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[2014 Local Food Summit] From the Ground Up: Grassroots Engagement for Policy Change
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[2014 Local Food Summit] From the Ground Up: Grassroots Engagement for Policy Change
, Grassroots Organizer, Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Apr 01, 2014
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Transcript of "[2014 Local Food Summit] From the Ground Up: Grassroots Engagement for Policy Change"
1. GRASSROOTS ENGAGEMENT FOR POLICY CHANGE FROM THE GROUND UP BY GABRAELLE LANE, QIANA MICKIE, & LINDSEY SCALERA
2From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP ABOUT THIS TOOLKIT In order to influence meaningful policy change it’s important to have a strong grassroots presence. With mounting frustrations at the “hurry up and wait” attitude of Congress and changes to the rules of the political process, how do you keep the local grassroots population engaged? From the Ground Up: Grassroots Engagement for Policy Change provides meaningful and interactive tools for both new and seasoned community organizers who want to effective grassroots networks engaged in the political process. We ground this toolkit in both the authors’ and participants’ own wealth of knowledge as we work to develop common language and practice for organizing for just food communities. ESSENTIAL QUESTION We find it helpful to think about the essential question we are hoping to explore through these tools. We want to address the question: How do we effectively engage diverse grassroots communities in advocacy work for good farm and food policies? GOALS OF THE TOOLKIT The purpose of this document is to provide some tools and tips for people working on grassroots engagement campaigns for policy change. We designed the toolkit and accompanying workshop to offer a definition of successful grassroots engagement, and to provide some approaches and strategies for grassroots organizing participants can use and adapt in their communities OUR APPROACH The tools we created and information we compiled here come directly from our work organizing for sustainable agriculture and equitable food & farming systems in communities around the country. That means the methods we outline here are based in actual community organizing, and what we have learned from our roles as both organizers and community members. We hope you take a look at what we provide here, then take it apart, fix it up to meet your needs and run with it! TABLE OF CONTENTS About this Toolkit 2 About the Authors 3 Ground Rules for Dialogue 4 Grassroots Engagement 5 PLANNING TOOLS 8 Campaign Planning 9 Outreach Model 10 Campaign Plan 11 Goal Setting 12 Identifying Stakeholders 13 IMPLEMENTATION TOOLS 14 Grassroots Strategies Index Project 15 Outlets & Opportunities 18 EVALUATION TOOLS 19 About Evaluation 20 Evaluation Tool +/∆ 21 Tracking Impact 22 Project Assessment Matrix 23 Credits & Connections 24
3From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP THE AUTHORS GABRAELLE LANE Gabraelle is a public affairs strategist. She assists Southern SAWG with federal food agriculture policy advocacy. Gabraelle also works for the Southeastern African American Farmer Organic Network (SAAFON) as a Policy and Food Advocate. Over the past twelve years she has created successful public affairs strategies for the manufacturing and sustainable food and agricultural industries that increased awareness of key issues nationally and that supported the growth of new members and retention rates. QIANA MICKIE Qiana is the CSA Program Associate for Just Food, a New York City nonprofit that connects farmers and communities with the resources and support they need to make fresh, healthy, locally grown food accessible in all neighborhoods. Qiana joined the Just Food staff in the spring of 2013. Throughout her career, Qiana has followed her passion to work and volunteer with organizations that are committed to improving lives. She is a Steering Committee member of NESAWG and remains an active volunteer around increasing access to healthy food in communities and other sustainable causes. She earned a BS in Marketing from Hampton University and has worked in community development and fundraising since 2004. LINDSEY SCALERA Lindsey works for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition as the Grassroots Organizer for Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy. Michigan Voices collaborates with NSAC members and other Michigan food & farm allies to unite and elevate Michigan grassroots voices in support of policies that expand opportunities for rural and urban farmers to produce good food, sustain the environment, and contribute to healthy and vibrant communities. Lindsey got her start in food systems work as co-founder of the Giving Garden at Eastern Michigan University. In 2011, Lindsey earned a Master of Arts in Social Foundations of Education specializing in EcoJustice Education with a focus on garden-based learning. Lindsey is also proud to be a founding member of the Michigan Young Farmer Coalition.
