GEAR -- Getting Equity Advocacy Results
> 4 Stages of GEAR
No two equity advocacy campaigns are alike, even with common goals and participants. Advocates must navigate changing social and political environments that vary the campaign course.
Getting Equity Advocacy Results (GEAR) offers a metaphor and visual depiction of the multiple, interconnected, active components of an equity campaign. GEAR provides a tangible and straightforward means for navigating the markedly nonlinear practice of equity advocacy.
A campaign might include one or all of the four stages, and at any point during the campaign, fluctuating emphasis on each of the ongoing components. Advocates might shift from one stage to the next and then back again, as circumstances dictate. Likewise, advocates might find the inputs and results of ongoing components of a campaign ebb and flow with varied intensity.
- For instance, in one campaign, equity advocates might move sequentially through the stages, starting on the far left, with efforts to Build the Base, before progressing to the right, to Name and Frame the Equity Solutions once the base is formed, and when the solutions are identified, Move the Equity Proposal. If the proposal is adopted, efforts to Build, Advance, and Defend the equity gains can follow.
- Or, the campaign might begin with a strong base intact and ready to respond to a proposal that has suddenly gained public interest. In this case, the campaign might start at the Move the Equity Proposal stage and then theoretically shift gears backwards and forwards, moving back to Name and Frame the Equity Solutions – or even Build the Base – as needed, before advocates could leap ahead to Build, Advance, and Defend equity in an adopted proposal.
- Meanwhile, during the course of a campaign, the focus on research might be most intense just before key decisions are made, while the communications activities ramp up just after. Organizing might be emphasized during base building and while the proposal moves through decision making, whereas capacity building remains a steady focus throughout.
While other scenarios are certainly possible – for instance, efforts to create change might be limited to just one stage – what is important to underscore is not just the path to policy change itself, but also the equity gains to look for along the way.