Research Methods

Our ground-breaking research methods have created unparalleled opportunities for CAPP to advise and improve on campaign marketing and targeting capacities.

Engage CAPP, no matter where you are along your campaign journey.

visualization2understanding2implementation2realization2evaluation3

 

Visualization

No one else is going to shape the future. It’s up to us.

All activists join community-led movements for a reason. We want to see change and we want to make our society and the world a better place. With the advent of technology comes an increasing interconnectedness yet despite this, citizens all over the world are learning to build new communities and personal relationships to affect change. The superficial relationship with news sources in an increasingly diffuse media sphere has created a demand for direct communication and interpersonal political exchange. This is the power of grass-roots campaigning because it comprises real people exchanging personal narratives and ideas about the world and their experience of it.

It is these new spaces that are emerging to bring power back to communities who feel increasingly disenfranchised by major parties and powerful vested interests. Our research methods are about understanding this process. We have developed sophisticated

mechanisms to understand, analyse and react to communities as they grow to incorporate new cultures of exchange. Our research offers a great opportunity to community groups and progressive organisations because they can begin to set goals that are more ambitious but are now more realisable thanks to grass-roots campaigning and our proprietary research. The process of building a movement begins with establishing a clear vision and also applying that vision to the organisational strategies and tactics so that a research process can be designed to achieve that vision.

In order to achieve our goals, how do we need to visualise our organisation and its campaigning efforts? Can we do better by understanding what needs to be achieved and researching a pathway to achieve it?

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Understanding

Campaigns are notoriously complex and disorientating. We aim to bring clarity.

Who are the people in the community that you are trying to speak to? How do they receive the messages in our communication sphere? What do polls really mean and is there a better way of actually understanding people and their current political experience?

In today’s political culture, there are well-established limitations on what one can understand about how the community processes politics. These limitations are akin to a complex matrix, seemingly impenetrable to campaigners striving to learn and grow their support base. Practitioners of ever more prevalent polling procedures purport to bring us closer to understanding how political cultures ebb and flow. Unfortunately, these practices are like listening to a broken engine without looking under the hood and they give campaigners an incomplete picture and advisers are left to ‘jump the gap’ in order to offer potential strategies.

The aim of The Centre for Applied Political Psychology is to bridge the gap between researchers and grass-roots campaigners, to share

knowledge and learn about the best ways to build more participatory democracies and more sustainable and cooperative societies. The ground-breaking research methods of CAPP are unique and powerful and are thereby protected as proprietary knowledge. Designed as responsive and organic data structures, they are constantly being improved and updated as they feedback on campaigns and community interactions. This allows campaigners to confidently respond to campaign needs as they arise and have a solid awareness of how the campaign is actually tracking at the grassroots level.

The importance of the research methods process to establish a deeper ethic of ‘understanding’ as a guiding foundation for mobilisation strategies – that is, a strategy based on deeper knowledge of communities, the political process and political communication.

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Implementation

A good idea can only manifest if it is properly implemented.

Most dramatic political change occurs one conversation at a time. Media attention is powerful but not nearly as powerful as reaching the hearts and minds of each citizen through thousands of personal exchanges. To implement the most effective campaign possible, research and design must culminate in a simple and pragmatic framework that understands the practical limitations in training and recruiting and can be efficiently implemented by the diverse personalities and communities that comprise any organisation or grass-roots movement.

Understanding the volunteer experience and how they can have the most fulfilling involvement possible requires a deeper understanding of the different personal progression that everyone undertakes in order to become an activist and help shape the world. Through maximising their impact and ensuring that volunteer skills are applied most efficiently, participants in the campaign will bond deeply with the new communities they are helping to grow and will become active recruiters to a maximum degree.

Also inherent in the methodology of CAPP is an emphasis on the importance of providing powerful tools to track how the campaign is progressing. In order to implement any strategy most efficiently and effectively, lead organisers must be able to track the progress of certain

regions and understand where resources need to be allocated or techniques need to be modified. Our research methods come with the mechanisms to track progress in order to ensure that campaign goals are being met and if not, understand why they aren’t.

In this respect, a level of clarity is attained where the highest level of information is available as to what is happening to influence your position, not just in the media  but at the street level. This affords the maximum level of dynamism and flexibility to your campaign strategising, giving organisers an unprecedented ability to learn of and respond to issues as they arise.

How are volunteers being organised to ensure maximum impact and fulfillment as they grow your community? How is your campaign tracking in terms of connecting with the communities that are responsive to your movement? How are the communication exchanges developing and how can your campaign be more representative of the feedback you are hearing from the community in real-time?

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Realization

Change seems impossible until it is achieved and then it becomes history.

How does a grass-roots campaign come together to realise victory? How do the disparate parts need to coordinate to secure the support gained in the community and harness enough momentum to drive through any obstacles and tactics from opposing groups?

Given the tumultuous nature of any campaign, a community that your movement has worked to hard to reach out to must be cared for and cultivated so as to activate them to your cause and build momentum. The crafting of media messages must encompass not only the outreach to potential supporters but also to firm up any recently acquired support and of course, the base. Bringing all levels of the movement into the equation at the crucial denouement of the campaign creates an echo chamber effect where messages and general goodwill reverberates throughout your key areas and creates as much of a ‘foregone conclusion’ effect as possible.

The process of bringing all campaign elements together to secure victory is about ensuring the complete transition from point A – where your ideals  are merely suppositions 

known by a few people, to point B – where your ideals are accepted and treated as an established set of beliefs. Moving from a marginal position to a mainstream position, from being largely viewed as a protesting force, to being joined by the community and considered part of the the mainstream, is a difficult process but one that can be achieved through inspired implementation and then practical realisation of all elements of campaigning.

What do sympathetic communities really need in order to activate the feedback mechanisms that can deliver you a winning momentum? How can the implementation of a campaign be realised by using better communication exchange and tracking mechanisms to improve the timing of tactical decisions in the crucial final period? How do you really know where you are actually positioned in respect to your level of community support and what you need to do to secure victory?

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Evaluation

To really know what occured and why, is to predict the future.

Post-campaign, it is vital to harness the power of evaluation by combining data analysis of tracking mechanisms with targeted research to elucidate the volunteer experience and uncover the process of community understanding. In order to build the strongest possible networks and retain the skills and community connectedness that developed throughout the campaign, a thorough  evaluation needs to highlight the areas of strengths and weaknesses and provide maximum feedback as to the achievements and future opportunities.

Essentially any grass-roots campaign has been a process of investing time and money in building human capital and that capital needs to be understood and harnessed in order for the ideals of your movement to prevail. The communication exchange with your new expanded community needs to be continually cultivated by understanding the perspectives and attitudes that have shaped the involvement of all participants in the movement so far. 

To best achieve this, one needs to understand the diffuse elements of a campaign and effectively demarcate and define the most important aspects for review. This allows any organisational team to delineate between the ‘meaningful’ and ‘meaningless’ across multiple data sets. What worked and why? How can organisational elements be improved or innovative adaptations be expanded and streamlined? What precluded a positive exchange and what can be limited if it caused a negative exchange? These are just a sample of the questions that can be answered at the culmination of a campaign.

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