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
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.
The Campaign Coordinator
- Break down the final goal into manageable steps.
- Set approximate target dates for reaching each step.
- Decide on criteria which will clearly show whether each step has been
- Choose the precise methods that will be used to reach each step towards
the final goal.
- Review progress towards your goal.
- Modify your goal, if necessary, in the light of experience.
- Communicate with colleagues, members, funders and supporters.
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
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:
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.
- Administrative support
- Printing, photocopying, typing, writing information packs, designing
- Taking responsibility for on-the-day volunteers, first aid, permission
from authorities, etc.
- Looking after celebrities and important people
- Coordination with the media
6. Taking Action
You'll find many examples of different types of campaigning activity throughout
Whatever the aims and time-scale of your campaign, you want to:
A Note About Direct Action
- get people talking about the issues
- point out human rights abuses
- provide examples of good practice (in your own country or abroad)
- involve the wider community
- gain support from the media and other professional groups
- put pressure on your political representatives
- produce good publicity about your organisation
- develop commitment, enthusiasm and a sense of solidarity among your
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