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Module 1: Top Tips!


Achieving enduring social change is a process, not an event. This means that it takes time and patience!

Work out what is needed, and make a plan - a step-by-step plan towards your eventual goal.

Use an applicable social change model (which shows the stages that need to be achieved). The following social change model could be useful for animal welfare:

  • Official structures – the development of departments or individuals dealing with the issue (when there is a need to put the issue on the agenda)
  • Legislation – when the need for official policy change is accepted
  • Enforcement – when the authorities accept the need to enforce change
  • Transmission by education – when it is accepted that this needs to be an issue for society
  • Cultural transmission by family – when the issue is generally accepted, and grassroots education takes place within families

This five-stage model demonstrating the work needed by the animal welfare movement was developed by Kim Stallwood specifically for our movement:

  • Acceptance building (broad/softer education)
  • Awareness/consensus building
  • Legislation
  • Action to embed legislation
  • Functioning system of protection

Remember that civil society is often the pioneer of change. Movements exist because they reflect the gap between the aspirations of society and the present reality.

Undirected energy can lead to high emotions: Strategic advocacy helps to direct this energy, focusing it in directions where change can most effectively be triggered.

Use examples of other inspiring social change movements. Study these, and choose the most appropriate for your own situation. Do not be afraid to adapt and improvise.

To build a movement for social change you need alliance-building and effective communications (modern Internet communications, including social networking; and mass media). Critical mass is needed to achieve lasting change.

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