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Our Programs Module 3

Module 3: Top Tips


  • Build a thorough understanding of both your issue and the policy context (including ways in which social change for animals is achieved in your social and political context – see Module 1)
  • Place your issue in context (e.g. using facts and figures, or researching the international and regional dimensions - such as World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) international standards etc.)
  • Ensure that your research is credible, accessible and easily understandable
  • Identify the causes and solutions for your policy issue, and then build political support around your solutions
  • Build understanding of key decision-makers – their interests, motivations and power bases
  • Identify the key targets of your advocacy, and then work out how to influence them (for example, through secondary targets)
  • Use strategic analysis to determine the target audience for your research reports, then ensure they are tailored to influence this audience (in terms of content, presentation and timing)

Further Resources



Google Search Engine

Tracks Investigations

The Web Centre for Social Research Methods

Data Centre – Campaign Research

Corp Watch

FREE Resources for Methods in Evaluation and Social Research


Research Methods for Business Students: AND Research Navigator Access Card
Mark N.K. Saunders
Publisher: FT Prentice Hall
ISBN: 1405813970

Research Methods for Managers
John Gill, Phil Johnson
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
ISBN: 0761940022

Management Research: An Introduction (Sage Series in Management Research)
Mark Easterby-Smith, Richard Thorpe
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
ISBN: 0761972854

Doing Research in Business and Management: An Introduction to Process and Method
Dan Remenyi, Brian Williams, Arthur Money, Ethne Swartz
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
ISBN: 0761959505

Targeted Research


How to Target
Examples of Targeted Reports from Animal Welfare Organizations


When your advocacy issue has been agreed, and the overall research carried out, it is good practice to target your research. To do this, you first need to determine your target audience (or priority target audience). Then your research reports can be tailored in order to have maximum impact on this audience. The process of targeting may also involve further research.

Your preliminary research and analysis will help you to identify the key targets for your advocacy, and how you can best influence them (e.g. through secondary targets), as in Section 6 of this module. Then you can decide whether to produce one report (e.g. if the needs and interests of your targets are sufficiently uniform) or a number of targeted reports in multiple formats (if their needs and interests are very different, but they are all important to your advocacy). This is both a strategic and a cost-benefit decision!

Another reason for preparing targeted reports is when you seek to link your animal welfare issue into another issue of topical concern. This is often useful in arenas (such as development or the environment) where animal welfare is still viewed as a marginal issue.

Similarly, you may use targeted research for specific political forums, or conferences on specific issues.

However, even in such targeted reports never miss the opportunity to stress your primary concern, and to build understanding and acceptance for animal welfare.

How to Target

In targeting, relevant research findings are presented in multiple formats, tailored to each audience, with the information needs of policy makers (content and format) being taken into account.

In targeting, you should always bear in mind the needs and interests of your target audience. This will affect details such as the length, content, language, presentation, and timing of your reports. For example, politicians and busy policy makers are deluged with information, and simply do not have the time to absorb long written materials. In this case, a very brief summary report is a good idea (preferably with a brief and impactful ‘ask’, or ploy to draw the reader in, at the very beginning).

The use of visual or audio-visual materials is also a key consideration. In animal welfare issues, these can add emotional impact to the written word.

Targeted reports can also be used as ‘asks’ or submissions on a topical political issue or legislative review, or to influence international conferences e.g. Summits, such as Rio+20 (Earth Summit follow-up).

Research can also be used for instructional or educational uses (for example, as course materials or within educational resources).

