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Campaigning – Strategy

Protestor holding Stop Adani sign on stage with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

3 Great Resources on Election Campaigning

As Australia heads towards a federal election here are three stories on the Commons to give you food for thought and action. Gather the lessons from the 2016 federal election, the 2018 Queensland election, Bernie Sanders’ tilt at the US presidency, and the struggle for women’s suffrage in 1905!

Black and white photograph of a chess board with overturned king..

Campaign Strategy Planning Template

This planning template prompts you to apply a number of different campaign strategy, community organising, and civil resistance concepts and tools. Copy the template into your own document. As you complete each section delete the instructions (text in italics) until you have your own plan, or initial document to discuss in your organisation.

A red arrow points up and left over a black and white stairway.

Elements of Campaign Strategy

This overview of campaign strategy elements is offered to clarify language shared by campaigners. The elements include campaign focus and goals; vision; situational analysis; critical path analysis; organisational considerations; allies, constituents and targets; objectives; tactics; evaluation and success indicators.

Cover of Original Power's Building Power Guide - features a drawing of a turtle in red.

The Building Power Guide

The Building Power guide is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who want to change the world. It includes several training resources to build capacity for campaigning, such as explorations of change-making, power, strategy and leadership development.

Cover of Gene Sharp's 'The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Part Two The Methods of Nonviolent Action'

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

Stuck in a rut when it comes to campaign tactics? Explore Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action which are classified into three categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.

A group of people stand on a bridge holding large letters spelling 'Global Goals'.

Tactics analysis

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. Activists often love our tactics! We can even be wedded to our favourite tactics. Here’s a tool to help move from tactics to a larger strategy conversation by analysing tactics.

Cover of the report 'Networked Change: How progressive campaigns are won in the 21st Century'

Networked Change

Directed-network campaigns combine self-organized people power with enough centralized structure to focus on clear political and cultural targets. The Networked Change Report maps out the strategies and practices that made today’s most successful advocacy campaigns work.

A group of friends stand with arms around each other looking out across a valley.

Running Effective Campaign Debriefs

Every campaign is a learning opportunity. Make the most of this by planning for the post-campaign period and setting up debriefs. Here are some tips for campaigners and facilitators.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers 1.1: Making the Impossible Possible

The story of the Fight for 15 campaign in the US which is radically changing the way low-wage workers fight for better conditions. Then we look at the roots of the radical politics that is sweeping Barcelona – and examine their attempts to “empower the street”.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers 1.2: How To Win

This episode examines Brexit and how the types of coalitions used by each side influenced the outcome of the referendum. Then we go to the Northern Rivers in regional Australia look at how a different kind of alliance against Coal Seam Gas sought to organise across the entire community.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers 1.5 When Anger Works Part 2

The story of the Lady Cilento Hospital vigil which turned into a national flashpoint that overturned a decade of political consensus on Australia’s refugee policy. Remarkably, when they began the organisers of the vigil didn’t know what they were aiming to achieve.

Moving The Rock: Shifting Power for Sustained Change

This article explores the ‘moving the rock’ concept put forward by Daniel Hunter in his book Strategy and Soul. The concept has been valuable for campaigners and organisations reassessing their theory of change and particularly how they engage politicians and supporters.

Photograph of a number of paper plates laid out on the ground with a person pointing at one. The plates have writing on them describing campaign steps.

Critical-path analysis: Process Guide

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. Critical path analysis can shift focus to outcomes rather than tactics and provide experience and skill in defining clear objectives. The process also deepens understanding about how change happens and clarifies key threads running through a campaign.

Photograph of a large group of people in a rural paddock. They are holding signs and banners reading 'No Gas Mining on Our Prime Ag Land'.

Time to move the rock

A follow up article from a workshop presented at Progress 2015 by Holly Hammond and Sam La Rocca with a video presentation from Daniel Hunter. The workshop explored Daniel’s metaphor ‘politicians are like a balloon tied to a rock’.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers 1.9: Fighting the Hard Right

In 2016, GetUp, an organisation best known for its online petitions and email campaigns, decided to go offline. They came up a strategy to remove extreme conservative politicians from the Australian parliament. One of the places they went to was the seat of Bass in Northern Tasmania.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers 2.5: Marriage Equality

The road to marriage equality in Australia was filled with dirty tricks and homophobia. How did the LGBTI community build a movement strong enough to overcome it all?

Black and white photograph of a large crowd of protestors. Banners include 'Vietnam Moratorium Campaign' and 'Stop the Country to Stop the War'.

The Vietnam War

Case study of the Australian campaign against involvement in the Vietnam War. The emergence of popular protest in Australia during the 1960s presented a fundamental challenge to government decisions and the way those decisions are made. By taking to the streets people challenged the policy positions of government and, in some cases, the very legitimacy and authority of the state itself.

Photograph of River Red Gum trees submerged in water.

Victorian Red Gum Forests: A Historic Victory

A comprehensive case study of the successful campaign to protect Victorian Red Gum Forests. Includes the history of the Barmah-Millewa Campaign, its goals and results. Given the historic outcomes of the campaign it is worth examining how such an effective green-black alliance emerged in south-eastern Australia.