The end of a particular project or phase of organizing is a time when most people want to take a break. This is very important to protect yourself and the people you are mobilizing with against becoming too exhausted to do your work. However, it is extremely important to take time at the end of a project to consolidate and review what you have learned in the process, and to resolve problems that have arisen. Here is Jai Sen, a researcher and activist from India, describing what he learned about the importance of reflection after action.
After an action or project is over, it is also a good time to check in with the people you work with. Rebuild your relationships with them (see the object called “Relationality and Accountability) relationships in learning for community mobilization), and see what you can do to help address problems. In this video, Louai Misleh describes how the team within Bait Byout came together after running a major event to address the challenges they faced. These exchanges can make your group much stronger–but you must leave time for them.
After a project is also the time to carry out an evaluation, to ask people more formally their opinions. For some ideas about how to evaluate a highly participatory project, you can read this blog post from the Participatory Budgeting Project. In participatory budgeting, people from a community come together and vote on how to spend some of the municipality’s budget.
E-Portfolio: Reflection After Action
In your mobilization e-Portfolio, answer these questions that are attributed to the Reflection After Action section on your form.
When are the appropriate times in your mobilization for your group to pause and reflect on how you’re doing? How will you facilitate time and space for that reflection?
How might you evaluate what you’ve done to make sure you’ve met your goals? What will you need to do before and during your action to make it possible to evaluate it?