4From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GROUND RULES FOR DIALOGUE 1. The purpose of dialogue is to understand and learn from one another. (You cannot "win" a dialogue.) 2. All dialogue participants speak for themselves, not as representatives of groups or special interests. 3. Search for assumptions and biases (especially your own). 4. Treat everyone in a dialogue as an equal: leave role, status and stereotypes at the door. 5. Be open and listen to others even when you disagree, and suspend judgment. (Try not to rush to judgment). 6. Listen with empathy to the views of others: acknowledge you have heard the other especially when you disagree. 7. Look for common ground. 8. Express disagreement in terms of ideas, not personality or motives. 9. Keep dialogue and decision-making as separate activities. (Dialogue should always come before decision-making.) 10. All points of view deserve respect and all will be recorded (without attribution). Adapted From http://www.viewpointlearning.com/
5From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GRASSROOTS ENGAGEMENT From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; all rights reserved. How do we effectively engage diverse grassroots communities in advocacy work for good farm and food policies?
6From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GRASSROOTS ENGAGEMENT WHAT IS GRASSROOTS ENGAGEMENT? Grassroots engagement happens when you and your community mobilize to communicate with or influence decision makers on matters that are important to the community’s quality of life. It is a powerful tool that has been used effectively to pass laws, change regulations and even elect a president. When you approach your organizing from an asset-based perspective, the wealth of knowledge and experience within the community become your most valuable assets. INTERACTIVE It requires direct and open communication with others. Your approach should be asset-based and founded in collaboration. LOCAL To be effective, grassroots engagement has to start within the community. Relevant policy change comes when those who are most affected have a voice in the decision-making process. SUSTAINABLE If you build strong trusting relationships with others, those people will then become your greatest resource by continuing to engage others within their networks. SCALABLE Your engagement can be as simple as participating in a conference call or as complex as building partnerships between several organizations. AFFORDABLE It requires little financial resources. It does, however, require significant investment in time and human resources, which may or may not be backed with financial resources.
7From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GRASSROOTS ENGAGEMENT EFFECTIVE GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGNS An effective grassroots campaign works toward developing the following five major characteristics throughout your campaign. These characteristics are fluid, ongoing, and build on one another. STRONG NETWORK The first step in building a strong network is the active process of connecting with individuals and/or organizations about the relevant policy issues. You discover stakeholders and build trust by collaborating to determine where the policy issues you are working on and the community’s interests intersect. From here you build a network of individuals, whom each may be engaged in different ways. CLEAR & RELEVANT MESSAGE While you begin your campaign with a specific cause, once you have a solid core of people, you must you work together to define and develop the message and decided on the strategies you will take to further your cause. As you work from your base, you can start to identify and develop “thought leaders” – people who are comfortable speaking publicly and whose stories or experience exemplify and highlight the message. CREDIBILITY & TRUST Credibility/trust is established when you have the support of your community, establish consistent communication and are able to elevate the voices of valued persons in the community as spokespersons. ACCESSIBLE ACTION Grassroots action is putting your strategies into practice. You use engagement strategies to share your clear & relevant message through and with the strong network to inspire action toward the change you/your community desires. Grassroots engagement should be interactive, local, sustainable, scalable, and affordable. ONGOING EVALUATION Evaluation is vital to the entire engagement strategy. It is ongoing and should occur during and after every element of your strategy. It is through evaluation that the effectiveness of the engagement strategy can be tested. This can be as simple as asking a few questions or as complex as a survey.
8From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP PLANNING TOOLS In this section you will find tools that help you plan a successful grassroots campaign. You can use these tools to start something from scratch, or self-assess and build upon a campaign you’ve already started. From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; all rights reserved.
