Action Guidelines 

An Action as a project is normally not very complicated, but still requires planning and organising. Action projects are core activities within Life-Link and good organisation determines the quality of the result. 

We have put together some guidelines for how to perform an Action. For best results, follow each step in order:

Step 1 – Taking an initiative

Step 2 – Selecting a project

Step 3 – Defining desired results

Step 4 – Planning of activities

Step 5 – Implementation

Step 6 – Follow Up


Step 1 - Taking an initiative 

Life-Link wants to work for a future where people can live safely without wars, a polluted environment, discrimination, etc. We can all do something in our own school/community to bring about a better world. 

How do you get started? Find a teacher and schoolmates to form a Life-Link Action Team to address environmental or any other concern of yours that can fit under either of the headings: 

  • Care for Yourself

  • Care for Others 

  • Care for Nature.

Call a kick-off meeting with your suggested Life-Link Action Team and:

  • Appoint a Project Coordinator, who is responsible for calling Meetings and coordinating discussions. It may be a teacher or a suitable student.

  • Appoint a Project Secretary, who is responsible for making notes of the meetings and decisions and distributing them to all concerned.


Step 2 – Selecting a project

This can be done during the kick-off meeting or the first Action Project meeting.

Ask yourself: “What sort of needs and problems do we see in our school or in our community that we want to do something about”?

Consult the Life-Link Homepage ( www.lifelinkschools.org ) under the headings: “Care for Yourself, Care for Others and Care for Nature” to find lists of suggested actions and choose an Action.

If you choose not to select a topic from the Life-Link list we suggest the following: 

Ask the team members to write down their ideas on paper slips, one idea per slip. A practical way of doing this is to use Post-Its which can be stuck directly on the wall. Do this in silence. After allowing sufficient time, ask everybody to put Post-Its on the wall under the headings: Care for Yourself, Care for Others, Care for Nature. 

You need to narrow down the ideas to only one per Action Team. Some teams may prefer to discuss this and come to a common agreement. Otherwise the Team members could be asked to vote, either secret or openly.


Step 3 – Defining desired results

Define the desired end result of the Action Project. Try to be as specific as possible and preferably measurable. It will facilitate the planning of the project to see what result you shall achieve. Allow for margins in order to prevent frustration.

Two examples targets:

  • We want 25% of the school population to take part in the actions during our campaign day.

  • We should meet with at least 50 people during visits to homes for the elderly.


Step 4 – Planning of activities

Planning project activities

Think through what activities are needed to reach your results and in what order. Two things are particularly important at the planning stage:

1: List the project activities in the order they should be taken.

By doing this, you will achieve a common understanding of the order of steps to be taken. Try to follow a logical order starting at a more general level and then narrowing things down to be more and more specific.

2: Set time limits

Set time limits for the different activities from the very beginning. Project activities often take more time than you initially anticipate!  Give yourself deadlines so the project has a good chance of being finished on time.

Put the activities together in the right order to constitute a complete time plan. If things start to get away from you, it’s a good idea to go back and reiterate the stages that you need to complete to ensure your Action is finished on time.

 3: Organisation

Assuming that we have a Project Coordinator and one Project Secretary already, agree who else should be involved and in what capacity. 

Document the responsibilities of those involved in the project so that everyone knows her/his place in the whole. Document the results of your planning in the order of activities. Send a copy of your document to all concerned.

4. Money

Some Action Projects may have costs. It may be only a small amount of money but it is recommended to make a budget. This can be shared with the school’s Management and a budget request may be made.


Step 5 – Implementation

The practical way of managing the Action Project is to hold regular Project meetings. There, each of the project team members report on their project activity, the achievements and status compared to the agreed plan. Begin with frequent meetings, perhaps weekly, and make them less frequent by the time.

You may find that some activities have been delayed or that the planned result has not been achieved. Here, it is up to the Project Coordinator and other team members to support and facilitate the work. This is of utmost importance, if tough periods occur.

Information for others than the Project Team who will be involved in the planned activity is important. If, for example, the Action Team wants to perform a campaign day involving all or part of the school, it is important to send out information and keep an eye on the response.

Implementation of the project will be finished when it can be shown that the required results have been reached within the scheduled time. A project report should be written and ideally shared with important stakeholders.


Step 6 – Follow up

At a follow-up meeting, the Action Team is recommended to answer questions such as:

  • What did we do really well and what can be improved in the future?

  • Have the results from the project become normal procedures of the school?

  • Should a follow up project be started in order to achieve desired improvements?

  • Was the project a one-off activity and therefore no follow up?

The results of the evaluation and decisions regarding follow up are ideally reported to the school authorities. Try to get information about the Action Project be spread as widely as possible!

 

Finally…

Don’t forget to send us your report!