Examples of Targeted Reports from Animal Welfare Organizations

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF)

CIWF publications listed by subject area

In addition to farm animal welfare issues per se, some CIWF reports are targeted to link into other topical issues, such as:

  • Animal health and disease
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Food industry and consumers
  • Human health
  • Policy and economics

The World Animal Protection (WAP)

WAP reports under their issues of focus

In addition to reports on animal welfare issues, WAP has targeted a number of its reports to other relevant issues. For example, in the factory farming section these include:

  • Humane and sustainable farming
  • Case study Enhancing rural livelihoods and nutrition through higher welfare poultry production in IndiaFind out why small-scale, humane chicken rearing in India is better for animals, people and the environment.
  • Why livestock and humane, sustainable agriculture matter at Rio+20 This leaflet outlines why humane and sustainable agriculture must be considered when we look at the future of food and farming. The rearing and use of animals has a major impact on the environment, society and the global economy, so ensuring their welfare can help alleviate poverty and encourage sustainable development.
  • Animals and People First
  • Eating our future - the environmental impact of industrial animal agriculture
  • Industrial Animal Agriculture - part of the poverty problem
  • Industrial Animal Agriculture - the next global health crisis?
  • Practical Alternatives to Industrial Animal Farming in Latin America - Case studies from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica

WAP also produces reports in a number of languages.

Also of interest is the WAP report on:

  • Model Farm Project

This provides practical examples of how farming in developing countries can improve animal welfare. WAP has partnered the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), which runs model farms providing examples of best practice in sustainable agriculture and animal welfare, which can be replicated.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)

The HSUS and the RSPCA both target animal welfare audiences and the animal care communities in their countries, as well as the usual advocacy/campaigns audiences. They give out advice on practical animal welfare issues, based on best practice. This is useful and practical targeting given the large number of animal welfare organizations in their countries.


Also guidance and advice – for both education and the animal care community


The science group – authoritative science-based reports
All about animals, including animal care
Reports are produced by each of their animal issue teams (companion animals, research animals, wildlife, farm animals)
International Reports

The above include the following:

  • Identification methods for cats and dogs (WAP)
  • Methods of euthanasia for cats and dogs (WAP)
  • Shelter design and management guidelines (RSPCA 2006)
  • Shelter design and management guidelines - Spanish (RSPCA 2006)
  • Operational guidance for dog control staff (RSPCA 2009)
  • The Welfare Basis for Euthanasia of Dogs and Cats and Policy Development (ICAM 2011)
  • Population control
  • Humane dog population management (ICAM 2007)



Purpose of a Specific Investigation
Investigation Problems
Investigation Skills
Distribution of Reports/Video

Annex 1 - Shooting Principles and Techniques
Annex 2 - Covert Investigations
Annex 3 - Equipment
Annex 4 - Evidence
Annex 5 - Investigations Template


Investigations are vital to record exactly what is happening in the places where animals are suffering and being abused. Investigations are the ultimate witness to this abuse. They can be used in a variety of way, including media work and consumer awareness and for prosecutions. Many campaigns have been successful through the power of good investigations footage. When shown on television, this can reach millions, and gain support and supporters (including donations).

The main objectives of an investigation are:

  • To document, through video/photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts, precisely how farm animals are treated
  • To uncover evidence that laws & regulations surrounding farm animal welfare are being broken
  • To provide investigative material to fuel campaigns
  • To provide investigative material to be used as evidence to lobby for changes in legislation to improve farm animal welfare

Purpose of a Specific Investigation

Investigations can be costly, time consuming and physically & emotionally draining.

Investigations should only be undertaken if there is a specific aim in using the anticipated results.

Investigations should not stand alone, but be part of a coordinated strategy of the particular animal welfare organization.

The strategy should always be established before any investigation takes place.

Investigation Problems

Many campaigns are now based around investigations, yet the approach (even on some that are successful) is often haphazard and casual. Investigations must be an integral part of strategic and operational planning.

Remember the investigative journalist’s tag ‘The news is something that somebody doesn't want you to know’ in planning your investigation.

Each investigation has to be taken as an opportunity not to be squandered. Once you have visited, your cover is blown, and you may not have a second opportunity.

The biggest problems in investigations are caused by poor planning and lack of experience.

Investigation Skills

A good investigation requires a variety of skills:

  • Understanding of how the investigation fits into overall campaign strategy
  • Filming and photography
  • Interrogation/questioning
  • Compilation and assessment of data
  • Understanding protocols for record keeping
  • Familiarity and understanding of subject
  • Knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation
  • Flexibility and clear headedness

An individual is unlikely to possess all of these skills, so training and development will be necessary.


