New Tactics Method in Action

Zina showing her innovation for sharing the New Tactics  5 Steps to Strategic Effectiveness Method –  using your hand!

New Tactics utilizes a collaborative, “peer-to-peer,” Method Application Training process that builds strategic and tactical thinking while advancing partner’s human rights advocacy efforts. The “on-the-job” training process assists human rights activists in understanding, sharing, and applying the Strategic Effectiveness method while they work to advance their human rights advocacy effort. 

The New Tactics Strategic Effectiveness method provides a framework for developing strategy and selecting tactics to move strategy forward.  In the long run, what matters is activists’ ability to apply the method to adapt their strategy and tactics to ever changing circumstances to advance human rights.  The Method Application Training process has the additional benefit of developing New Tactics method trainers and expanding the network in the region.  

Zina is an advocate in the Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Économiques et Sociaux (FTDES) Kasserine branch, located in the west-central region of Tunisia and one of the poorest in the country. Zina provides an excellent example of how the network of New Tactics Method trainers is expanding while advancing human rights advocacy efforts through direct application of the method.

According to the New Tactics Lead Trainer and Field Training Officer in Tunisia, Zina did a great job providing the Strategic Effectiveness method to her organizational participants. Their direct observations of Zina showed her to be “very motivated, and her team too. She has the ability to share the method effectively with participants.

The Lead Trainer and Field Officer were not the only ones impressed with Zina. During the Step 5 – Take Action segment of the training process, Zina and 10 people from her organization worked together in developing their action plan for each identified tactic. Regarding Zina’s facilitation abilities in the development of the action plan, 100% of participants agreed that the:  

  • workshop allowed them to develop an action plan with a specific timeframe with identified roles and responsibilities
  • action plan considered risks and opportunities, and also took into account the available resources within their organization
  • trainer motivated their commitment to implement the plan they developed

Additionally, participants appreciated Zina’s ability to simplify ideas and concepts, provide examples, listen carefully to participants and answer their questions, and always ensure that the participants were engaged and energized.

Through the Method Application Training process, Zina and FTDES-Kasserine identified the need to advocate for safe, secure environments for students in rural areas during the lunch breaks between morning and afternoon sessions. This is especially critical for rural students who live far from school and cannot return home for the lunch break. This situation contributes to a variety of problems, including students dropping out of school.

As Zina worked with the FTDES-Kasserine participants through the New Tactics Method Application process, they identified and capitalized on Tunisia’s national dialogue on education to advance their own education advocacy effort. The national dialogue on education reform[1] began regional consultations in May 2015. FTDES-Kasserine took advantage of the timing to advance their advocacy efforts:

  1. negotiations with local authorities to be moderators of the local dialogue on education
  2. outreach to other associations to build support around this advocacy issue
  3. a draft proposal to share with local education authorities

In addition, FTDES-Kasserine participants were motivated to advance their efforts before the summer vacation period. They recognized that it would be harder during this time to bring students, parents and teachers together for targeted activities. The team was motivated to think of ways they could work on the advocacy effort during the summer holiday, such as going to meet parents and students in the rural areas where they live.

[1] This education reform advocacy effort is being advanced by the Arab Institute for Human Rights and began through a previous New Tactics Method Application process (2013-2014).

Photo Caption: Zina, showing her innovation for sharing the New Tactics  5 Steps to Strategic Effectiveness Method –- using your hand!