How We Promote Social Change

Any organization interested in partnering with AP should read this page carefully

Step 1: Identify a marginalized community.

We believe that those who are directly affected by abuse can be powerful agents of change. We prioritize communities that face hostility and discrimination on account of being women; children; survivors of conflict; persons with disability; from a minority; indigenous; or defending the environment. We worked with 118 such communities between 1998 and 2018.  Photo: The River Gypsies of Bangladesh have faced extreme violence for defending their right to fish and for opposing illegal sand-dredging.

Step 2: Offer a partnership.

We welcome inquiries from community-based advocates and offer two types of partnership – full partnership and fiscal sponsorship. Partners should have a track record of human rights advocacy, need our services, and be committed to good business practice. We try to work with at least one new partner a year. Partnerships will typically last five years, or until the partner/project achieves self-sufficiency. Photo: The women of BOSFAM, who lost relatives in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, were one of AP’s first partners.

Step 3: Recruit a Peace Fellow.

Full partners receive ten weeks of technical support annually from a qualified Peace Fellow over the five years, at no expense to the partner. If funding permits, we also help partners to recruit a local graduate to work as an AP “Associate” with our Fellow. Peace Fellows raised $70,467 in 2018. Click here to meet past Fellows. Photo: Dina Buck from Denver University, seen here with Fred Lulinaki, helped pygmies in Uganda to build a website and use IT – one of our most popular services..

Step 4: Tell the story, provide technical support.

AP offers six services to partners. We ask the partner to select the services they need at the start of each year and set out their goals in an MOU. The main focus in year one is on describing the partner’s work and profiling beneficiaries.  Photo: AP came up with the idea of using water wells to reduce the exposure of Congolese women to sexual violence. Women travel long distances in search of water, and this puts them at risk of being attacked.

Step 5: Launch a startup for social change.

AP helps new partners to develop an innovative startup that will produce measurable benefits for individuals in year one, strengthen the organization and contain a clear vision for long-term social change. We try to raise at least $3,000 a year for startups. Photo: Peace Fellow Josh Levy raised over $4,000 to install an accessible toilet at Tochi School in northern Uganda.

Step 6: Develop and fund a long-term program.

Starting in year 2, we help partners to scale their startup and seek funding for a long-term program. The first step is to produce an “omnibus” (best-case) program plan and budget in the spring that can be tailored to the requirements of individual donors. We can support startups for up to 5 years. Photo: AP helped Sini Sanuman to develop a new approach to working with survivors of sexual violence in Mali that combines emergency support with economic training. The program raised over $700,000, took in 645 survivors, and produced tangible benefits for over 40,000 more vulnerable women.

Step 7: Online promotion.

Our hope is that all AP partners, past and present, will eventually receive a dedicated partner page or campaign page on our website that tells their story, profiles beneficiaries, and lists their campaign successes. Our website received 524,764 visits in 2018. We also publish news bulletins about the work of partners which are distributed to over 6,000 readers. Photo: Our stories and photos of Agent Orange victims in Vietnam have helped us to raise funds for ageing caregivers like Pham Thi Do, seen here with her daughter Luyen.

Step 8: International outreach and networking.

AP promotes the work of partners internationally, at the UN, and with new constituencies such as quilting guilds, schools, and professional networks. Photo: Peace Fellow TJ Bradley was on hand to show the Nunca Mas quilts from Peru at a major exhibition of advocacy quilting in Washington DC.

Step 9: Strengthening organizations.

AP helps partners to use their startups to develop good practice and strengthen their organizational skills. Many important skills will be acquired naturally in the course of developing strategic plans and budgets, keeping receipts, and reporting to donors. We ask all partners to explain how they have used our grants at the end of each year. We also produce our own end-of-program report, with full analysis, after five years. Photo: AP’s support helped Igo Rogova to turn the Kosovo Women’s Network into a powerful advocate for women in Kosovo following the 1999 war and independence.

Step 10: Social change and sustainability.

After five years, we hope that the partner’s program will be on a path to producing benefits, and changing behavior outside its core group of stakeholders – our definition of social change. We also urge partners to build sustainability into the program from year one and are available to advise after the program ends. Photo: Under the inspiring leadership of Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, the Oruj Learning Center is still supporting girls’ education in Afghanistan, fifteen years after the Center was launched with help from AP.