young people. (Service provision.)
- There is something wrong with the system that police can get away with this. We need to meet with the local chief to get them to take up the issue with an MP or the Police commissioner. (Advocacy.)
- We must hold a public meeting and invite the family of the young person and the families of other young people who have been harassed by police to discuss why this is happening to our young men. We need a plan to hold elected representatives accountable in order to change the policies that allow police harassment. (Community organising.)
- We need to run some evening activities keep the young people safe and off the streets and give them something to do at night. Maybe some workshops to help them build their confidence and give them a better direction. It is also possible to engage parents and grandparents to share parenting skills more broadly amongst the community. (Community development.)
|Advocate||Community Organiser||Service Provider||Community Development Worker|
|How change happens||Speaks out on behalf of others using official channels to create change||Develops grassroots power and capacity so people can solve their own problems with their own resources. Focused on structural and political change and often involving confrontation||Provides directly for the needs of people often in crisis||Personal development of indi- viduals and bringing community together through social, economic and cultural activities that will create change|
|Time frame||Can span all||Long term||Short-term||Medium-term|
|Who leads?||Staff / organisation led||Community led||Staff / organisation led||Staff /organisation led (although there are good examples of the community leading)|
|Objectives||Change laws and policies||Organise for political change||Feed, house, clothe and protect people. Provide service to meet people’s needs||Develop pride, skills, connections, socio-cultural and economic change|
|Tactics||Lobbying, submissions, inquiries||Community meetings, phone calls, house meetings, doorknocking/ face to face conversations in the market and other places, rallies, protests and a range of other disruptive nonviolent tactics||Shelters, breakfast programs, health services, soup kitchens, legal services||Festivals, workshops, community spaces, training and education|
See the full handout in the Building Power Guide which also includes axis in relation to confronting power/working within the system, and doing for/doing with people.
Source: This process guide was adapted by Karrina Nolan, Sam La Rocca and Jason MacLeod from the ‘Tornado Warning’ process developed by Daniel Hunter with Betsy Raasch-Gilman from Training for Change http://www.trainingforchange.org. See also ‘The People Power Manual: Community Organising Guide’, 2016, edited by James Whelan and Jason MacLeod, pp 38-42.
Download the full Building Power guide from Original Power.
- Aboriginal Australians
- Campaigning - Approaches_Actions_Tactics
- Capacity building
- Crisis management
- Indigenous peoples_First Nations
- Movements_Campaigns - Self determination
- Movements_Campaigns – Racism_Racial justice
- Organising - Community
- Theory of change
- Torres Strait Islanders