If your organization does not have investigations expertise, consider employing a professional investigation organization. ‘Tracks Investigations’ (link below) includes experienced animal protection investigators. They can either carry out investigations for you, or train your staff.


Thorough research is vital before an investigation. There is more on this above. The below are of particular importance:

  • Animal welfare Legislation
    You need to obtain all relevant legislation and codes/rules. The basic premise of any investigation is that: animal protection legislation is not working, or if there isn't any legislation, you should be calling for some!
  • Identify possible problems for animal welfare.
    Armed with all the information, identify specific problems for animal welfare associated with the investigation


Take legislation and key documents on the investigation, if possible.


Once you have established why you want to investigate, and what you want to investigate, you need to start to plan an investigation.

Elements of good planning include:

  • Control center for investigation
  • Timescale for investigation
  • Budget for investigation
  • Personnel for investigation
  • Administration for investigation
  • Lists and locations that need investigating
  • Route and transportation
  • Equipment required for investigation
  • How to investigate - the tricky part!

How to investigate

Every investigation is unique but the following are key considerations for investigations:

  • Cover Stories
    - If needed. Can include tourist, agricultural student, arts student, photography student, agricultural journalist etc. Become familiar with your new persona & practice beforehand.
  • Shooting Principles and Techniques (see Annex 1 below)
  • Open or Covert filming? (see Annex 2 below)
  • Equipment (See Annex 3 below)
  • Evidence (See Annex 4 below)
  • Use an Investigations Template (See Annex 5 below)
  • Quality - if you have obtained the opportunity to film openly it is a tragic waste to spoil your ingenuity by relaxing and taking poor quality results. See Annex 1 below for advice on shooting principles and techniques.

It is all to easy to get caught up in the emotion of what you are filming, so again practice as much as possible beforehand with the camera you will be using. A good tip is to watch the news programs on TV to see how programs are made up from sequences of different shots. At the end of the day, you might shoot hours of useless film that you have to watch! Never talk to the media or friends about how you conducted undercover investigations, or the equipment you used.

Distribution of Reports/Video

Use and distribute the material gained as part of your overall strategy. Video footage can be used as follows:

  • Supplied to local, national and international media
  • Used for videos, photographs, publications, news or magazine articles etc.
  • Supplied to other animal welfare advocacy organizations to spread the campaign


Annex 1: Shooting Principles and Techniques

The following shooting principles and techniques are a simple, but effective guide to the main features of successful investigations:

  • Buy/borrow the best available camera/video
  • Be familiar with the controls of the camera (and know its limitations)
  • Write and memorize a ‘Shot List’ of shots and sequences you require
  • Use the automatic settings until you are confident to use the manual overrides (this can take months/years of practice)
  • Never set the date option on the video
  • Keep the camera steady - golden rule
  • Try each shot as a wide shot, then mid, then close up
  • Each shot should be held for at least 20 seconds (This is difficult.)
  • Try not to zoom in/out - It makes for uneasy viewing
  • Try not to pan/tilt unless you have a tripod
  • Try not to talk over your footage unless absolutely necessary
  • Understand and use lighting
  • Use video lights/ high powered torch in dark conditions
  • Don’t forget flash
  • Keep yourself focused. It's difficult, but essential
  • Use good/appropriate film
  • Simple filming is good
  • Be calm; take your time. More is better than less
  • Review and index photos and tapes

Annex 2: Covert Investigations

Covert Systems

Covert investigations follow the same principles as other cameras, but they can be much more difficult! In particular, remember:

  • Covert cameras are prone to malfunction
  • If you must use a covert camera, practice as much as possible beforehand
  • Practice is more important because you are not looking through the viewfinder
  • Lens is the size of a pinhead, so light more critical
  • These cameras are very wide angle with lot of depth of field, so get close
  • Check camera position
  • Don’t be lazy and only use covert system
  • Do not show off your camera

