Political analysis

‘Big picture’ or political analysis is a critical element in strategising. Before choosing targets or tactics, we need to closely and critically examine the context we’re working in. What forces might facilitate or impede change? Who holds the greatest influence? What changes or outcomes are we working toward – exactly? What are our strengths and weaknesses?

These political analysis tools and frameworks are designed to inform, motivate and enhance strategic action. Many of them are elements of our ‘strategising for change’ workshops.


Conservation enterprise: lessons for corporate engagement

Does engaging with corporations compromise  independence and integrity or reduce pressure on nature, and mobilise resources for conservation?  Pepe Clark’s 2016 paper discusses key lessons for conservation leaders, including the need for conservation organisations to develop robust analytical frameworks to inform engagement with the private sector, and the importance of building movement wide capacity to […] Tags: corporate campaigns, strategy, theory of change,

Critical path analysis

A critical path charts a sequence of outcomes or changes that are necessary between where we are (here and now) and the resolution of the problem we’re campaigning to solve. This tool helps campaigners to articulate their assumptions about how the intended change will be brought about, step by step. It’s a powerful tool that […] Tags: favourite, political analysis, strategy, workshop resources,

Cutting the issue

It’s next to impossible to make a difference on a huge problem. How you ‘cut’ the problem into issues will influence your prospects of success, and the consequent impact. What parts of the problem (and the solution) are amenable to your influence? Tags: favourite, strategy, workshop resources,

Elements of strategy

A set of considerations to critically appraise strategic decisions. Tags: political analysis, strategy, workshop resources,

Forcefield analysis / Macro strategy exercise

This activity examines various forces affecting a movement including external groups, internal division, psychological powers and blocks. It’s a terrific way for your group or network to share perspectives and information that will help define what’s possible and how to maximise your influence and impact. Macro Strategy is a kinesthetic way to introduce this activity. Tags: political analysis, strategy, workshop resources,

Political opportunity structure: Analysis toward strategy

Randy Stoecker’s political opportunity structure helps community organisers to think through strategy on a spectrum of confrontation to consensus. Tags: political analysis, strategy, workshop resources,

Power mapping

An exercise to map who’s who to prioritise points of influence or change, and generate ideas for strategy: a great exercise to focus your campaign efforts. Tags: favourite, political analysis, strategy, workshop resources,

Problem tree analysis

This exercise is used to analyse the root causes of a problem and to identify the primary consequences. The tree provides a visual structure for the analysis. Developed by Lisa VeneKlasen and Valerie Miller.  Tags: political analysis, strategy, workshop resources,

Review of activities

Introduces four purposes of strategy. Tags: activist education, facilitation,

Roles in tension: Team types in strategy

Learn to recognise and value the diversity of roles played in your organisation, including your own strengths and blind spots! Tags: strategy, workshop resources,

Strategy board game

This people-sized board game developed by Karen Ridd (Training for Change) is useful to introduce a strategic framework, review issues and practice creative brainstorming. Tags: strategy, workshop resources,

Tactics analysis

An activity to assist groups select effective tactics through dialogue and thinking strategically. Tags: strategy, workshop resources,

Tactics to strategy

A powerful tool to help groups shift focus from tactics to strategy. Tags: strategy, workshop resources,

The practical strategist

Abstract from Bill Moyer (1989) The Practical Strategist: Movement Action Plan strategic theories for Evaluating, Planning and Conducting Social Movements. Social Movement Empowerment Project. Tags: favourite, social movements, strategy,

The wave: Where we stand in relation to…

A great exercise to encourage people to recognise and empathise with different viewpoints relating to a social problem, developed by Christine Herzog of AWEA. Tags: favourite, political analysis, workshop resources,

Mechanisms of change

We each have our own understandings and assumptions about how we’re most likely to achieve our campaign objective. These theories of change guide what we do and what we don’t do. How we spend our time and what we’re most strongly motivated to do. Often, our assumptions about mechanisms of change are unstated, even between […] Tags: favourite, political analysis, strategy, theory of change, workshop resources,

Theories of change

Encourages groups to articulate their beliefs about power and agency, and to work towards a match between their beliefs and actions. Tags: favourite, theory of change,

Vision gallery

A tool for envisioning specific features of the kind of society participants would like to create, and facilitating development of a common vision and shared values. Tags: strategy, workshop resources,

What is strategy

An experiential exercise to clarify the difference between goals, tactics and strategy. Tags: strategy,