A New Weave of Power, People and Politics
Lisa Veneklasen & Valerie Miller
The guide gives “a new weave” to a number of important issues, and in so doing makes a significant contribution to the growing international literature on citizen participation and advocacy. First, while it offers concrete strategies and tools for citizen participation and advocacy, it locates them in the broader debates on the meanings of citizenship and democracy. At a time when many political institutions around the world are facing a crisis of legitimacy, as models of democracy and representation are re-examined, this approach challenges us to continue to construct new forms of citizenship, based on popular knowledge and respect for differences, in diverse contexts. Second, at a time when there is increased talk of concepts such as a “rights-based approach” to development, “participation” and “good governance,” this manual illustrates how better to understand what these concepts might mean in practice, based on peoples’ own knowledge and experiences, as well as by showing how in real life they must be integrated with one another. Third, the guide grows specifically out of the authors’ particular concerns and experiences in the areas of gender and women’s political participation. On the basis of this work, it speaks strongly to concerns for issues of inclusion, respect for differences and identities, and the need to address underlying attitudes and values – concerns which often get shortshrift
in the focus on organizing campaigns, winning issues and changing policies. A New Weave has been needed for a long time.
“Excellent material for activists everywhere. The Guide combines very practical tools with conceptual discussions that encourage people to contextualize and reflect critically on their own experience. Its advocacy approach is integrated – not merely a technical exercise of lobbying but a broader process that includes and draws on lessons of social and political struggle.”
PATRICIA ARDON, Regional Representative for Central America, CEDPA
“A very comprehensive guide book for activists. It helps people who work at different levels understand advocacy in a broader context – dealing with different kinds of power – rather than only policy advocacy. A solid blend of theory, frameworks and field experiences make for easy adaptation to the local context of users.”
NANI ZULMINARNI, Asia South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education (ASPBAE) and PPSW, Indonesia
‘a significant contribution to the growing international literature on citizen participation and advocacy…A New Weave has been needed for a long time.’
Lisa VeneKlasen is Executive Director & Co-Founder of Just Associates, an international advocacy and learning organization. She has worked closely with dozens of NGOs, social movements and grassroots groups on people-centered advocacy and advocacy training. She has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Dr Valerie Miller is Senior Advisor & Co-Founder of Just Associates. She was formlery Policy Advocacy Director at Oxfam America and Director of Policy and Exchange Programs at the Institute for Development Research. She has a doctorate in adult education.
Who is the Action Guide for?
What Is the Guide’s Approach to Advocacy?
Conceptual and Experiential Sources for the Action Guide
Navigating the Action Guide
Navigating the Action Guide: Tips for Users
PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING POLITICS
Chapter 1: Politics and Advocacy
Some Reflections on Politics
Exercise: What Is Politics?
What Is Advocacy?
Exercise: Different Views of Advocacy
Exercise: Defining Advocacy
More Advocacy Definitions
The Action Guide’s Working Definition of Advocacy
What Do We Mean by Rights-Based Advocacy?
Chapter 2: Democracy and Citizenship
The Meaning of Democracy in a Changing World
Exercise: What is Democracy?
Citizens as “Makers and Shapers”
Exercise: What is a “Good” Citizen?
Citizen Rights and Responsibilities
Exercise: Citizens’ Rights and Responsibilities
Citizenship and Rights: Some Tensions
Perceptions of Power and Political Change Strategies
Chapter 3: Power and Empowerment
Looking at Power
Exercise: Identifying the Sources and Uses of Power
Exercise: Feeling Power and Powerlessness
Expressions of Power
Power, Advocacy, and Conflict
Many Levels of Political Power
More Thoughts on the Public and Private Angles of Political Power
Analyzing and Navigating the Many Levels of Power
What Is Empowerment?
The Conflicts and Risks of Empowerment
The Chaz! (Aha!) Framework
Why Is Constituency-Building Critical for Advocacy?
What Do We Mean by “Constituent”?
How Constituency-Building Changes Strategies
What Is Political Consciousness?
Building Political Consciousness: Drawing on the Theory and Practice of Popular Education
Four Stages of Awareness
Features of Participatory Learning
The Dialogue Process
Codes: Opening Discussion on Difficult Problems
Facilitator’s Note: Steps in the Dialogue Process
Other Participatory Learning Methods
Empowerment and Difference: Thinking about Gender
Framework for the Action Guide
Chapter 5: The Basics of Planning for Citizen-Centered Advocacy
What Is Advocacy Planning?
How Advocacy Planning Differs from Other Types of Planning
Key Steps or “Moments” of Advocacy Planning
The Importance of Participation in Advocacy Planning
Making Participation Work
Chapter 6: Planning Moment #1 - Looking Inward
Four Steps to Looking Inward
Step One: Who Am I? Identifying Ourselves and Our Interests
Exercise: The Power Flower
Exercise: Naming Political Assumptions
Step Two: Who Are We as an Organization?
