Welcome to the Yielding and Wielding Power Toolkit.
The Yielding and Wielding Power Toolkit is a collection of question sets and short 'how-to' guidance. The toolkit sets out practical options for individuals and organisations to further the decolonisation and locally led agendas. Every tool shares a path for Yielding Power (for white development practitioners and organisations) and a path for Wielding Power (for black and brown development practitioners and organisations). Read more about the toolkit...
The Yielding and Wielding Toolkit is drawn from the Decolonisation and Locally Led Development Discussion Paper (PDF). The paper was developed in 2021 by La Trobe University’s Institute for Human Security and Social Change. If you’re curious about any of the tools in the Yielding and Wielding Toolkit, the discussion paper is a great place to start. The paper also shares some background on producing the paper, on the use of language, and the rationale for focusing on individual and organisational change instead of systemic change.
The proposals in each tool are resented as a dual pathway -- with the changes proposed for white individuals and organisations to tackle, and the corresponding suggestions for black and brown people working with these individuals and organisations.
Many of the suggestions are not easy. For black and brown practitioners, stepping into wielding power may require having uncomfortable conversations, breaking cultural protocols, being vulnerable in new ways, and working on painful decolonisation of the mind processes. For white practitioners, yielding power may involve loss of professional identity reckoning with the deep discomfort of being part of and representative of a neo-colonial system which individuals do not personally subscribe to, and losing power, control, and authority.
Engaging in a decolonisation process, and supporting genuinely locally led organisations and programs, requires us all to be courageous and bear the discomforts and pain associated with the process, with particular regard for the discomfort and pain of black and brown colleagues who have suffered and lost the most through colonisation.
If you’re new to the toolkit, the best place to start is with the Reflection Questions for self-positioning in the process of decolonisation. You can then also explore Individual How-To Tools (from decolonising your language to decolonising your meetings) and Organisational How-To Tools (like decolonising recruitment and positioning local expertise at the head and heart of your organisation's work).
...or select a resource category below to get started.
How-to tools for organisations