National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy


Power Mapping and Change Theory:  
Using Strategic Targeting for Advocacy
in Mental Health Systems Change to Recovery

Eduardo Vega, M.A

Advancing real systematic change involves many levers and buttons, not all of which are ready to be pushed. It is easy to get lost and frustrated in the process. A good map can be critical in saving time and energy by helping you look at the ‘lay of the land’. The best map reflects where individuals or organizations fit in terms of power/influence, what types of relationships they bear to each other (political, financial, regulatory, etc.)  

Employing change theory to appreciate where people or institutions sit in terms of the willingness to embrace change in their practices adds a third dimension to the map  that can help guide decisions about the best targets and strategies to employ. 

This 3D approach to power-mapping will be discussed through a real-life example. Participants will then create the first draft of their own map individually or in small group exercises. 

Participants will leave the workshop session with an understanding of power-mapping and how change theory can inform this advocacy tool. They will gain hands-on experience in generating a coded Power map.


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