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.
Theories of Change
In order to make change you need to decide how you think that change will come about, and base on your actions on your best guess. For collective work to be effective it’s important the theory of change is shared. This topic includes activities and discussion starters for exploring different theories, as well as details on some particular approaches.
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.
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.
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.
This is a training process guide to explore different approaches to solving community 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.
Joel Dignam reviews Paul and Mark Engler’s 2016 book This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century. TIAU is an analysis of social change, how it has occurred, and how contemporary campaigners may make it occur again.
As a means of radical social change, nonviolence draws on a rich history of people’s struggles from around the world. Grassroots people’s movements have brought down dictators, stopped armies, undermined corporations and halted entire industries with nonviolent resistance.
Johan Gultung identified three major approaches to peace: peacekeeping, peacemaking, peacebuilding. Strategies can be applied proactively, to prevent violence occurring or reactively to reduce the likelihood of violence reoccurring. Each strategy on its own cannot really be effective in creating peace without the application of the other strategies.
Anne O’Brien reviews Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change by Cynthia Kaufman. Kaufman connects theory with the day to day dilemmas that activists face in the practical work of challenging injustice.
Aidan Rickett’s The Activists’ Handbook is a powerful guide to grassroots activism. Naomi Blackburn reviews the early chapters of the book which are particularly relevant to Theories of Change.
Getting clear on our theory of change can be personally empowering as well as important for alignment within organisations and campaigns. These notes are from a workshop by Naomi Blackburn, drawing on the Resource Manual for a Living Revolution and Australian Student Environment Network curriculum.
In the second part of this article Mark and Paul Engler further explore Bill Moyer’s Movement Action Plan and its implications for social movements.
We tend to talk about activist burnout as an individualised experience – but the Movement Action Plan, a framework for understanding social movements, factors in perception of failure, providing insights and hope for navigating the downs in movement life.
Bring People Power into your next campaign or project with MobLab’s online course. Based on the Mobilisation Cookbook, drawing on Greenpeace’s expertise, the free course covers core elements of a ‘people-powered’ campaign, when to use them and what to mix them with. Based on real-life campaign examples, you’ll also cover practical tools needed to create your own campaigns.
The “8-Fold Path” is a list of eight operating principles for building a progressive people’s movement in the 21st century. It is used by all the members of the OPEN Network, which includes organisations around the world like GetUp (Australia), MoveOn (United States), and Campact (Germany).