Step 7: Determine Your Strategic Actions
The goals of Steps 5 and 6 were to gather quantitative and qualitative information to create a fuller picture of conditions in your community that block or promote mobility from poverty and advance equity. In this step, we will guide the Mobility Coalition in selecting your strategic actions:
Figure 15: The process for selecting strategic actions for the Mobility Action Plan
This step is quite intensive, so it may be helpful to host a day-long retreat or a series of meetings over the course of several weeks. The Project Manager should also consider how to engage the Mobility Coalition members and champions to lead different parts of the gathering, ensuring that it’s not just a government-led discussion.
Not all of the activities included below are absolutely necessary to create a MAP. We include them here because we know from experience working with our Upward Mobility Cohort that they are effective and can improve the quality and outcomes of the strategic actions you select. However, you may not have time to do them all, or some may overlap with work your coalition has already performed. Consider the steps and resources below as a set of possible tools for doing this work.
Please note that the guidance in Step 7 (Determine Your Strategic Actions) and Step 8 (Develop Your Measurement Plan and Consider Sustainability) should be used in tandem. Each of the strategic actions you select in Step 7 will need appropriate success measures to track progress, and Step 8 details how to determine these measures. We recommend referring back and forth between these steps as you work. If you haven’t already, you may want to identify a person or people responsible for gathering all the notes from Step 7 and saving the final versions so that they can be gathered into the MAP later on.
As you begin the process of selecting your priorities and identifying the specific strategic actions that will make up your MAP, the Mobility Coalition should remember the following:
Work iteratively and collaboratively. The process of identifying the right solutions, vetting those ideas, revising them, and identifying more solutions will take time and require a lot of patience, especially if the Mobility Coalition is large. The process probably won't proceed in a straight line from start to finish—it will most likely require the group to double back, make adjustments, and incorporate those adjustments into next steps. However, collaboration and frank conversations about the way things really work in your community will be the key to success.
Keep people at the center. Throughout this section, we guide you in identifying the right strategic actions for your MAP given the systems change conditions in your community. This might make it seem like the systems change and interventions are the center of the work, but don’t lose sight of what you’re really trying to accomplish: better outcomes for the people in your community who need them most.