Exercise: What Is Your Political Vision?
Step Three: Where Are We Going?
Step Four: How Do We Look To Others? Gauging Visibility and Credibility
Constituent Credibility Checklist
Chapter 7: Planning Moment #2 - Understanding the Big Picture
Mapping the Political Landscape
Exercise: Structural Analysis
Exercise: Naming the Powerful
The State, the Market, Civil Society, and the Family
Exercise: Historical Analysis of the Political Landscape
Ways to Understand Transitions in the Political Landscape
Looking for Advocacy Opportunities at Different Transition Moments
In-depth Mapping of Civil Society
Chapter 8: Planning Moment #3 - Identifying and Defining Problems
Understanding Problems for Advocacy Planning
Problem Statements: Getting Specific
Exercise: Anatomy of a Problem
Some Guiding Questions to Get Specific About Problems and Constituencies
Constituency-Building Approaches for Defining Problems
Exercise: Raising Questions and Talking about Problems
Access and Control Profile
Problem Identification Tools
More on Participatory Assessments
More on Focus Groups
Using Focus Groups to Practice Citizenship
Chapter 9: Planning Moment #4 - Analyzing Problems & Selecting Priority Issues
Exercise: Priority Group Analysis
Exercise: Problem Identification and Prioritization
Exercise: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions
Exercise: Problem Tree Analysis
Exercise: Problem-Focused Structural Analysis
From Problems to Issues
Exercise: Checklist for Choosing an Issue
Chapter 10: Planning Moment #5 - Mapping Advocacy Strategies
Choosing the Right Strategy
Different Advocacy Strategies for Different Moments
Timing: Matching the Strategy to the Moment
Mapping Alternative Strategies
Exercise: Tracing the History of an Issue
Triangle Analysis: Mapping Legal-Political Solutions
Exercise: Triangle Analysis and Mapping Strategies
Comparing and Selecting Strategies
Drafting A First Set of Advocacy Goals and Objectives
Dimensions of a Citizen-Centered Advocacy Strategy
Exercise: Focusing Advocacy Resources
Chapter 11: Finding Policy Hooks and Political Angles
Different Political Systems and Entry Points
Levels of Policymaking Arenas and Processes
Phases of Policymaking
Exercise: Mapping the Policy System
Budget Analysis and Advocacy
International Policymaking and Advocacy Opportunities
Women’s Human Rights Advocacy Frameworks
Advocacy on Corporate Policy and Practice
A Note on Formulating Policy Alternatives
Chapter 12: Forces, Friends, and Foes
Identifying the Forces
The SWOT Analysis: Internal and External Forces
Exercise: The SWOT in Practice
Exercise: Forcefield Analysis
The Power Map: Identifying Players and Positions
Exercise: Mapping Power
Classifying Friends and Foes: Targets, Allies, Opponents
Analysis of Advocacy Target
Chapter 13: Messages and Media - Educating and Persuading
Why Media Advocacy?
Mass Media Advocacy
Checklist for an Effective News Conference
Exercise: Media Strategies
Alternative Media for Citizen Outreach and Education
Chapter 14: Outreach and Mobilization
Different Ways To Do Outreach and Mobilization?
Designing Outreach and Mobilization Strategies
Local Government Information Brochure
Checklist for Holding an Accountability Session
Activism In the Economic Sphere
Exercise: Checklist for Planning Citizen Mobilization
Case Study: Constituency-building and Electoral Advocacy
Chapter 15: Maneuvering on the Inside: Lobbying and Negotiating
Heading to the Corridors of Power
Lobbying: Getting to the Table
Exercise: Formal and Informal Lobbying
Exercise: Presenting Your Case to Decisionmakers
Negotiation: Advancing Your Issue
Exercise: Negotiation Simulation
Dirty Tricks and Calculated Moves
Chapter 16: Advocacy Leadership
Leadership Roles: Formal and Informal
Leadership and Shared Responsibility: “Affidamento” and Pacts
Advocacy Leadership: Combining Styles and Approaches
Exercise: Role Play on Leadership Styles
Exercise: Leadership Qualities and Skills
Leadership and Teamwork
Chapter 17: Alliances and Coalitions
The Difficulties of Coalitions and Alliances
Considerations for Building Advocacy Coalitions and Alliances
Coalition Decisionmaking Structures
Exercise: Decisionmaking in Coalitions and Alliances
When Coalitions Break Up
Exercise: Conflict Resolution Role Play
The guide is a necessary addition to any reading list for staff working on advocacy in field offices, policy departments, and with partner organisations...New Weave is one of the best available guides providing an overview of the advocacy process as well as concrete recommendations for implementation.
Monday Developments 2007