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  • Writer's pictureJoachim Schwarz

Impact Cards in Advocacy Planning

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Impact cards are a quick and inspiring way to explore and define strategies for an advocacy campaign.




Just watch the video and see how much energy working with the cards can create. The Ethiopian participants immediately connected to the cards and the strategies. In a playful way they explored and prioritised strategies that could be relevant for their advocacy campaign.


Here is how we used the cards in many advocacy strategies

Before you start:

  • The discussion about strategies is usually not the beginning of a process but would come after some other aspects of the advocacy strategy have been defined, for instance, the goal of the campaign and the key demands. We usually used the cards in connection with the advocacy canvas which is a complete planning tool for your campaign. Here, please find an article on the advocacy canvas.

  • Create a subset of strategies from the green or red cards, which you think could be relevant or interesting for the participants. Among the green cards, especially the partnership-related cards, such as a multi-actor partnership or grassroots campaign could be relevant. From the red deck, you may find around 20-30 cards that could be relevant. If you want to skip this work, please find a subset here.

  • Print a few sets of the cards, or pre-order them with us here.


This is a 2-hour exercise

Divide the workshop participants in working groups of four to five people and give each group a sub-set with advocacy strategies. Instruct the groups:

  • to slowly go through each card and set aside those cards that could be relevant to the campaign. The group will probably set aside five to ten cards in the first round.

  • to further prioritise two to four key strategies that the campaign would use for their advocacy campaign

Then ask the working groups to come back to the plenary.

  • Pin the prioritised cards from each group and cluster them. Most likely an overlap between the groups and strategic priorities will emerge.

  • Then facilitate dialogue and further sharpening of the envisioned strategies to come up with two to four priorities that reflect the entire group’s thoughts.

Divide the participants into small working groups to discuss each strategy in one group.

  • The template for each strategy includes:

(a) a clear description of the strategy and how it creates change

(b) why it would create change, and

(c) what the main actions under such a strategy would be.

We are looking at a few sentences or bullet points under each of the three headings. Make sure the participants formulate each point precisely, so everyone can understand.

  • Ask each group to briefly present, and then feed forward is given.

After this exercise, you should have a draft outline of the strategy, and you can assign to a smaller group the task to further work on the strategies. We recommend you develop a few iterations of the strategies to make them sharper and more effective.

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