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Thread: Action: Movement Action Plan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Action: Movement Action Plan

    Movement Action Plan

    The 'Movement Action Plan' (MAP) is a strategic model developed by US activist and journalist, Bill Moyer. Moyer began developing the MAP in the late 1970s by studying cases of nonviolent social change. In MAP he describes eight stages of social change

    1. Business as Usual
    2. Normal Channels Fail
    3. Ripening Conditions
    4. Take Off
    5. Activist (Perception of) Failure
    6. Win Majority of Public Opinion
    7. Success
    8. Moving On to the Next Issue

    MAP should be required reading for everyone interested in making social change. Document archived here.

    See the hand-outs 'Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements' and 'Four Roles of Activists' for a brief overview of the Movement Action Plan's main idea

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Power and social change


    The exercises and hand-outs in this section aim to help us understand how change comes about and develop well-crafted plans to agitate for change. Most of us tend to think of change as linear/rational, but more often than not it is unpredictable and chaotic, and comes about when the conditions are right. We can cultivate 'openings' and 'favourable conditions' but we cannot control how or when they will bear fruit. Working (and then often waiting) for those changes can be frightening, frustrating as well as exhilharating. The resources offered here will help us understand change and work with it to the best of our ability.

    Exercises and hand-outs are listed and briefly described below. Documents containing the full description appear at the bottom of the list. Click here for taster sheets on Power, 'Becoming Active' (self empowerment) and 'How Change Happens'.
    Power is not only what you have but what your opponent thinks you have.

    -- Saul Alinsky

    Exercises and Hand-outs

    Why Turning the Tide does Power

    An overview on why TTT thinks that explorations of power are essential to effective nonviolence work. It's core to our work and this handout gives a brief overview why. More.
    Stages and Processes in Conflict Transformation

    This is a useful flowchart of the different stages in conflict and the nonviolent interventions that can be made. It's one of a few that shows the pre-conflict phase that Turning the Tide operates in, which here is called unequal power and shifting power relations. More.
    The 100th Monkey: a story about social change.

    This handout tells the story of scientific observations of radical change adopted by wild monkeys in Japan. Good for reflecting on how social change can happen. More .
    Moyer's Four Roles of Activists

    What kind of activist are you? A reformer? Rebel? Change agent? What sort does the campaign you work on need right now? Activist and journalist Bill Moyer outlines four activist archetypes and sheds light on the stages of a campaign when everyone's efforts can be most effective. More .
    Moyer's Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements

    This handout outlines in four pages activist and journalist Bill Moyer's eight stages of successful social movments which he covers more in-depth in his article the Movement Action Plan. We recommend using this hand-out in conjunction with his Four Roles of Activists (see above). More.
    Moyer's 8-stages and 4-roles handout

    A quick reference handout to illustrate in one graphic image Bill Moyer's four roles of activism and eight stages of successful social change movements. More .
    The Change Game

    A light and simple game to get participants thinking about how change happens. Quite simply you first have to decide what change needs to happen. After that, the rest is easy! More.
    Ladder of Citizenship Participation

    This handout shows different levels of citizen participation in an organisation. Can be used to analyse power relationships in any organisation, or in particular social change issues. More.
    My Own Role in a Social Change Situation

    An active listening exercise to analyse and affirm our existing contribution to social change. Good to use alongside sessions that explore theories of change. More.
    I Could DoThat If ...

    This is one of our favourite tools and it works on different levels to encourage folk to reflect on their own blocks to action, to help groups identify the types of actions that can play to their strengths and weaknesses, and generally to start the process of pushing the boundaries and becoming more empowered. More.
    I Could Do That If ... handout

    A worksheet for individual use. Has a range of suggested actions. More.
    I Could Do That If ... handout

    A worksheet for individual use. Blank for filling in own suggestions. More.
    Simon says and group clap

    A fun way of introducing types of group organising and questions of empowerment. More .
    Power Game

    An exercise that explores some of the behaviours in unequal power relationships and personal experiences of different behaviours within roles. It requires careful setting up and a practice run, but we've found it to be a valuable tool. More.

    Power Game handouts

    This goes with the Power Game (above) as part of the setting up. There are two handouts. You'll need to photocopy or print more copies so there's one for each participant. More.
    Power Hassle Line

    A simple hassle line exercise to explore experiences of power and powerlessness. More.
    Who Has Power in a School?

    We devised this exercise in our earliest days, and it's still a favourite. It's an exercise which reveals that virtually everyone has some power. It's good also for revealing a basic nonviolent understanding of power - that it's a relationship, that it comes from consent and obedience, and that there are different sources of power. More.
    Why Do What Teacher Says?

