Tools & Guides

In this page, using the filters on your left, you can find toolkits, handbooks and guides on the following topics:

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Community Action Guides (2020)

International Accountability Project – These are four practical guides on how communities can conduct and lead their own community led-research. These materials provide: (1) Concrete step-by-step guidance on how communities can lead their own research to determine their own development priorities, and respond to unwanted development projects; (2) Practical tips, tools, and activities on conducting community-led research; and (3) Inspiring stories from experienced community organizers around the world who have used community-led research to redefine development process.

Community Action Guide: what is development? (2020)


Community Action Guide on Community-led Research (2018)


We’re Experts Too! A Checklist to Support Community-led Research


Survey Template for Community-led Research


Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guide (2014)

Oxfam Australia – This guide provides basic information for indigenous peoples and communities about the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and how this right can help people have a say about development projects. It is a practical tool to facilitate dialogue between communities and project developers — including companies, government and financiers – and contains a 7-step framework to assist communities to collectively claim their right to FPIC.

FPIC guides are currently available here in: English, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Khmer, Laos, Mongolian, Papua New Guinea pidgin, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Tetum and Vietnamese.

The trainer’s manual Strengthening Community Understanding of Free, Prior and Informed Consent complements the guide and is a practical resource for trainers to help them plan and deliver FPIC training programs. FPIC trainer’s manuals are currently available here in: English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Tetum, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Oxfam has also produced a series of Free, Prior and Informed Consent training cards to be used in FPIC training programs. FPIC training cards are currently available in: English, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Indonesian, Nyungwe, Spanish and Swahili.

Back to Development – A Call for What Development Could Be (2017)

International Accountability Project—Based on community-led surveys conducted in 8 countries, interviewing over 800 people, this report provides both an analysis of development failures and a practical roadmap to advance community-led plans for development.




Advocacy in Restricted Spaces: A Toolkit for Civil Society (2020)

Lifeline – Created by the Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund, a consortium led by Freedom House, the Advocacy in Restricted Spaces toolkit is intended for use by grassroots, national, and regional civil society organizations that want to engage in advocacy in restrictive environments. The toolkit includes:

  • A step-by-step guide for advocacy planning that stresses risk mitigation and intersectionality.
    – 10 tactics that can be used in restrictive spaces, such as Engaging with Unlikely Allies; Addressing Slander, Stereotypes, and Stigmatization; and Creative Cultural Resistance.
    – 16 case studies with real-world examples of how civil society organizations achieved success with their advocacy, highlighting how traditionally marginalized groups have engaged in advocacy, including women’s rights activists, LGBTI communities, and ethnic minorities.
    – Links to more than 50 external resources related to advocacy planning and security, with annexes related to digital security, well-being, risk assessment, and stakeholder mapping to enable civil society organizations to prevent and mitigate threats at each stage of their campaigning.






Biocultural Community Protocols: A Toolkit for Community Facilitators (2012)

Natural Justice – This toolkit is intended to support communities to develop and use protocols to secure their rights and responsibilities, strengthen customary ways of life, and ensure that external actors respect their customary laws, values, and decision-making processes, particularly those concerning stewardship of their territories and areas, traditional knowledge and practices, and their roles in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and ecosystem adaptation.



Community Action Guide to the Asian Development Bank (2013)

International Accountability Project – Designed with and for community organizers, this 200-page guide is filled with training exercises to help mobilize communities, engage with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and use ADB Safeguards Policies to protect human rights. While filled with case studies from throughout Asia-Pacific, community organizers anywhere can use and adapt the lessons and exercises.





Community Organizing Training Manual (2012)

Indigenous Learning Institute for Community Empowerment (ILI), Pacos Trust, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact – This Manual provides training modules for indigenous communities on community organizing, indigenous peoples’ economies, and natural resource management.


Rising to the populist challenge: a new playbook for human rights actors (2018)

Dejusticia – This book collects and analyzes a repertoire of responses by human rights organizations to the crackdown against civil society in the populist context.

Written by scholars and advocates in challenging political settings from around the world, it offers ideas and inspiration to their peers in the human rights community who are grappling with and resisting the erosion of democracy and rights.




Behind the Scenes of Extractives: Money, Power & Community Resistance (2021)

JASS and Count Me In! Consortium – This tookit is dedicated to women land defenders confronting unwanted and damaging extractive projects. It contains six popular education modules on ‘Investment chains in extractives projects’ and it is based on the contents of the research report ‘Behind the scenes of extractive industry: critical insights from Honduras, Indonesia and Zimbabwe’ . Particular attention is paid to investors and behind-the-scenes enablers of extractive projects, with the aim of identifying and rating possible pressure points that activists could focus their efforts on.




Dams, Rivers and Rights: An Action Guide for Communities Affected by Dams (2007)

International Rivers –  Dams, Rivers and Rights is the perfect tool for anyone threatened by dam construction. It tells the stories of people affected by dams and outlines success stories of people who fight for their rights and their rivers. The guide shares lessons and ideas from the growing international movement against destructive dams. It tells stories of people all over the world who say no to dams and who demand “Don’t DAMage our lives.”



Link to all languages

Witness – Video Advocacy Toolkit

WitnessVisit the WITNESS Library to download free resources for video activists, trainers and their allies. Includes video and PDF downloads of core WITNESS training materials and how-to guides, on topics such as: video production, video advocacy, storytelling for change, video distribution, safety and security, digital security, filming protests and forced evictions.

Visit also Witness’website in ArabicFrenchPortuguese and Spanish for translated materials.


Making Maps that Make a Difference (2007)

International Rivers – The guide “Making Maps that Make a Difference: A Citizens Guide to Making and Using Maps for Advocacy Work” introduces the power and process of mapping for communities facing destructive development project, including the benefits of mapping, ideas for types of information a community might usefully map,  step-by-step instructions for creating basic maps, important sources of data, low and high-tech methods for collecting data, and tips and checklists for strategically incorporating maps in a campaign.


Forest Peoples Programme Toolkits for Indigenous Peoples and local communities

Forest Peoples Programme has developed a series of toolkits for Indigenous Peoples and local communities in different countries, that provide useful information on FPIC and the international, regional and national mechanisms they can use in order to claim their rights and protect their lands, territories and natural resources.

Protecting Your Community Against Mining Companies and Other Extractive Industries: A Guide for Community Organizers (2009)

Global Response – This guide describes aspects of the mining process, the dangers you and your community face when mining companies seek to operate in your community, and the many ways you can fight back.



Training for Change

Training for Change – In this page, you can find tools on: 3rd party non-violent intervention; de-escalation and peacekeeping; direct action; diversity and anti-oppression; meeting facilitation; online training tools; organizing and strategy; team building.