We all start with what we know, but, even when that is a lot, we are often still only experts in our own “experience” of the problem. Checking our knowledge is up to date and finding out about the issue from other peoples’ point of view is essential.

Researching the following questions will give you a good foundation on which to make decisions: 

Research Questions

  1. Who has the power to make a decision/make the change you want to see (and what do they currently think about the issue)?

  2. Who else is already trying to fix the problem? Why have they not fixed it yet?

  3. What has caused the problem? (find out from as many viewpoints as possible)

  4. Who agrees this is a problem / who is affected by it?

  5. Who is trying to make a change now?

  6. Who is out there who might join you to make a change?

  7. What resources are available to help you? (are there community film projects / patient liaison staff / campaigning trainers / activists / libraries that lend technical equipment who can help you

  8. What exactly needs to happen change to fix the problem? (why is your solution right?)

  9. What are the laws, politics, and history that are relevant to this situation?

  10. How can your campaign safe? E.g. Are there any risks about having anyone in your team photographed / quoted / identified in the campaign

  11. What are the arguments people make against your idea for change? How can you respond to these criticisms or judgments?


What’s already out there?

There are a number of ways to find out what people are thinking and doing about your issue. It’s helpful to know who is on side, who is already involved in trying to make a change and who could cause you “problems”.

  • Look in newspapers, journals and books to see if the issue is being talked about

  • Run questionnaires and surveys online or in the community

  • Ask questions on social media

  • Search social media and online to find out what people are saying about the issue

  • Talk to people! People you know, people you don’t, MPs, councillors and local organisations

  • Search “the issue” alongside “your area” on the internet

  • Look for official “policy” documents or plans that are published by the government or councils on your issue

  • Visit theyworkforyou.com and look at what people in power are doing about your issue

  • Contact local and national charities, citizens advice and community groups

  • Be open minded about who might be interested in your “issue”.