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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
“ 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.