9From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP CAMPAIGN PLANNING BREAKING IT DOWN We find it helpful to break down the work of a campaign into four thematic areas: network building, education outreach, media outreach, and direct advocacy (or outreach directly to decision-makers). Of course some of the goals and activities within each area overlap and build upon each other, but we think outlining our plan with this framework helps us to better articulate exactly our goals, strategies, stakeholders and timeline. OUTREACH MODEL These four areas of grassroots engagement work not only help us articulate our goals, but they also come with their own sets of grassroots engagement strategies that serve those goals and others. This graphic is meant to provide an overview of how all the elements of your campaign plan work together to create opportunities for folks to take part in grassroots actions and how those actions can influence policy change CAMPAIGN PLAN The next several pages invite you to think through your current work in these terms, whether you are starting from scratch or thinking about a new approach to work you are already doing. GOAL SETTING Setting clear, realistic goals can be harder than it seems. We provide some basic “questions to consider” when planning your campaign. If you are starting from scratch, this should get you going; if you have been working on something, hopefully this will help you identify some gaps or some new perspectives! IDENTIFYING STAKEHOLDERS Part of your campaign planning process is to identify connections you have and ones you need in order to execute the strategies you have chosen. This tool will help you think through who you need to have at the table. GRASSROOTS STRATEGIES INDEX * Once you have clear goals, you have to figure out how you will accomplish them. The strategies index provides some tried & true strategies as well as some of the newer innovations using social media and technology. This is an ongoing list – so please feel free to contribute your ideas! PROJECT ASSESSMENT MATRIX * The planning matrix graphic is yet another a tool identifying some things we need to attend to as we plan and implement our project or campaign. It is designed for ongoing use as it helps you identify where there may be a gap in your project based on what you or your team are experiencing. It helps us articulate what we have and what we need. * These resources can be found in the Implementation Tools section, beginning on page 14
10From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP Media Outreach Education Outreach Direct Advocacy Network Outreach Network helps to identify & prepare individualsand larger communitiesto speak out on policy issues Media stories help both policymakers and the general public understand the importance and impact of the issues Network helps to identify individualsto engage in direct advocacy with policymakers Education helps to build the capacity of the grassroots to engage in direct advocacy and media outreach STRATEGIES Farm Bill/Policy Updates & Presentations Advocacy Strategy Workshops & Meetings Handouts & Resources STRATEGIES Larger Grassroots Communities Online & In-Person Statewide & Local Partner Organizations STRATEGIES Traditional “earned” media Assistance with Op-Eds and Editorial placements News ProgramSubscriptions Social Media Engagement STRATEGIES In-DistrictMeetings & Events Statewide and NationalAction Alerts D.C.Fly-In & Hill Visits Grasstops Sign On Letters Petitions OUTREACH MODEL The outreach model below gives an overview of how to leverage the four areas of grassroots engagement to move your campaign forward and how those actions influence policy change.
11From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP CAMPAIGN PLAN NETWORK BUILDING GOAL STRATEGY STAKEHOLDERS TIMELINE EDUCATION OUTREACH GOAL STRATEGY STAKEHOLDERS TIMELINE MEDIA OUTREACH GOAL STRATEGY STAKEHOLDERS TIMELINE DIRECT ADVOCACY GOAL STRATEGY STAKEHOLDERS TIMELINE Download resources at http://bit.ly/groundupgrassroots
12From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GOAL SETTING Setting clear, realistic goals can be harder than it seems. We provide some basic “questions to consider” when planning your campaign. If you are starting from scratch, this should get you going; if you have been working on something, hopefully this will help you identify some gaps or some new perspectives! DIRECT ADVOCACY & POLICY OUTCOMES • What do we hope our community members get out of grassroots actions? • What policies are affecting our community? • What policy changes we need to see? • What policies (and related programs) could have a positive impact in our community? • Which decision-makers do we need to reach out to? • What resources do we need in order to best leverage policy outreach efforts? NETWORK BUILDING • Who do know we need to speak out/participate in the grassroots action? • Whose voices are usually marginalized from the decision-making process? • Are there networks that already exist that we can connect with? • What are the barriers we experience when trying to bridge or build connections? • What resources do we need in order to best leverage network outreach efforts? EDUCATION • What do community members need to know in order to take action? • What do community members (in general or specific people) already know or experience that might help them highlight the policy issues we are working on? MEDIA • What stories might exist in our communities that could help decision-makers understand our policy outcomes? • What media outlets are best for our community to utilize? GOAL SETTING FRAMEWORK: S.M.A.R.T. Most of us have heard of this idea, and it may not be realistic to use it all the time, but these are helpful characteristics to think of when setting goals. Goals should be: Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Consider the following examples: Goal A Community members will be trained on how to talk to the media. Goal B By the end of the project, we will have trained 75% of coalition members on media outreach strategies. Goal A above is not SMART because it is not specific, measurable, or timely. It can be made SMART by specifically indicating who is responsible for training the community, how many will be trained, who they are, and by when the trainings will be conducted.
