Strategic Campaign and Policy Research
Every campaign can use strategic research to help the organization achieve its goals. Whether you are critiquing an industry, organizing workers at a company, or advocating for a new policy, we provide comprehensive and accessible research, drawing on public data sets, government documents, news articles, and surveys. Our analysis of issues, workplaces, industries, or policy landscapes allow clients to craft strategies based on an honest assessment of their options. We share our findings in reports, articles, short commentaries, and powerpoints so advocates are armed with the best research when they press for change and inform the public about solutions to pressing problems.
For examples of recent strategic campaign work completed by R|A members see:
- Union Cooperatives brochure
- No Piece of the Pie: US Food Workers in 2016
- SUNY and Sweatshops: How is SUNY Enforcing its Apparel Anti-Sweatshop Policy?
Participatory Research and Popular Education
Research|Action grounds much of its work in research justice. That means ensuring those most excluded from “official” knowledge have control over the means of knowledge production and can incorporate research into their campaigns for social change. Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a valuable approach that builds upon a set of shared commitments between the researcher and the community so that they identify the questions, research design and conclusions together. In this way, a community’s values, strengths and ways of knowing and understanding are respected and activated. PAR is an excellent tool for organizers to use as a component of campaign planning. PAR can help groups better understand the context in which they are working; win campaigns; and recruit new members and develop leaders. PAR is also effective in enlisting members in program or organizational evaluation. Through popular education, the findings are reported back to the community.
For examples of recent participatory research work completed by R|A members see:
- BeltLining: Gentrification, Broken Promises, and Hope on Atlanta’s Southside
- From Herndon Homes to Two Georgia Domes
Organizational Learning and Evaluation
Understanding your membership and constituency is a crucial part of any organization’s work. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other research strategies empower member-based organizations with the data to design plans that work. Additionally, understanding how your organization works in practice through strategic action plans and audits can help staffers and members develop stronger and more targeted organizational goals. This type of research can be used to develop public documents in advance of a campaign, or internal reports used to assess how well an organization functions. Examples of organizational learning projects R|A can help you with include: surveys of membership preferences in advance of contract negotiations; landscape and SWOT analyses of organizational structures; communications audits for internal and external recipients; strategic Action Planning to incorporate research results into future action; and, capacity-building trainings and curriculum for staff development.