The Detroit URC: fostering health equity through 
community-based participatory research (CBPR)
for more than 20 years

Using Our Power: Power Mapping

Module Two Goal: The goal of this module is to help participants understand the different types of power in the policy process, and to identify and analyze who has power to influence a particular policy change.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Discuss what power is and where power comes from
  • Describe different types of power
  • Identify who has power to influence decision-making
  • Collectively develop a power map

How to Use This Module

Each module of this manual is designed for use by a team of co-trainers with experience in interactive training and group facilitation. This module can be conducted as a stand-alone training workshop or can be combined with other modules into a customized training to meet the needs of the organization and community you are working with. Each training module includes a PowerPoint presentation with a brief interactive talk on the core topic or skill, a small group activity using real-life examples, and a facilitated discussion to apply what was learned and identify next steps. Supplemental materials are provided, as well as customizable templates to create your own.

Planning and Customizing

This training curriculum is designed to be customized for the specific community in which it is presented, building on community strengths. To use these modules most effectively, please consider the following:

  • Adapt the introduction slides to reflect the organization(s) providing the training.
  • Include community members who are experts on the community and/or policy area as part of the training team. The success of this program comes from drawing on this wealth of experience.
  • Customize the photos in the module presentation to reflect the community and policy focus of the group participants.
  • Develop policy scenarios that match the priority issues the community wants to address.
  • If participant group is working on a specific policy issue, attend a group meeting to begin to establish a relationship, get a better understanding of the participants, and prepare the group for the upcoming workshop.
  • Build on community strengths and resources, highlight individuals’ skills and knowledge, draw on social networks and relationships, and connect with existing community-based organizations.

Customizable PowerPoint Slides

Click here to access the customizable PowerPoint presentation.

The PowerPoint presentation provided will need to be customized to your organization and the issues you have chosen to highlight during the training. In addition, in some cases there are multiple activities to select from. Please be sure to review the presentation, customize the slides, and select activities as necessary prior to use.

Module Materials

You will need the following materials to conduct this module:

  • Power Map Wall Chart (printed from Power Map Handout file)

Instructions to customize these materials are available here: How to Customize Materials

Materials/Power Mapping Policy Scenarios have already been developed for the following issues and are available for use: 

If you will be using materials we have developed for the above issues, please click here.

Materials Preparation Needed in Advance: Pre-developed Materials

  • Print or draw one power map wall chart for each group, approximately 4' x 3’.

  • Print Power Mapping Scenarios Handout for selected issues (included at links above).

If you will be selecting your own issues, click here.

Materials Preparation Needed In Advance

  • Print or draw one power map wall chart for each group, approximately 4' x 3’.

  • Download Customizable Power Mapping Scenarios Handout Template and follow instructions. Print enough copies for participants.

Additional Materials Needed

In addition to the materials provided above, you will need the following:

  • Strong masking tape to attach charts to the wall
  • Pens/pencils
  • Post-it Notes
  • Newsprint/self-stick wall pad paper
  • Markers

Additional Resources

Sample ice breakers that can be used at the beginning of each workshop to introduce the workshop participants to each other and trainers, begin to build trust among workshop participants, and engage workshop participants in the materials. We have provided examples here, or perhaps you have ones that have worked well for you in the past.

Sample evaluation questionnaires for your reference, however, these materials do not comprise a comprehensive evaluation plan. You may need to adapt or supplement these materials to accomplish your evaluation goals.

Publications related to Detroit URC policy advocacy training


When using the Advocating for Policy Change curriculum materials in any form, clear attribution is expected. The Advocating for Policy Change curriculum contains materials developed by the Detroit Urban Research Center and some resources originally developed or copyrighted by others. These items are used with permission and the original source is clearly identified. Advocating for Policy Change manual users may duplicate and use items as they appear in the curriculum for future policy advocacy trainings, with acknowledgement to the original author/source using the same citation as provided on the Advocating for Policy Change materials.


The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center
University of Michigan School of Public Health (U-M SPH)
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DetroitURC RevisedLogo Orig