Freedom of Information and campaigningPresentation Transcript
Voicing your right to know : Using Freedom of Information in campaigning FOI and campaigning – Philip Hadley, Campaigning Effectiveness, NCVO
Please interview and then introduce your neighbour, telling us:
Their name, organisation and role
Why they have attended the workshop
Workshop objectives / format
Objective: To further understanding of using FOI as a campaigning tool through sharing experiences, best practice, research findings as well as working through practical applied examples.
Format: Interactive workshop based around exercises:
* Introduction / overview – 15 minutes
Exercise 1 – How should we use FOI in campaigning? – 15 minutes
Exercise 1 feedback – 10 minutes
Exercise 2 – How to integrate FOI with the rest of your campaigning – 15 minutes
General feedback discussion on both exercises – 25-35 minutes
"You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it."
Campaigning and the FOIA
FOIA – gives access to non-personal recorded information held by public authorities
Campaigning effectively - focusing on impact, not just activities – thinking about the change you want to achieve
Know what you want to change The Advocacy & Campaigning Cycle ] the pressure group [ Identify best influencing strategy Monitor & evaluate progress Management & Coordination Devise action plan Implement action plan
“ We wanted it for the press and we wanted it for wider information gathering.”
“ It is incredibly valuable having the FOI/EIR powers. Using them has fundamentally changed what the campaign has been able to achieve .”
Exercise 1: How should we use FOI in campaigning?
You are a local refugee rights campaigning group who wishes to conduct a research-based campaign looking at the barriers to entering employment in your local area, faced by refugees and asylum seekers.
You are a local health campaign focused on improving the quality of social and health care services for disabled people in Manchester, seeking to understand how PCTs and Manchester City Council monitor the services they offer.
Issues to consider – who to request information from, overall goal, strategy, how to frame a request and what to ask for, how to use the information gained and whether to appeal.
Exercise 2 – How can FOI be integrated into your current campaigning activities?
Issues – consider some of the following, depending on relevance to your work. Focus on challenges as well as benefits.
You could use FOI:
As a research tool
To inform lobbying activities
To feed into campaign communications
To engage supporters and beneficiaries
To inform capacity building / community development
To assist public campaigning – organising, meetings, demonstrations.
To appeal – to establish a right to information or to gain access to information.
‘ Voicing your right to know: A guide to using Freedom of Information in campaigning ’