Creating Technology for Social Change

Question Campaign: A Case Study

In my last post, I decided that for my final Civic Media project, I would write a case study about the 21 Days Question Campaign on Domestic Violence recently launched by the City of Cambridge. The purpose of this case-study is two-fold: 1) to demonstrate how a question campaign can effectively engage diverse community members around a single cause and 2) to understand why this sort of campaign is especially useful in creating public awareness around and fighting domestic violence.

Below is an outline the case study will follow:

I. Introduction: I will introduce Engage the Power, other partners, and the Question Campaign model, and present the research questions:
a. How did the City of Cambridge use the question campaign model to start a campaign against domestic violence?
b. What did organizers of the campaign learn from the process?
c. What do Cambridge residents and community members who participated in the campaign expect from the submission of their questions?

II. Literature Review: I will discuss other examples of large-scale campaigns around domestic violence and explain the pros and cons of different methodologies.

III. Overview of 21 Days of Questions, 365 Days of Action: I will provide a narrative of Cambridge’s campaign, describe the major players and partners and history of the effort, as well as how it has unfolded at community events and on the Internet.

IV. Research Findings: In order to answer the above questions, I will conduct interviews with city officials, organizations working to fight domestic violence and aid victims in Cambridge, as well as other members of the movement. I will also interview community members who submit a question. I will monitor the site where questions are collected and take notes on updates and trends. I attended the launch of this campaign and will continue to attend community events where different individuals will be collecting questions about domestic violence from the general public. I will observe how questions are collected and who participates in submitting them. In this section of the case study, I will summarize, synthesize, and analyze all these findings.

V. Conclusion: I will describe the successes and challenges of the 21 days campaign and suggest how the City can continue to use this method to effectively engage citizens on different causes. I will also discuss how domestic violence movement can continue to use this methodology and what sorts of improvements are needed.