Community & Government

Doing Your Research

Malala Yousafzai

Lesson time 05:45 min

Malala talks with Lewis Iwu, her advocacy adviser and cofounder of Purpose Union, about the importance of research. They also teach you the Problem Tree exercise to get to the root of your problem—the first stage in Malala’s advocacy cycle.

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Topics include: The Problem-Tree Exercise · Research Assignment


- I am so excited now to talk to some experts and advocates. They will help us to learn more about how the advocacy process works. So I have Lewis Iwu with me today. Lewis, thank you so much for your time. - Lovely to see you today. - Thank you so much. So how do we know each other? - So I co-founded a firm called Purpose Union. We help individuals and organizations to have a social and environmental impact. I know a number of my team have worked with you for years, so it's really exciting to sort of bring those conversations together and to talk today about how to make change happen. - So in today's session, what is it that we will be focusing on? - Well, we're going to go right back to the start of how campaigns are built and developed. And that's looking at research, it's understanding the issues that you need to get to grips with in order to understand the change that you need to make, and then how do you take that research, that thinking, that thought process, everything together, and how do you translate that into a strategy that helps you to win and achieve what you want to do? We're going to explore that today. - And why is it important to do all this? - Well, it's really important to have strategy, and then use that strategy to sort of drive change, but have that strategy informed by research to make sure that your time, your resources, your energy, your money, is spent in the right way and deployed effectively. But also, in some instances, if you don't get that right, you actually might set yourself back a number of years. So the reason why this is really important, is it keeps focus. It means that you're able to sort understand exactly what you need to do, and who you need to bring to the table in order to make that happen. - Why is it important to get a clearer picture of the problem, its reasons, and its outcome as part of your research in advocacy? - Because later on when we start to talk about how you set goals and how you then build a strategy, you have to at least understand what the problem is. You can't attack a problem unless you understand the problem. So there's a tool that I often use when I'm sort of helping people helping myself think through a challenge called the Problem Tree. So what the Problem Tree does is it really sort of illuminates a problem for you. It helps you to understand how complex many problems are. It's very rare that there's one cause of a problem and one consequence. Often, there are multiple different challenges that you've got to navigate, and there are multiple different consequences which might be of interest to different groups of people who might have an interest in helping you solve that problem. That's why this analysis is really important. [MUSIC PLAYING] - Can you tell me what the Problem Tree is? - Essentially, you've got the problem, which is the trunk. It's anchored by a series of roots, which are the causes. An...

About the Instructor

When she first took a stand, Malala simply acted on her belief that all Pakistani girls like her had a right to education. Now the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history teaches you how to fight injustice in the world and in your everyday life, starting with your own community. Learn Malala’s framework for influencing change: Research issues, build a strategy, take action, and create an impact right where you are.

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Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Prize–winning activist Malala teaches you how to be an activist in your own community, from research and strategy to action and impact.

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