In line with our new strategic plan to support gender justice movements with funding and resources, Global Fund for Women is proud to launch a new version of our free online tool to support grassroots people power globally. The Movement Capacity Assessment Tool (MCAT) helps social movements determine their needs to most effectively advance their vision for social justice.
Social movements – from the Green Wave to Black Lives Matter to #MeToo – are one of the most effective mechanisms to create and sustain long-term social transformation, but overwhelmingly lack access to resources and support. Further, there’s a gap between today’s academic knowledge on social movements and its practical application. Movement actors, despite increased visibility, face difficult decisions around how to prioritize their time and resources, and lack methods to assess movement needs. Global Fund for Women’s updated tool helps address this gap.
“The tool is grounded in academic research, tested with real movements, and refined with empirical data,” said PeiYao Chen, Vice President, Impact and Effectiveness, Global Fund for Women.
“We’ve used it twice already and plan to use it again because we really love the tool. This is the instrument that helps us start conversations. It’s a big victory,” said Natalia Karbowska of Ukrainian Women’s Fund on Global Fund for Women’s Movement Capacity Assessment Tool. “This is how we dreamed that the tool would work.”
MCAT helps movements assess their strengths and challenges to create plans to tackle their priorities on their own terms. The tool helps movements decide how to allocate their limited time and resources to strengthen their capacity to achieve the change they want to see. Learn more and download the tool here.
The latest tool has been updated to reflect new insights from social movement research, including concepts and methodologies in defining movements, their life cycle stages, and the different capacities that help movements grow and sustain to advance change. It also incorporates lessons from social movements globally including those who have used previous versions of MCAT.
The tool incorporates lessons and data from social movements globally, especially those in the Global South. Previous versions of the tool have been successfully implemented by seven movements and helped them identify capacity needs and develop action plans to address their priorities. The tool does not impose any universal idea of what success for movements looks like, but rather offers support to movement actors in deciding this for themselves by gathering data from their peers.
The tool is free for anyone to use, and to share and adapt for local contexts and languages. Movement actors participate in an online survey (roughly 40 questions) that captures respondents’ perceptions about their movement along seven dimensions. The tool prioritizes getting a diversity of respondents to participate including to discuss, analyze, and act on results.
MCAT is part of the new Global Fund for Women strategy of supporting gender justice movements globally with money and more. By shifting towards a movement-led approach, Global Fund for Women will harness and fuel rising people power globally to increase their impact and accelerate change. As popular protests spread globally, Global Fund for Women hopes more social justice movement actors across the globe will use MCAT to understand and strengthen their movements.