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Power: A practical guide for facilitating social change

Author(s): Raji Hunjan and Jethro Pettit
Publication Date: October 2011

The handbook is designed primarily for those who want to explore issues of power over a sustained period of time through workshops, one to one mentoring, and self-reflection. However, it can also be used by those who wish to start with an introduction to power analysis through stand-alone workshops. To this end, the handbook presents clear instructions, tips/suggestions and discussion points for use by the reader as practitioner.

Section one of this handbook begins by discussing the context in which power issues have come to the fore, also recognizing how the current economic climate has affected power disparities and funding streams at the grass-roots level. The concept of power is described as, “the ability of people to achieve the change they want”. The handbook also discusses the role of the facilitator, analysing what characteristics are required for the successful implementation of the outlined approaches.

Section two of this handbook presents the action learning approach, providing guidelines for workshops under four differing themes:

  • Introducing Power – Explores the different ways in which power can be understood and analysed.
  • Problem Analysis – Focuses on supporting people to explore a deeper understanding of social problems.
  • From Analysis to Strategy – This section moves to consider strategies for change.
  • Reflection on Action – Helping people to reflect and explore ways in which understanding and analysing power can be embedded into our day to day practices.