Community & Government

Identifying Your Strategy

Malala Yousafzai

Lesson time 06:00 min

For the next stage of Malala’s advocacy cycle, she and Lewis break down what a strong strategy looks like and show you how to build an effective plan to carry out your mission using the Critical Path exercise.

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Topics include: Critical-Path Exercise · Strategy Assignment


[MUSIC PLAYING] - In this section, I will be focusing on identifying a strong strategy. So Louis, what is the critical path analysis and how does it help to create a strategy for advocacy? - Sometimes, even if you've got a specific goal, it can almost feel unmanageable. And so what critical path analysis does is it says, what are key milestones that we need to hit on our path to our goal? If you do that, what you're able to do is focus your time and resources on one particular aspect of the problem. It's sometimes the problems are so big and serious that it might scare people away. And so what you want to do is give them a sense that there are many victories on that-- on that path. And you use that to consolidate support, to grow support, and to think about the next stage. And that's why that critical path analysis is so critical. - So what does a successful critical analysis strategy look like? - So a successful critical path analysis, I think, is one where you've clearly laid out your steps. So you've got your 2030 goal of halving childhood obesity. The first path on that might be awareness. We need people to actually understand the problem. Some issues people are very familiar with, others they're not so. The next step, once you've raised awareness, is helping people to see the issue in a different way. For example, you might want to slightly change the story about childhood obesity, one away from parental responsibility and the responsibility on young people to some of the more structural challenges about funding for parks or funding for sports, changing the way they understand this particular challenge. Third way in that journey might be to identify where can we get a quick win. In this instance, you might say it's banning the online advertising of food with high sugar content or junk food. And you can already begin to see, because I've started with awareness, I don't have to focus on that as much. I can concentrate my resources on the next path. The final path, before you get to 2030, might be a bigger policy goal that you might achieve as well. It might be, for example, mandating how you reformulate food. So you reduce the sort of harmful content in that food for young people. So you line these up and you've got a plan that helps to inform your strategy. The critical path to get you to 2030 is a series of very manageable steps, but critical steps for you to move on to the next step. And it helps you to make it manageable. You could have many campaigns, many pushes around each one. And that's why I think this is an incredibly useful tool, Malala. - Yes, Louis. And in all of that, I think the lesson is, firstly, to prepare yourself, to act quickly. And this was the approach of Malala Fund at the start of the pandemic, was to conduct research, as soon as we can, to look at the impact of the pandemic on girls' education. When you are doing this step by step, it is really helpfu...

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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