SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis

Facilitator's notes: 

The SWOT analysis can be applied to one's own group or organisation, or to an external group, in which case the perspective is slightly different.

The SWOT analysis looks at internal and external factors. Weaknesses and strengths would refer to those internal issues that are currently present. However, threats and opportunities would refer to aspects related to the environment or context and that can condition the future development of our group or campaign depending on how they are managed.





Positive aspects internal to the group or organisation

  • What are we doing well?

  • What are our advantages?

  • What relevant resources and skills do we have?

  • What are our strengths as seen by others?


Positive external aspects which possibly can be utilised in the future

  • Where are the positive opportunities that we can make use of?

  • What positive developments or tendencies can we identify (and use)?

  • Are there potential allies that we can make use of?




Negative aspects internal to the group or organisation

  • What can we improve?

  • What are we doing badly?

  • What do we have to avoid?



Negative external aspect which might have an impact on the organisation or group in the future

  • What are the obstacles that we need to overcome?

  • What are our adversaries doing?

  • Can our weaknesses turn into serious threats which would put our campaign or group at risk?


The facilitator presents the SWOT analysis, and explains the task. The group can either work as one group, or in larger groups it can be useful to divide the group into smaller groups, with each of one doing their own SWOT analysis.

To begin with, the group brainstorms its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The brainstorm should be followed by a discussion of the individual items the group came up with, so that the group understands and agrees on each of the items.

When applied not to the own group or campaign, but to an adversary or (potential) ally, it is important to be clear about the perspective. What are the strengths or weaknesses of the group being analysed which it can use to change the situation in favour of our campaign? What opportunities could be used to convince the organisation that this would be in its own interest (what arguments can we use with this organisation). What are the threats which make it likely or possible that the organisation which work against our campaign?

The analysis should be followed by a discussion on how to use the opportunities identified, and how to decrease the risks identified in the threats.


Adapted from: International Institute for Nonviolent Action: Handbook for trainings in Nonviolence and Social Transformation, https://novact.org/2013/07/handbook-for-trainings-in-nonviolence-and-social-transformation-first-edition/

Training area: 
Organising phase: 
Organising aspect: