Independent Living Institute


Disability Awareness in Action
Resource Kit No. 3

Published by © Disability Awareness in Action, All rights reserved

Download the "Campaigns Kit" as a PDF file (120 KB)

Stage Three Drawing up an Action Plan


5. Planning

A sense of shared purpose and common experience form an excellent basis for communal action but, to be really effective, campaigns also need careful organisation and planning. A small organised group will achieve much more if it sets clear goals and gives specific tasks to individuals.

Think Ahead and Being Efficient

The first rule of planning is that you can never start too early. As soon as you have decided on particular events, you can begin to plan. You will need to hold regular planning meetings of a campaign committee, occasionally bringing in other people. This will help everyone to be clear about their role and will reduce the possibility of mistakes. It will motivate people by reminding them of the issues involved and will make everyone, however small a part they play, feel involved.

The second rule of planning is to write things down. Ask someone to take minutes of any meetings - a written account in note form of the most important decisions taken, comments made and action proposed. Make checklists of things to be done. For a repeated event, you will have a guide for next year, especially useful if different people take on different responsibilities.

The third rule of planning is to budget. Make a list of the things you need to run the campaign. What can you provide yourselves, borrow or have donated? For other items, you need to work out the costs in order to try to raise funds to provide for them.

Setting Targets

The Campaign Coordinator

It's useful to have a campaign coordinator to be in overall charge of the campaign. It will be this person's job to oversee the campaign and to make sure everyone else knows their responsibilities and carries them out. It is the coordinator's job to divide up duties between members of the committee, trying to ask people to do the things that they can do best.

Even if you have a commitment to working as a cooperative, it is still important that one or possibly two people should have overall responsibility, passing tasks on to others as necessary.

The campaign coordinator needs to be calm, tactful and able to keep track of everything.

The Organising Committee

It's also useful to appoint a committee to support the coordinator and to look after the campaign. This group of people can share responsibility, come to a consensus about action and bring the skills, experience and time of a number of individuals to the campaign - making it more effective.

It is important that each member of the organising committee should be clear about exactly what they are supposed to be doing and what is expected of them. Responsibilities and tasks should be well defined to stop everyone doing everything at once. These tasks will vary according to the nature of the campaign. There are essentials, which include:

Campaign coordination
In choosing your committee, or in sharing out responsibilities, you must match people to jobs. If you want to attract sponsorship for an event, you should give this job to someone who is used to working with the business community, perhaps with sales or marketing knowledge. The publicity person needs to be outgoing and persuasive.


6. Taking Action


You'll find many examples of different types of campaigning activity throughout this kit.

General Strategies

Whatever the aims and time-scale of your campaign, you want to:
A Note About Direct Action

This includes strikes and demonstrations - any public display in a public place of your views on an issue. Civil rights movements worldwide have at times taken to the streets to peacefully protest against society's artificial barriers to full integration and participation.

There are many problems associated with direct action. It shouldn't be undertaken lightly and needs careful planning to keep under control. Whenever people come together to protest against discrimination, feelings inevitably run high. If these emotions are to be channelled effectively, and if you are to avoid danger to members or confrontation with the authorities, you must plan every stage, talk to the authorities and the police and to your members.

First: is direct action an option in your village, district or country?

The authorities and the police are unlikely to be pleased to hear that direct action is planned. You should take notice of this but go ahead, unless by merely taking to the streets you will put people in danger. If this is the case, think about other ways to make your feelings known to the wider community and the authorities without antagonising them.

Second: who will take responsibility for direct action?

It's important that a senior figure who is respected within and outside your organisation takes the lead. That way, members are more likely to conduct themselves in an orderly way. The authorities are more likely to be cooperative if they feel the direct action is to be well-run than if they feel that disorder is likely.

Third: plan the action.

Let the authorities know what is happening. Call all the demonstrators together several days in advance. Allow discussion on the aims of the action. Things will go more smoothly if people have a chance to air their frustrations and strong feelings first. Make sure you finish with a firm statement of the peaceful nature of the action and that everyone knows what is planned. Think through all eventualities and discuss what you will do if, for example, people are arrested. Can you arrange for people who know something about the law, perhaps told something about it by a lawyer, to go with those arrested to the police station?

Fourth: on the day.

Place members of your organisation at various points as contacts for the authorities and for demonstrators. They should be clearly identifiable (by clothing, badge etc.) and have been told exactly what to do if there are problems of any kind.

continue...Stage Four Looking at Resources - Money and People

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