13From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP IDENTIFYING STAKEHOLDERS Based on your stated goals, whom should you engage? QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER: EXISTING CONNECTIONS NEW CONNECTIONS Is this issue yours alone, or do others have something at a stake? Who do you already connect or work with? Who else should be at the table & what assets do they bring? What assets do current connections have that will help move the campaign forward? How will you go about identifying new partnerships? Who can you talk to? Identify the gaps - what pieces are you missing? Which network building strategies can you use?
14From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP IMPLEMENTATION TOOLS In this section you will find tools that help you think through which strategies will work for your community and policy issue From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; all rights reserved.
15From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GRASSROOTS STRATEGIES INDEX Once you have clear goals, you have to figure out how you will accomplish them. The strategies index provides some tried & true strategies as well as some of newer ideas that employ technology. These grassroots engagement strategies help you share a message and provide a pathway and inspiration for people to take action. EDUCATION STRATEGY DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE Conferences & Gatherings Host or attend a conference on your issue or related issues. Conferences can be a great way to energize and inspire a base of people. It offers opportunities for participants to take ownership over their contributions to the campaign and connects you to new people. A local public health group hosts an annual conference. Your organization applies to provide a session on the links between public health and food policy. One-Pagers & Policy Briefs Create a document highlighting the major talking points on a policy issue. Remember to include the basics: what is the issue all about, what does it mean for the community, what can people do about it (what, so what, now what). An organization brings one-pagers on three major policy issues to their tabling event so people they engage can have something to reference after they leave. Piggyback Events Make policy connections at other types of educational events (i.e. Cooking Demos) An organizer partners with a group who hosts a monthly cooking demo to present a 15- minute policy update after the demo this month. Policy Platform Create a platform document detailing each issue and your group’s stance on what should change and what should be preserved. A national organization puts out a policy platform on their website kicking off a new campaign. Story Banking Collect stories through interviews with those who are most affected by the policy issues you . Stories should highlight the importance and impact of policy priorities. Collect stories from farmers using a basic questionnaire and interview format- outreach based on the policy outcomes you are looking for to find people who have experience with those policies and programs. Tabling Tabling at an event or farmers’ market to share policy information with the public or a specific community of people. Make policy connections at other types of educational events (i.e. Cooking Demos) Workshops Host a policy or organizing workshop to build capacity of community members to take action. Provide a 15-minute farm bill update to an community group highlighting the major talking points and next steps
16From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GRASSROOTS STRATEGIES INDEX DIRECT ADVOCACY & LEGISLATIVE OUTREACH STRATEGY DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE Action Alerts Send clearly-worded action alerts to constituents/community members with instructions on how to call/email policy-makers with a specific policy ask Organization sends a periodic email alert, which says “what’s happening?” and includes an adaptable call script/prompt and a link to a form letter. Dear Colleague Letters During times of tension and high stakes in policy making, legislative “champions” will write and circulate “dear colleague” letters, which urge their colleagues to take certain actions or vote a particular way. Grassroots action involves Your senator is on the fence about supporting an important bill. Your group organizes a dear colleague letter for the bill co-sponsors to circulate, along with calls from community leaders asking your senator to sign on to the letter and take action on the issue. Farm/Site Tours Invite policymakers to visit and engage with stakeholders at the farm or community site Senator visits a farm in her/his legislative district In-District Meetings Meet with policymakers or staffers in their district offices. Arrange visits ahead of time by working with the schedulers in the district offices. Emergency food providers schedule a meeting with their representative in the local office to discuss the impact of recent cuts to SNAP & Food Assistance programs Legislative Fly-In/Bus- in Bring advocates directly to meetings with policymakers in their offices. Arrange visits ahead of time with legislative schedulers in the DC, State Capitol, or Municipal offices. Representatives of community organizations travel to DC to meet with their elected policymaker to discuss how local farmers will be impacted by Farmers Market & Local Food Promotion Program Letter/Com ment Writing Party Host a party (with snacks & drinks!) and invite farmers and the public