Digital Activism Strategy (Session)

Over the summer I came up with three digital campaign models (slides) which I think are pretty useful.  The models are also follows:

Lobbying Campaign (in-person influencing)
Example: A group of former soldiers, along with NGO allies, shows a digital video about military sexual abuse to the Secretary of Defense in an invited meeting in order to convince him to change the way the military deals with these cases.

Initiator > Allies > Media > Decision-Maker > Goal Achieved

Vertical Campaign (mass campaign targeting authority figure)
Example: A group of animal rights NGOs uses social media to mobilize supporters to sign an e-petition to convince the mayor of Buenos Aires to sign a municipal no-kill shelter ordinance.

Initiator > Allies > Media > Citizen Groups (Supporters) > Media > Decision-Maker > Goal Achieved

Horizontal Campaign (mass campaign targeting citizens only)
Example: A public health NGO, allied with youth groups, uses SMS to increase condom use among at-rick youth in Port-au-Prince.

Initiator > Allies > Media > Citizen Groups (Targets) > Goal Achieved

Earlier this month I used these models at a regional training for grantees of the Open Society Foundations.  I began by presenting the three models to the participants using a color code to clarify the similarities and differences. Then the grantees developed strategies for their own campaigns…


Iryna and Dmytro of Ukraine confer with Susie from Interights, another trainer

Finally, the grantees presented their strategies to the group for feedback.


Tamuna from Georgia presents her team’s strategy. They are aiming to increase access to hepatitis-C medication in their country.

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