Working Together When It Matters Most

When people need food, housing, and employment, working together matters. So does holding decision-makers accountable. The Right Question Institute has tools and resources to help people in need ask better questions, advocate for themselves, and have a voice in decisions that affect them.

Tools for Today's Immediate Needs and Tomorrow's Challenges

As society responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, much remains unknown. But some things are clear: People need help and challenging times are ahead.

Workers on the front lines of health care and social services are being challenged to adapt and work in a different way. So are educators, parents, and public officials.

And our democracy is facing a watershed moment as decisions made by elected and appointed public officials affect us all.

Organizations are mobilizing to provide basic services for people in need: food, housing, employment advice, education, legal aid, and more. In this moment, working together matters. So do holding decision-makers accountable and building skills for advocacy.

Simple and Powerful Tools

The Right Question Institute provides simple but powerful tools to help make that happen — tools that help people, no matter their educational level, navigate complex systems, ask better questions, advocate for themselves, and have a say in decisions that affect them. They can be deployed remotely across all communities, ages, and issues to:

  • Help people in low-income communities advocate for their needs.
  • Amplify the heroic work being done by providers of basic services by helping ensure more people are equipped with effective skills for self-advocacy and taking action.
  • Keep students and children engaged, focused, and positive about learning.

RQI Resources for Now and the Future

Self-advocacy resources

For direct services staff helping people navigate systems and advocate for themselves, the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) and our Voice in Decisions Technique (VIDT) enable anyone, no matter their level of education, to advocate for themselves and their families more effectively.

Teaching and learning resources: for educators and parents

Our most well-known resource, used in more than a million classrooms around the world, is the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a simple, rigorous method for asking better questions. Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman said that “all learning begins with the posing of a question,” yet the skill is seldom explicitly taught. The QFT has energized classrooms around the world by jumpstarting a passion for learning that leads to more confident and excited learners.

Here’s more:

Democracy and public health resources

Our democracy needs more citizens and public officials asking better questions and making good decisions. In a time of a public health crisis, we offer to our country’s leaders and residents our Working Tools of Accountability (coming soon), a simple tool for better decision-making. This tool lays out in just five steps a model for preparing and adapting to an emergency and planning to prevent future ones. It also facilitates active participation and public accountability in any democratic society.

Increasing voting rates in low-income communities

This summer, we are launching our non-partisan “Why Vote?” Initiative to make it easier for people who traditionally don’t vote to name for themselves the value of voting and to see it as a way to advocate for themselves, their families and their communities.

The “Why Vote?” Tool is a quick, one-sheet exercise that allows people to name for themselves the value of voting:

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