The release of details of thousands of meetings between government minister and lobbying groups has received lots of coverage in the press in the last few days. Although the headlines have been on the number of meetings that ministers have had with business groups, there is also lots in the whole data that campaigners can learn from.
The Guardian estimates that charities had around 800 meetings with ministers in the last 12 months, unfortunately they haven’t provided a break of the classification that they used, but a quick play with the information suggests that the following charities had the most meetings;
*These figures currently just include individual meetings in the data that organisations have had. It may change when coalition or roundtable meetings are included.
What else? It looks like lots of the meetings that were held between charities and government were classed as ‘introductory meetings’ this is perhaps to be expected at the start of a new government, but it’ll be important to ensure that this changes in the next 12 months and that representatives are invited to be consulted on policy.
Also, charities and campaigning organisations have been involved in a significant number of meetings with other charities, I count over 80 meetings like this in the date, which is perhaps indicative of the way that we often work and campaign in coalition, but a different approach to that taken by business group.
I plan to spend more time looking at the information later in the week, but please do use the comment section below to share your reflections on what the data tells us about routes to influence.