Undercover Procedures

  • Live your cover and stick to cover story
  • Identity card required?
  • Have structure to questions for building picture
  • Who are you talking to - weigh credibility/knowledge
  • Always cross check evidence
  • Don't believe hearsay - but test it
  • Don't gossip
  • Make notes as tables
  • Keep a diary
  • Remember rules of evidence
  • Surveillance
  • Keep eyes and ears open
  • Don't take short cuts
  • Safety should come first
  • Don’t forget to check privacy and data protection legislation

Annex 3: Equipment

Just some suggestions to consider:

  • Maps (road/track)
  • Notebook(s)
  • Watch(s) with date
  • Pens/pencils
  • Plug adapter, if another country
  • Tape recorder
  • Spare tapes
  • Binocular, compass, camping equipment for rural investigations
  • High powered torch
  • Photo or video camera, with necessary attachments/chargers etc. (Could be using hidden video, long range video, or even video cameras that see in the dark)

Don't forget to check all equipment!

Annex 4: Evidence

Documenting evidence

  • Record all relevant details including dates and times, detailed descriptions etc.
  • Reports should be authoritative and comprehensive
  • Have shorter more accessible leaflets too, if public campaign
  • Videos for media – broadcast quality, short (max 12 minutes), double sound track (first cut footage back to max 2 hours, and then review with colleagues)

Assessing evidence

  • Expect the person to deny everything
  • What does your evidence actually prove
  • Don't release material until you have proved your point
  • Don't simply release material just because you have it
  • If investigation unsuccessful, consider repeating
  • How best can evidence be used to change the situation for animals: negotiation, prosecution, lobbying, campaigning/media?

Annex 5: Investigations Template

Rationale for Investigations Template

  • To develop innovative approaches to providing quality investigations.
  • To ensure that investigative material reaches as wide an audience as possible.
  • To ensure that the Investigations Unit operates in accordance with advocacy strategy.
  • To review and clarify the needs of investigative material by the organization.
  • To optimize the resources of the Investigations Unit.


Project Title                                                                                              
Overall Objective  
UK Objective  
European Objective  
Relevant Reports/Briefings  
Other Background Information  
Relevant Legislation  
Possible Problems for Animal Welfare  
Images/Information Desired (Including Format)  

Methods of Investigation

Timescale for Investigation  
Media Collaborations  
Investigative Partners  
Planned End Use of Investigation Material  
Timetable for Release  
Investigators Diaries  
How to Be Used by:  
Language Versions Required  

People and Organizations


Policymakers, Power and Influence

Policymakers, Power and Influence

People and organizations are at the heart of policy-making. To succeed in influencing policy, it is necessary to understand them and their motivations, and the way in which power and influence work. Successful advocacy involves building and maintaining relationships that enable you to influence policy-making in favor of your issue.

The first step is to identify which institutions and individuals are involved in decision-making. This will include all stakeholders associated with the desired policy change, for example:

  • Decision-makers (major powerful players - include international, regional, national as well as local, where relevant)
  • Advisors to decision-makers
  • Influencers
  • Beneficiaries/the disadvantaged affected
  • Allies and supporters
  • 'Other players' (other actors in the same field)
  • Opponents
  • Undecided on the issue (or 'swing voters'

Next, research and analysis is needed to uncover:

  • Relationships and tensions between the players
  • Their agendas and constraints
  • Their motivations and interests
  • What their priorities are - rational, emotional, and personal

Advocacy Tools

Tool 5. Decision and Influence Mapping
This tool helps to map and analyze decision-makers and their sources of influence.
Tool 6. Allies and Opponents Matrix
This tool is a matrix that can be used to categorize the allies and opponents of your advocacy issue.
Tool 7. Other Player Analysis
This tool is a matrix that can be used to consider other organizations working in your field, and the nature of your relationship with them on your advocacy issue.
Tool 8. PowerMapping - Venn Diagram
A tool that can help to map major stakeholders involved in policy systems, and the relationship between them.

Once you know and understand policy-makers and the way they think, you are better able to judge the channel and tone needed to reach them. They will also assist to identify the best targets (and indirect targets) for your advocacy work.


