By Genesis Zorroza The Regional Movement-Building School was a dynamic place in which to think…
Hope Chigudu, African feminist and social change leader:
The Action Guide is an exciting and welcome route map for civil society activism … because it is not prescriptive … and examines power and change. The manual challenges dominant assumptions, defines key political concepts within value systems, sets out action strategies and gives guidelines and a comprehensive toolkit for negotiation, advocacy and organizing. It provides important insights on the role and process of political consciousness and empowerment in advancing the rights and participation of excluded groups … and recognizes the difficult choices women and other marginalized groups face when they confront power.
Srilatha Batliwala, feminist scholar and activist:
The Action Guide is, first and foremost, a method to analyzing power and figuring out for yourselves how to change its nature, distribution, and impact. It is unique because it doesn’t’ treat advocacy as a technical fix but a political process that occurs in concrete, specific contexts. The framework for analyzing power structures, opportunities and risks is the most complex and nuanced I’ve ever seen.
John Gaventa, scholar, Institute for Development Studies:
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.
John Ruthrauff, InterAction:
In recent years many development organizations have adopted a rights-based development methodology. This requires understanding new concepts and designing new strategies for implementation. A New Weave of Power, People & Politics, by Lisa VeneKlasen and Valerie Miller, a guide on advocacy and citizen participation, gives nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) an incredibly useful resource to understand and implement this core element of rightsbased development. The authors identify this advocacy approach as “an organized political process that involves the coordinated efforts of people to change policies, practices, ideas and values that perpetuate inequality, prejudice and exclusion.”
Read John Ruthrauffin’s full review published in Popular Education News.
Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Ph.D., Tennessee Microboards Association, Inc.:
Amazing. It is just what I have been searching for! An integration of all of the various philosophies and schools of thoughts regarding social justice and how to carry those through an advocacy process.
Sally Timmel, co-author of the Training for Transformation series:
Your book arrived yesterday and I LOVE it. Congratulations on a huge job — that is not easy work to get it all together. Although I worked on advocacy for 10 years — the way you have disaggregated the steps is brilliant! I especially like the way you have the planning and training elements for trainers in the back — very clear and easy to see and use. WOW is all I have to say. I have been going through it — dipping here and there and lights and ahas going off all over the place. It will also be very very useful in our own work with local government.
Opiata Odino, Legal Advice Center (Kituo Cha Sheria), Kenya:
… It is very clear to me that [the book] is going to be of tremendous use in our advocacy work here in Kenya especially as we continue to struggle for a new constitutional dispensation. I will share it extensively with the other partners … Once again thanks for a job well-done.
Catherin Borgman-Arboleda, Co-Director, Center for International Media Action (CIMA):
I came across your book A New Weave of Power, People and Politics while doing research on strategies to support the development of an advocacy network of grassroots and local media policy activists. I immediately ordered a copy, and forwarded the link on to my co-director, who did the same. We’ve referenced your book often while doing work to build participatory processes for advocacy, and the title is one of the first that pops into mind when colleagues consult with us on resources and tools to support their own work. In the numerous workshops we design and implement, we’ve adapted activities such as the Problem Tree, Forcefield Analysis and Mapping Power. The Problem Tree activity, which we were familiar with from other pop-ed resources, is so well laid out in your book and we have used it two years in a row at the Women, Media and Action conference with tremendous success– it truly helps the participants tease out the structural and root causes of the media problems they perceive and use that to develop strategies for change. We have also often turned to and recommended your report, Making Change Happen and recommend it to others, recently printing out and sending copies to the organizers of a national advocacy coalition. We have highlighted both texts on our website and in our newsletters as “essential reading” because they are so clearly valuable for people doing strategic change work. Thank you and the whole Just Associates team for all you do in leading us in creating sustainable, empowered, powerful movements for change.
Jonathan Dain, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida:
I find myself in an everlasting and frustrating search for appropriate materials to use with our students and in my work in general, but every once in a while a gem appears unexpectedly and your book is one of them … It arrived last week and I have been using it and recommending it to people ever since … I am also thrilled by your incorporation of gender and other social variables throughout the book.
Shelia Kawamara-Mishambi, Member, East African Legislative Assembly:
I feel that that book is a must read for all those people doing advocacy work… Although I have come across a number of advocacy books, none has put so well the theory and practice. It is really a practical guide for all those people that would want to have and effectively make use of power.
Kath Bond-Stewart and Talent Nyathi, Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust, Zimbabwe:
Congratulations for A New Weave … The book will be enormously valuable to us and activists everywhere.
Thomas Carothers, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
All around the world, the question of how to strengthen citizen advocacy is receiving tremendous amounts of attention. This new manual-at once analytically sophisticated but eminently practical-will help aid workers and citizen activists find new approaches to a range of critical challenges in this domain, including constituency building, power redistribution, and participatory learning. The manual’s strong emphasis on gender perspectives is an additional major plus.
David Cohen, Co-Director, Advocacy Institute and Co-Author, Advocacy for Social Justice:
A terrific accomplishment that taps the authors’ 50 years of combined international experience as advocates, educators and grassroots organizers. The book’s emphasis is rightly placed on social transformation, power, and analysis.