to spend some time to write comments on a policy issues, call their policymakers, or write letters. Provide templates and assistance to answer questions. Local food policy council gets a bar to offer $1 off the first pour for people who come to the FSMA comment party. Local/Natio nal Call-in day Organization (s) mobilize community members to call an elected official’s office to support or reject a particular bill that is up for a vote An elected official’s office receives an increased number of calls from constituents on to vote yes on GMO labeling Online petitions Petitions allow you to have a lot of individuals sign on to a single specific voice. Thanks to the efforts of many organizations across the country, 22,000 people sign a petition urging congress to pass a five-year farm bill. Organizatio nal Sign-on Letters National and local groups often circulate letters to which other groups can sign on and show their support. Have a mechanism in place at your organization to ensure you can take quick action and sign on to appropriate policy actions. HINT: you can use Google Forms to collect signatures! National group circulates a letter to the Senate Agriculture committee asking them to preserve funding for beginning farmers. 500 organizations sign on nationally, representing tens of thousands of farmers, eaters, and food systems advocates. Town Hall/ Community Forum Policymaker speaks at a planned event within the neighborhood in their district about a particular topic and offers community an opportunity to ask questions Community members ask a City Council Member to create a new community garden in their neighborhood Twitter storm Twitter storm involves generating a lot of traffic on a policymaker’s social media feed by asking your following to tweet and post a specific policy request. To be used sparingly, you can specify a time-frame for the action (i.e. 24 hours). A food justice organization holds a 24-hour twitter storm to ask members of congress to preserve funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
17From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP GRASSROOTS STRATEGIES INDEX MEDIA OUTREACH STRATEGY DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE Blog Posts & Guest Bloggers Certain blogs have a lot of readers - organizations can work through contacts to “pitch” a special post to a blog like Civil Eats. You can also host a guest blogger (i.e. have a farmer write about a policy issue) on your organization’s blog. A Beginning Farmer is asked to write a post about the impact of a new microloan program. Farmer (or Community Member) Voices in the Media Elevate the voices of farmers (or other community members affected by policies) through media outreach. Any of the media strategies listed here could work. Offer assistance with media training, editing/ghostwriting, etc. Organization connects a Public Radio reporter with an Organic farmer to get a perspective on how a new farm bill program will affect her farm business. Media Advisory A media advisory alerts the media, in a concise manner, to upcoming events. Think of it like an invitation that answers only the important questions: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Send this out 3-5 days before the event! Organization sends a media advisory to local press contacts to alert them to an upcoming farm tour, at which the Mayor will be present. Local news sends a crew to interview participants and take pictures. Press Release A press release reads like an article with quotes, facts and all relevant contact information. The goal is get the release picked up by other media outlets. Distribute to press in attendance the day of, and release via email/on your website after the event. A press release describing an event is picked up by several bloggers and newspapers, increasing the number of people who are aware of the event and related issues. Viral Videos You can’t guarantee that your video will go viral, but making videos to share stories and highlight policy issues can be a great way to engage and educate the grassroots. Share videos on social media platforms as well as at events. Organization works with a local food advocate to create a video that explains how to comment on the Food Safety Modernization Act rules. NETWORK OUTREACH STRATEGY DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE Coalitions Take an active role in a food & farm (policy) coalition. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition & the New York City Food Forum for example! Collaborative Partnerships Collaborate with one or more partners to identify shared advocacy goals and combine resources to implement. Two organizations work together to host workshops targeting beginning farmers about upcoming grant and loan opportunities. Meetings Host or attend a meeting of allies. Ask for/include time on the agenda to discuss the important issues and discuss the possibilities for collaboration. A representative of a national organization working on national policy issues in the state requests a meeting with several local organizations to discuss ways they can collaborate to reach out to their constituents. Social Media Using social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or ScoopIt) to stay engaged with your network of allies and supporters. Like and follow the pages of your allies, share articles and tag them when you help cross promote related work. An organization posts a #FF (follow Friday) on twitter @tagging the accounts of five allies who adovocate on the same or similar issues.