Keep a database of organizations and people, and update as new information is received. Remember to include personal information, as well as organizational. This is invaluable in building relationships.


Power is a measure of a person’s ability to control the environment around them, including the behavior of other people. In historical terms, it has been monopolized by the few, enabling vested interests to succeed. Much of civil society works to reverse this pattern and bring previously excluded groups and causes into arenas of decision-making, while at the same time transforming how power is understood and used.

An understanding of how power operates is vital to successful advocacy. This includes the power sources of the organizations and individuals involved in policy-making and the roles, relationships and balance of power amongst these. You should also analyze your own power sources, and plan how to use and develop these.

Charles Handy, in ‘Understanding Organisations’ (1976) said that if you want to change anything, you need first of all to think about your source of power.

The main sources of power have been categorized (after social psychologists French and Raven) as follows:

  • Legitimate Poweris the formal authority that derives from a position (in an organization) and/or title.
  • Reward Poweris based on the capacity to provide things that others desire (such as pay increases, recognition, interesting job assignments and promotions).
  • Coercive Powercould be considered the flip side of Reward Power. This power is based on your capacity and willingness to produce punishments or unpleasant conditions (such as criticism, poor performance appraisals, reprimands, undesirable work assignments, or dismissal).
  • Connection Poweris the power you derive from relationships with other influential, important or competent people (your network).
  • Expert Power is based on your skill, knowledge, accomplishments or reputation.
  • Charismatic Power (or 'Referent Power')is based on the personal feelings of attraction, or admiration, that others have for you – often derived from charisma.
  • Information Poweris based on you having access to information that others do not have, or do not know about, and which they believe is important. [This power base was added subsequent later.]

It is not always easy to assess sources of power, as these are often complex and hidden. But their impact is pervasive, and they have a great impact upon influence and negotiations.

The use of power from different bases has different consequences. In general, the more legitimate the coercion is, the less resistance and attention it will produce. As advocates and researchers, you may find expert power or information power very powerful. Even those with strong power based upon position and resources do not want to be seen as lacking in information and knowledge! Lobbyists will also find charismatic power useful, through building personal relationships and loyalty. Connection power and legitimate power can be derived through networks and other contacts. Whilst reward and coercive power seem less likely, these can be used when considered necessary e.g. through giving positive media coverage or PR to a beneficial policy change (or the converse, which is bad press for policy failures).

It is useful for advocates to be aware of the different types of power that they, their advocacy allies, targets and opponents have, so they can use this knowledge to inform decisions about the best approaches to adopt and ways in which to develop their own power bases.


Most organizations have limited resources available for undertaking advocacy work, so it is important to focus advocacy efforts on the individuals, groups or organizations that have the greatest capacity to take action to introduce the desired policy change. These are called 'advocacy targets'. Once we have a clear picture of the decision-making system, we will be able to identify our advocacy targets.

Often, the most obvious advocacy target is not accessible or sympathetic. This means it is necessary to work through others to reach them. This involves working with ‘those who can influence those with influence’ and who have sympathetic views, rather than targeting the decision-maker directly. These are sometimes called 'indirect targets.

This means that in addition to determining targets, you need to assess the most effective ways in which to influence them. This involves research into the position and motivations of each actor, and their sources of advice and influence, in order to decide on the best channels for reaching them on your issue. This approach is known as ‘influence mapping’.


Never underestimate the influence of donors and researchers in the policy-making process. Money talks!
Research provides the ultimate information power.

The more information you have about the actors that may influence and affect policy change, the easier it is to devise an effective advocacy strategy.

The following is an example that shows some possible indirect targets that could help to influence a minister.

These indirect targets can also be lobbied in a way that encourages them to lobby other indirect targets (thus making the approach more acceptable to the President (e.g. a NGO lobbies a ‘think tank’ to make approaches to the Permanent Secretary or Special Advisor, who then approaches the President. Or a friend or family member of the President approaches his wife, who then tackles the issue with her husband).

Advocacy Tool

Tool 5. Decision and Influence Mapping
The map tool for mapping and analyze decision-makers and their sources of influence.

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