Power Up: White Ribbon Alliance’s Program Planning Guide (Power Up) is a resource developed by White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) to support the advocacy and community engagement efforts of WRA Alliances and other partners and stakeholders. The Power Model presented in this guide spans the advocacy continuum, from social and behavior change communication (SBCC) to political advocacy, to spark change across households, communities, and countries.
Successful implementation of the Power Model is intended to immediately result in improved health access, behaviors, and decisionmaking. Yet, at its deepest level, it is an ongoing challenge to the accepted power structures which frequently hinder women and girls and the fulfilment of their rights.
Power Up includes a series of instructions and worksheets to help guide women and girls in applying the Power Model to identify changes they themselves would like to see and ways a project can best support them to realize their desired changes.
See and download the Power model at White Ribbon Alliance (WRA)
Power model components
1. Women and girls demand and decide
The Power Model is unique in that it assumes women and girls are inherently powerful and that there is no greater force for change than when they are at the very center, determining project priorities, designing programs, and making decisions. The Power Model is underpinned by the following beliefs about women’s and girls’ leadership:
(1) Women and girls are the experts regarding their own lives and experiences and know best what is needed to improve their own health and well-being.
(2) Women and girls can and should speak for themselves, they do not require intermediaries. They require opportunity and openness.
(3) Women’s and girls’ wider communities and support systems, including development stakeholders, can and should be consulted and included in project planning and activities, but those who are expected to most benefit from a project, must drive it.
2. Self-care, self-advocacy and self-organise
The Power model asks women and girls to consider their individual needs, aspirations, and abilities first and foremost to better their own health and lives and that of their families, communities, and countries. Evidence from around the world shows that when women and girls rise, so do those around them. However, too often women and girls are prioritized last by wider society and by themselves.
The Power Model has three pillars:
Each pillar contains a definition and key actions to propel women and girls on their self-journeys. Project inputs support women and girls to take forward these key actions contextualized by topic and community.
Acting to maintain and improve your and your family’s health and well-being. This contributes to your community’s overall health.
• Practice healthy behaviors and actions
• Seek information, knowledge, and literacy
• Make best use of resources
Speaking up for yourself and your rights, using tactics to safely negotiate demands.
• Know your rights and entitlements
• Make or negotiate decisions for yourself
• Make best use of redress channels
Joining with your community to collectively advance demands.
• Identify common challenges and behaviors
• Create community-based solutions
• Demand for wider change
3. Women and girls shape and share their stories
In many ways, self-care, self-advocacy, and selforganization are both deeply personal and universal; individualistic, yet rarely practiced in isolation. The Power Model emphasizes connecting women and girls to shape and share their own stories for their own purposes. Through these connections, women and girls can better share with, learn from, and inspire each other, fortifying their individual and collective power to make change.
4. Partners and families, service providers, policymakers and communities
The Power model acknowledges that women’s and girls’ ability to lead and connect, as well as care, advocate, or organize on their own behalf is significantly shaped by those surrounding them. However, the Power model shifts the popular paradigm of health and development projects which begin with a situational analysis of the enabling environment and then designs to those specifications. The Power model does not accept the status quo or existing limitations placed on women and girls. It begins first with what women and girls hope to experience and achieve, then reviews ways in which partners, families, service providers, community members, and policymakers can either ease or hamper women and girls realizing their full power, health, and rights. Project inputs are designed to strengthen facilitating behaviors - including cultivating champions - and mitigate hindering behaviors of important people in the lives of women and girls.