Introduction to Tactical Mapping: A Tool for Expanding Relationships and Resources

This webinar, from February 19th, 2014, features Nancy Pearson of the Center for Victims of Torture.

This webinar is part of the National Capacity Building (NCB) webinar series. NCB is a project of the Center for Victims of Torture.


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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Webinar Description

This webinar introduces the process of tactical mapping and highlights examples of how a tactical map tool can be utilized in community engagement projects and for organizational and client issues.  This tool will allow users to explore potential resources and identify areas for tactical intervention.  During this training, you will learn how an organization's leadership can use tactical mapping for advocacy and outreach efforts, and how torture treatment clinicians can engage clients in building their own tactical map to identify human relationship resources.  The Tactical Mapping process was developed by the New Tactics in Human Rights program at the Center for Victims of Torture to help organizations evaluate their own context and the broader situation from a different perspective. 

This webinar is particularly useful for social workers and psychotherapists working on outreach and strengths-based planning with clients and for organizational administrators planning advocacy strategies.


1.            Explain how Tactical Mapping can be useful within torture rehabilitation programs and in the strengths-based model of care with clients.
2.            Understand how Tactical Mapping can be used to expand the potential network of relationships and resources
3.            Identify a potential area of application within your own organizations


Nancy Pearson, MSW, LISW, Training Manager, New Tactics in Human Rights Program, Center for Victims of Torture

Case Study: Lifting up young women in Liberia

The following is an example of how tactical mapping was successfully used in a torture rehabilitation context.

Education is a key component in improving the lives of young women around the world, and the Liberia Association of Psychosocial Services (LAPS) knew that high dropout rates and early marriages were trapping teenage girls in poverty and dependency. Utilizing a version of the "tactical mapping" process learned from the New Tactics in Human Rights workshop in Liberia, LAPS helped residents of three villages develop a full picture of all the players that had an impact on girls' development.

Changing the traditional gender attitudes of a culture is not easy work, so LAPS turned to the New Tactics project's tactical notebooks, one of which described Ghana's successful efforts to liberate young girls enslaved by priests: And participants in one workshop developed a role-playing exercise that showed how the actions of parents and teenage boys had a negative impact in the girls' lives, illustrating the importance of engaging the whole community.

LAPS found significant success in a short period of time - dropout rates for girls began to decline, and the number of pregnancies and early marriage fell by a third. Some girls started small businesses or earned scholarships, many parents reported treating their daughters more positively, and teachers received training on codes of conduct regarding female students. The work by LAPS opened a lot of eyes, and girls are seeing the benefits.

Presenter Bio

Nancy L. Pearson, M.S.W., L.I.S.W., received her Bachelors of Science in Social Work and Sociology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and her Masters of Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently the New Tactics Training Manager for the New Tactics in Human Rights Project at the Center for Victims of Torture. She served as a direct service social worker to survivors of torture and as a trainer (1999-2000) and Director of Social Services in CVTs Minnesota Mainstream Project (2001-2002). Since 2003, she has provided leadership and training in the New Tactics in Human Rights program.

Nancy's training experience is extensive. She has provided training to refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia in CVTs International Services in Guinea, West Africa (2000-2001); training to national and international torture treatment centers(2000-2002); outreach training for those working with and providing services to refugees and torture survivors to many diverse audiences-professionals, conferences, government and non-profit service agencies statewide, nationally and internationally (1999-2002); and New Tactics in Human Rights methodology training in more than 20 countries to human rights defenders, non-governmental organizations and United Nations bodies (2003 to present).



The Florida Center for Survivors of Torture used tactical mapping in collaboration with Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service to create a resource guide for immigrants and refugees. See, particularly, the section on "creating this community mapping project".


Tactical Mapping: How Nonprofits Can Identify the Levers of Change, by Douglas A. Johnson and Nancy L. Pearson, Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine. Summer 2009. (.pdf attached)

Step 3 – Map the Terrain:  Using the Tactical Map Tool, From New Tactics in Human Rights. (.pdf attached)


Tactical Mapping: An Introduction:, produced by interns with New Tactics in Human Rights

Mapping for Human Rights and Social Justice Violations:, produced by the University of Sydney


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