18From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP OUTLETS & OPPORTUNITIES Successful grassroots campaigns create accessible, relevant pathways for individuals and organizations to engage in policy actions. There are many ways to spread the message and many ways to ensure that decision-makers hear it. Below is a checklist of what we call “outlets” or places (both online and in-person) you can utilize as you implement your campaign strategies and share your message. They are organized by our grassroots engagement themes to help you think through some of the methods that might be right for your community. SOMETHING TO REMEMBER Volume and quantity are not always as important as quality when it comes to interacting with policy- makers. So some policy issues may require very large-scale action, but many more require ongoing smaller efforts throughout the communities most affected. A phone call or visit from a constituent can be more effective than thousands of impersonal form emails! PLACES, SPACES & OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE NETWORK-BUILDING DIRECT ADVOCACY q Community meeting spaces q Email mailing lists q Online file-sharing q Meetings q Conferences q Farmers Markets q In-District Offices q Legislative Offices q Town Hall events q Forums & Panels q Phone Calls q Emails EDUCATION MEDIA OUTREACH q Webinars q Tabling @ Events q Conferences q Meetings q Radio/TV Interviews q Podcasts q Public Input Sessions q Social Media q Traditional Media q Websites q Blog q Newsletters q Flyers q Zines
19From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP EVALUATION TOOLS From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; all rights reserved. In this section you will find tools that help you reflect upon and evaluate your campaign. We like to think of this as “evaluation for busy people.”
20From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP ABOUT EVALUATION WHY EVALUATE? Ongoing evaluation and reflection helps grassroots organizers adapt as we go, making adjustments for new developments, new people, new ideas, and unforeseen challenges. Evaluation is very important to do for any campaign, no matter how large or small the effort. For groups involved in larger institutional research, grants, or other projects that require more specific results, evaluation is often conducted using widely accepted or academic evaluation methods. But for those of us working either on our own or within those projects, and who don’t have access to research and evaluation methods, we have compiled a simple, less time-consuming evaluation method. EVALUATION ON-THE-GO This type of “on-the-spot” evaluation can help you articulate what you have accomplished to stakeholders, make sure that your efforts are aligned with the goals you have set, and, given the cyclical nature of political processes, help you quickly define what went well and what could be improved if you try these strategies again. TRACKING IMPACT You can employ various methods and metrics to track the impact of your campaign while you are running it, and after you complete it, or between specific actions. It always helps to get feedback from participants, check in on the actual policy change, and to observe any changes in awareness of or interest in your issues. SELF-ASSESSMENT & MANAGING CHALLENGES At any given point during the process of grassroots engagement projects, you may experience some challenges. We have provided a tool for self-assessment that may help you pinpoint any gaps in aspects of your planning or things your team may need to be more successful.
21From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP PLUS/DELTA EVALUATION ∆ DELTA What could change for next time? PLUS + What went well? OTHER QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER What would we need to know to determine/measure success? What questions do we need answered? What are our next steps?
