Author(s):
SCOPE- Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education, Published by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Publication Information:
http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2010/01/2010-communities-creating-healthy-environments-power-analysis-st.html

Summary:
This resource provides a tool designed to help communities understand power dynamics and incorporate this understanding into planning for social change efforts.

Detailed Description:
The Power Analysis Survey is a planning tool designed to help communities identify who has power, how it is being used, and how it impacts organizations’ ability to create social justice change. The tool helps organizations to:

  • Develop a work plan;
  • Identify community organizing opportunities;
  • Develop a campaign plan;
  • Identify alliance building opportunities; and
  • Identify technical assistance needs.

The tool provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete a visual power analysis that places various political actors (e.g. decision makers, opponents, allies) and issues (e.g. political agendas, key battles) on a power grid. This grid provides the backdrop against which organizations can better understand their ability to make change and to plan corresponding campaigns.

Though the Power Analysis Survey is a planning (as opposed to evaluative) tool, it illustrates the relationship between planning and evaluation. By incorporating power analysis into strategic campaign planning, an organization is better equipped to articulate how it will address power inequities as well as what it hopes to gain in its campaign. These planning elements can then be incorporated into evaluation of the organization’s efforts. Additionally, many of the key relationships and campaign factors that are identified in the planning tool can easily be converted into evaluative areas of inquiry.

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