    Goes well with the Who Has Power in a School exercise (above) but can just as easily be used as a standalone to convey a basic understanding of power, that it comes from the consent and obedience of others and that there are various sources of power. More.
    Rank hand-out

    This hand-out explains TTT's understanding of power and rank and relative privilege in society. Rank is conscious or unconscious. It is social or personal ability or power arising from culture, community support, personal psychology and/or spiritual power. Whether you earn or inherit your rank, it organizes much of your communication behaviour, especially in moments of positive/negative tension. More.
    Social change paper game

    To explore what happens in a group when resources become scarce and to understand the different options available. More

    Description of Exercises and Hand-outs

    To view our training resources you will need a copy of Adobe® Reader®. If you don't have a copy or if you have an old copy which you would like to update, go to the Adobe website where you can download it for free.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Activism: The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements

    HomeNonviolent Change 101Building a Nonviolent WorldMethods

    Winning the Public in Three Ways (pdf)

    Download Eight Stages of Social Movement Success(pdf)

    The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements

    By Bill Moyer

    Social movements are not spontaneous events. According to Bill Moyer, successful social movements follow eight stages. His schema helps us not only to plan social movements, it helps to overcome a sense of failure and powerlessness that we often feel — the sense that we are always losing.

    We don’t criticize a sophomore in college because she hasn’t graduated from college; similarly, social movements are not unsuccessful just because they haven’t met their objectives yet. Movements build toward their goals over time, building on a series of phases. Moyer’s concept is important because it combats one of the key weapons of the status quo, which seeks to continually make its opponents feel powerless. The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements is a practical strategy and action planning model describing eight stages that successful movements progress through over many years. For each stage, it gives the roles of the movement, powerholders, and the public, and movement goals appropriate to that stage.

    The following eight stages are grouped into five broad phases of hidden problem, increasing tensions, take-off, waging the movement, and success.

    Hidden Problem

    Stage 1: Normal Times

    • A critical social problem exists that violates widely held values.
    • The general public is unaware of this problem.
    • Only a few people are concerned.

    uses official channels, demonstrations are small and rare.
    Powerholders: chief goal is to keep issue off social and political agenda.
    Public is unaware of the problem and supports powerholders. Only 10-15% of public support change.

    Movement goals of Stage 1:

    • Build organizations, vision, and strategy.
    • Document problems and powerholders’ roles. Become informed.

    Increasing Tensions

    Stage 2: Efforts to Change the Problem Demonstrate the Failure of Official Remedies

    • A variety of small and scattered opposition groups do research, educate others.
    • New wave of grassroots opposition begins.
    • Official mechanisms are used to address the problem: hearings, the courts, the legislature; if these work, the problem is resolved. But often, the official approaches don’t work. This shows how entrenched the problem is and demonstrates the failure of institutions to solve it.

    uses official system to prove it violates widely held values.

    chief goal is to keep issue off social and political agenda and maintain
    routine bureaucratic functioning to stifle opposition.

    still unaware of issue and supports status quo. 15-20% of the public support change.

    Movement goals of Stage 2:

    • Prove and document the failure of official institutions and powerholders to uphold public trust and values.
    • Begin legal cases to establish legal and moral basis for opposition.
    • Build opposition organizations, leadership, expertise.

    Stage 3: Ripening Conditions

    • Recognition by the public of the problem and its victims slowly grows.
    • Pre-existing institutions and networks (churches, peace and justice organizations) lend their support.
    • Tensions build. Rising grassroots discontent with conditions, institutions, powerholders, and “professional opposition organizations” (e.g., large lobbying groups).
    • Upsetting events occur, including ones which “personify” the problem.
    • Perceived or real worsening conditions.

    grassroots groups grow in number and size. Small nonviolent actions begin. Parts of progressive community won over, pre-existing networks join new cause.

    still favor existing policies and control official decision-making channels.

    still unaware of problems and supports powerholders. 20-30% oppose official policies.

    Movement goals of Stage 3:

    • Educate/win over progressive community.
    • Prepare grassroots for new movement.
    • More local nonviolent actions.


    Stage 4: Take-Off

    • A catalytic (“trigger”) event occurs that starkly and clearly conveys the problem to the public (e.g., the killing of Matthew Shepard in 2000; 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident).
    • Building on the groundwork of the first three stages, dramatic nonviolent actions and campaigns are launched.
    • These activities show how this problem violates widely held values.
    • The problem is finally put on "society’s agenda."
    • A new social movement rapidly takes off.

    enacts or responds to trigger event, holds large rallies and demonstrations and many nonviolent actions. A new “movement organization” is created, characterized by informal organizational style, energy, and hope for fast change. “Professional opposition organizations” sometimes oppose “rebel” activities.

    areshocked by new opposition and publicity, fail to keep issue off social agenda, reassert official line, and attempt to discredit opposition.

    becomes highly aware of problem. 40-60% oppose official policies.

