We all know that running a cutting edge campaign involves taking risks but you have to admire the bravery of campaigners that will walk through Westminster the day before the Budget, dressed as George Osborne, to make their point.
The IF campaign is about getting enough food for everyone everywhere; because 870 million people go to bed hungry; yet half the food we buy in the UK is wasted; seven million tonnes of food is thrown away every year whilst two million children die from malnutrition.
This campaign is a good example of how to take an issue that is overwhelming in scale and break it down into something more manageable. By recognising that significant change often needs to be incremental, it identifies four clear campaign ‘asks’ and maintains a focus on lobbying the UK Government to take action both in the Budget and in its role as president of the G8 in 2013.
The ‘March of the Osbornes” on Westminster has already given IF supporters a morale boosting win as the real George Osborne stepped forward on 20th March to announce the UK Government would keep its promise to spend 0.7% of national income on aid. This promise was 43 years in the making and the UK is the first G8 country to keep it, despite calls from some politicians to cut the international aid budget and use the money elsewhere.
Clearly a lot of work went on behind the scenes to secure this commitment and one look at the supporters list shows you that this campaign must have effective leadership who know how to manage a large coalition. As someone with significant experience in this area, I know tough it can be to line up so many organisations behind a common message and campaign activity.
The win on home ground, will encourage and empower supporters ready for the next target – the G8 summit of the world’s wealthiest nations in June. This time the campaign will, amongst other things, call on world leaders to stop big companies dodging taxes in poorer countries. This is a topical message that will generate popular support at a time when most of us are facing austerity measures.
This campaign has re-packaged an age old issue that some will argue will never be resolved, but with its focused targeting, clear messages and well-managed coalition; it has already made a difference and that is why we are campaigners.
Thank you to all members of the E-Campaigning Forum who sent me the IF campaign as their favourite for ‘campaign of the month’ in March. If you have a campaign that you would like to see featured in April, please get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org