Freedom of Information and campaigning

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  • 1. Voicing your right to know : Using Freedom of Information in campaigning FOI and campaigning – Philip Hadley, Campaigning Effectiveness, NCVO
  • 2. Introductions
    • Please interview and then introduce your neighbour, telling us:
    • Their name, organisation and role
    • Why they have attended the workshop
  • 3. 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
  • 4. "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."
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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
  • 7.  
  • 8. “ We wanted it for the press and we wanted it for wider information gathering.”
  • 9.
    • “ It is incredibly valuable having the FOI/EIR powers. Using them has fundamentally changed what the campaign has been able to achieve .”
  • 10. Exercise 1: How should we use FOI in campaigning?
    • Group 1:
    • 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.
    • Group 2:
    • 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.
  • 11. 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.
  • 12.  
  • 13.
    • ‘ Voicing your right to know: A guide to using Freedom of Information in campaigning ’
    • http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/yourrighttoknow
    • NCVO, Campaigning Effectiveness
    • http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/campaigningeffectiveness
    Resources