    Movement goals of Stage 4:

    • Put issue on social agenda. Create a new grassroots movement.
    • Alert, educate and win public opinion.
    • Legitimize movement by emphasizing and upholding widely held societal values.

    Waging the Movement

    Stage 5: Movement Identity Crisis — A Sense of Failure and Powerlessness

    • Those who joined the movement when it was growing in Stage 4 expect rapid success. When this doesn’t happen there is often hopelessness and burn-out.
    • It seems that this is the end of the movement; in fact, it is now that the real work begins.

    numbers down at demonstrations, less media coverage, long-range goals not met. Unrealistic hopes of quick success are unmet. Many activists despair, burn out, and drop out. “Negative rebel” and “naive citizen” activities gain prominence in movement.

    and media claim that movement has failed, discredit movement by highlighting and encouraging “negative rebel” activities, sometimes through agents provocateurs.

    alienated by negative rebels. Risk of movement becoming a subcultural sect that is isolated and ineffective.

    Movement goals of Stage 5:

    • Recognize movement progress and success. Counter “negative rebel” tendencies.
    • Recognize that movement is nearing Stage Six and pursue goals appropriate to that stage.

    Stage 6: Winning Majority Public Opinion

    • The movement deepens and broadens.
    • The movement finds ways to involve citizens and institutions from a broad perspective to address this problem.
    • Growing public opposition puts the problem on the political agenda; the political price that some powerholders have to pay to maintain their policies grows to become an untenable liability.
    • The consensus of the powerholders on this issue fractures, leading to proposals from the powerholders for change (often these proposals are for cosmetic change).
    • The majority of the public is now more concerned about the problem and less concerned about the movement’s proposed change.
    • Often there is a new catalytic event (re-enacting Stage 4).

    transforms from protest in crisis to long-term struggle with powerholders to win public majority to oppose official policies and consider positive alternatives. Movement broadens analysis, forms coalitions. Many new groups involved in large-scale education and involvement. Official channels used with some success. Nonviolent actions at key times and places. Many sub-goals and movements develop. Movement promotes alternatives, including paradigm shift.

    try to discredit and disrupt movement and create public fear of alternatives. Promote bogus reforms and create crises to scare public. Powerholders begin to split.

    60-75% of the public oppose official policies, but many fear alternatives. However, support for alternatives is increasing. Backlash can occur and counter-movements may form.

    Movement goals:

    • Keep issue on social agenda.
    • Win over and involve majority of the public.
    • Activists become committed to the long haul.


    Stage 7: Success: Accomplishing Alternatives

    • Majority now opposes current policies and no longer fears the alternative.
    • Many powerholders split off and change positions.
    • Powerholders try to make minimal reforms, while the movement demands real social change.
    • The movement finally achieves one or more of its demands.
    • The struggle shifts from opposing official policies to choosing alternatives.
    • More costly for powerholders to continue old policies than to adopt new ones. More “re-trigger” events occur.

    counters powerholders’ bogus alternatives. Broad-based opposition demands change. Nonviolent action, where appropriate.

    : Some powerholders change and central, inflexible powerholders become increasingly isolated. Central powerholders try last gambits, then have to change policies, have the policies defeated by vote, or lose office.

    majority demands for change are bigger than its fears of the alternatives. Majority no longer believe powerholders’ justifications of old policies and critiques of alternatives.

    Movement goals:

    • Recognize movement’s success and celebrate, follow up on the demands won, raise larger issues, focus on other demands that are in various stages, and propose better alternatives and a true paradigm shift.
    • Create ongoing empowered activists and organizations to achieve other goals.

    Stage 8: Continuing the Struggle

    • Our struggle to achieve a more humane and democratic society continues indefinitely. This means defending the gains won as well as pursuing new ones.
    • Building on this success, we return to Stage 1 and struggle for the next change.
    • Key:The long-term impact of the movement surpasses the achievement of its specific demands.

    takes on “reform” role to protect and extend successes. The movement attempts to minimize losses due to backlash, and circles back to the sub-goals and issues that emerged in earlier stages. The long-term focus is to achieve a paradigm shift.

    adapt to new policies and conditions, claim the movement’s successes as their own, and try to roll back movement successes by not carrying out agreements or continuing old policies in secret.

    adopts new consensus and status quo. New public beliefs and expectations are carried over to future situations.

    Movement goals:

    • Retain and extend successes.
    • Continue the struggle by promoting other issues and a paradigm shift.
    • Recognize and celebrate success. Build ongoing grassroots organizations and power bases.


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