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Campaign Totals – DFID

Total number of actions received between May 1st 2010 and May 1st 2011: 142,636

Number of postcards: 76,221
Number of letters: 622
Number of petition signatures: 38,526
Number of emails: 27,267
Biggest campaign: Water Aid – Talk Taps & Toilets – G8 – 38,416

Breakdown by topic and organisation:

View the spreadsheet in google docs here. Information taken from Freedom of Information request returned on 17 May 2011 and is presented as it was received from DFID.

More about the ‘Campaigns Total’ project here.

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Hmm, this is much less informative – very broad headings, and no breakdown by campaign… Still, headline figures very interesting. Three times as many postcards as emails!


Have asked for that information in a supplementary request, but interesting how different departments interpret the same request, but could also be how they hold the data internally.

Benedict Southworth

Very useful figures for benchmarking but also I think provides the basis for some interesting questions.

What questions would you pose to campaign teams based on these figures?

Mine would be something around:
– the value of allies in coalition e.g was it Tearfund that delivered all the extra water contacts.
– impact of different types of contact. Jess points out the number of postcards compared with email.

And then of course the debate on quantity versus quality. This is not a competition folks! Would be interesting to compare with the number of corporate lobbying visits in the same period.

Rhian Lewis

I agree. It poses some interesting questions around effective campaign activities. We may have created lots of campaign actions around water and sanitation issues, but whilst there has been an increase in prominence of the issue in UK development policy this isn’t backed up in the targets that have been set for the sector.

We could benefit from shared learning on the most effective campaigning tactics.

Ben Niblett

I think there’s a numbers game about how many messages you generate, but that’s only one part of where your impact comes from. We’re better at generating numbers than making sure ministers’ attention is drawn to them.

FoI can’t do all your evaluations for you, but it might be interesting to request info on how many letters from MPs each dept has received on each issue.


Yes, you’d assume they would respond according to how they routinely track the numbers internally. It’s intriguing though – I hope this ISN’T the normal way they would track the numbers. I don’t suppose anyone was writing in suggesting that access to sanitation wasn’t a good idea, but I imagine there could be quite a range of positions being taken on climate change, for example. Not very helpful to lump them all together.

Why reporting back matters…. « thoughtful campaigner

[…] the Campaigns Totals work that I’ve carried out over the last few years shows, the development sector in the UK […]

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