22From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP TRACKING IMPACT QUALITATIVE TRACKING: QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER… PARTICIPANTS Gather feedback from people who participate in the action q Talk to them in person - ask causally q More formal communication - email/letter out asking for feedback q Survey q Focus Group q Institutional/Professional Evaluation POLICY CHANGES q Do you see a shift/increase in discussion on your topic? q Did you win your issue? INTEREST IN THE ISSUE q Are you getting more questions about the issue? q Emails & Phone calls to your office re: the issue? q Collect & promote news stories or outside blog posts about your issue. QUANTITATIVE TRACKING: QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER… PARTICIPANTS q Casual: Dot Survey at an event q Mailed/Online survey - tabulate results q Institutional/Professional Evaluation POLICY CHANGES q Votes in your favor q Track articles/news hits q Website visits q Poll numbers INTEREST IN THE ISSUE q Increased membership or Donations q Social Media Metrics - (i.e. tweets & re-tweets). There are social media services that calculate your stats (some free, some fee) q Google alert on your topic/org name/etc.
23From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP PROJECT ASSESSMENT MATRIX SKILLS INCENTIVE RESOURCES OWNERSHIP ACTION PLAN EVALUATION CONFUSION VISION INCENTIVE RESOURCES OWNERSHIP ACTION PLAN EVALUATION ANXIETY VISION SKILLS RESOURCES OWNERSHIP ACTION PLAN EVALUATION GRADUAL CHANGE VISION SKILLS INCENTIVE OWNERSHIP ACTION PLAN EVALUATION FRUSTRATION VISION SKILLS INCENTIVE RESOURCES ACTION PLAN EVALUATION RESENTMENT VISION SKILLS INCENTIVE RESOURCES OWNERSHIP EVALUATION FALSE STARTS VISION SKILLS INCENTIVE RESOURCES OWNERSHIP ACTION PLAN PLATEAU VISION SKILLS INCENTIVE RESOURCES OWNERSHIP ACTION PLAN EVALUATION CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT This graphic describes the elements necessary for a successful project and the results you may experience when certain aspects are missing. It can be a helpful tool when used for planning at the beginning of a project or for self-assessment along the way. VISION Team has an understanding of the goals of the project and their role in achieving their goals SKILLS Team members have skills necessary to complete the project INCENTIVE Team feels there is a reason to invest their energy and time in making the project work RESOURCES Team has adequate means to move forward with the project, including: money, time, space, etc. OWNERSHIP Each team member has an active role in the decision- making process ACTION PLAN There are clearly defined steps to completing the project from start to finish EVALUATION Ongoing assessment of the project takes place; is used to provide direction for improvement CONFUSION If the goal is unclear, the group may lack direction and not know how to apply their skills ANXIETY If people feel they don’t have the skills to complete the project, they may feel anxious about moving forward GRADUAL CHANGE Little incentive to participate in the project may slow the implementation process FRUSTRATION If you do not have adequate resources to complete your project, people may feel frustrated and stagnant RESENTMENT If the group feels their ideas and concerns are not heard, they may feel resentment towards leadership or the project itself FALSE STARTS If you have a poor plan of action, the project will not continue beyond initial planning stages PLATEAU If you do not evaluate the project as it progresses, the project will lack direction for the future Adapted from the CYC/CPF Managing Complex Change Matrix Prepared by the Center for Youth and Communities, Heller School for Social Policy and for Management, Brandeis University, 2004.
24From the Ground Up © 2014 Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Scalera; All Rights Reserved. FROM THE GROUND UP CREDITS & CONNECTIONS This document was collaboratively written by Gabraelle Lane, Qiana Mickie, and Lindsey Jene Scalera. EDITED BY Lindsey Jene Scalera IMAGE CREDITS All Images (with one exception) © 2014 Lindsey Jene Scalera; all rights reserved. CONNECT WITH US! If you have questions, comments, or other feedback about this guide, contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org