Tools

Kite - grounding international work

Kite - grounding international work

To explore how international campaigns can be grounded and linked to the local level.

The tool can be used to review or evaluate an existing campaign or to plan an upcoming campaign.

Steps

  1. Ask participants who has played with or seen a kite. Ask someone to describe or draw a kite. 
  2. Introduce the idea that an (inter)national campaign is like a kite. If we want the campaign to be successful, like a kite flying nicely, we need:
    • A kite runner at the bottom (people at the local level)
    • A long, sky-reaching kite (district, national & international levels)
    • A strong kite string that links local and (inter)national work
  3. Discuss the international campaign or initiative that you want to analyse with the Kite Tool. It may be an existing campaign that you want to review or a new campaign that you are planning.
  4. In small groups, ask participants to create a kite to represent the campaign. They should use moveable cards and colourful images to represent the different elements of the kite: the kite itself, the kite runner and the string that connects them. 
  5. Use the questions below to guide the construction of the kite and to bring out the key issues that you wish to explore.

Questions for discussion

  • What campaign activities are you doing/planning at the international and national levels (kite)? Who does them?
  • What campaign activities are you doing/planning at the local level (kite runner)? What activities do you do? Who does them?
  • How do you connect the various levels in the campaign (kite string)? 
    • Themes – How have you adapted the sub-themes and actions to make them relevant at each level? 
    • Targets – Are there reachable targets and actions at each level? Or are all targets (inter)national (and therefore a bit distant)?
    • Communication – How have you adapted communication at each level? How do you present in simple words difficult ideas?
    • Documentation – How have you ensured that (inter)national written materials reach local spaces? How have you ensured that local facts, opinions, questions and materials (i.e. tool by a local group) reach (inter)national spaces? 
  • Whose campaign is it? How are the people most affected by the issue involved?
  • Are there issues that are identified at the (inter)national level that are also useful for the local level?
  • What happens when an international campaign is not grounded? What effects does it have for making change happen?

N.B. An effect of not practising campaign work at each level is that international campaigns may function in an extractive way, that is, asking for ‘stories’ to fit into the international work. One workshop participant called this the ‘anecdote approach to campaigning’. It is vital that local and national actions and documentation accompany, and even change international thinking.

Elements of an effective grounded campaign

  1. Create spaces within and across local, national and international levels:
    • Link groups across communities
    • Link to existing coalitions 
    • Make the government accountable
    • Add yours: ___________________________
  2. Train facilitators able to navigate the levels:
    • At the local level: speaks the language, is from the area...
    • At the district level: speaks up, knows policy, speaks English...
    • Add yours: __________________________________________________

References

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