Research Tools:

The Campaign Research Toolkit is a how-to guide for grassroots organizations conducting community-driven campaign research. It’s the product of over ten years of experience working with grassroots organizations to develop strategic and effective campaigns for change. The toolkit contains user-friendly activities, worksheets, and case-study discussions that demystify the process of campaign research for organizations and their membership. [Read more]

Our Voices, Our Land: A Guide to Community Based Strategies for Mapping Indigenous Storiesis a toolkit that assists native and tribal communities in using storytelling and mapping for cultural preservation. Many native and tribal communities across the US constantly struggle to protect their land, cultural resources, and sacred sites against development and resource ex­traction. Our Voices, Our Land features guides on how to gather stories and combine them with digitally mapped locations of community assets. It details research planning processes, how to conduct interviews, and how to create maps using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS). [Read more]

Understanding research in the context of an organizing agenda can seem like an overwhelming task. The Campaign Research Countdown Game: Organize, Research, Win! is a game designed to offer a glimpse into the processes, from start to finish, in a community-driven research project. You start as a member of an organization that only has a few members. You’re tasked with growing your membership, planning, and then implementing your own research project. Your goal is to release your findings before a crucial upcoming city council vote. Can you do it?

An Introduction to Research Justice aims to build the capacity of grassroots organizers and community members and better equip marginalized communities to reclaim, own, and wield all forms of knowledge and information. With strategic support, the knowledge and information generated by these communities can be used as political leverage to advance their own agendas for change.The toolkit effectively:

  •  Explores the theory of Research Justice – a strategic framework that seeks to transform structural inequities in knowledge production
  •  Advances community-driven research as a powerful tool to build grassroots power
  •  Helps participants choose which research methods will prove most effective for their campaigns and organizing objectives
  •  Employs popular-education techniques to encourage leadership development

The Knowledge Factory is an interactive tool that demonstrates how organizers and community members can think strategically about information. It’s been a signature tool in our Research Justice workshops – one that we’ve been developing and refining for over five years. It’s helped countless community members and organizers think critically about information flow and how knowledge is valued differently based on the source of information. The Knowledge Factory video is a tool that we think all social justice advocates will find useful, so be sure to check it out along with all the other great videos on our YouTube channel:

A participatory research toolkit on how to do community surveys to support social justice campaigns. It includes information on all stages of the survey process—from deciding to do a survey to analyzing the information you gather. The toolkit is also available in Spanish.
Overview on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and public records laws that can be used to obtain information from federal, state and local agencies. Guide to web sites that show how to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and public records requests.
Target research guide, includes how to put together a corporate profile, sample research questions, information sources on the Web, pointers to which government agencies have what corporate information and how to go about getting it. Includes sections on how to investigate a corporation’s labor and environmental records, as well as their political influence.
Target research guide, provides an overview of information that is available about a wide range of individuals, and a list of information sources for each type of information. Web resources are linked.
There is a lot of information out in the world that is public, but that is held by government offices on the federal, state or city level. These entities don’t always make the information readily available on their website and so we need to request the information by using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Issue-Based Research Toolkits:

Air pollution research guide. Includes overview on types of air pollution and what data is collected. Describes major air pollution information sources – non-governmental databases, governmental databases, and compliance and enforcement data – with pointers on where to find them, what data they include, and their strengths and weaknesses.
Provides resources for locating community-specific information that reflects the ways corporate-led globalization affects us at the local level, including job loss, health impacts, privatization of public services, migration and militarization.
How to find criminal justice and juvenile justice information and statistics held by state, county and municipal agencies. Topics include police misconduct and funding, prison expansion, incarceration demographics, criminal justice budgets, campaign contributions. A joint project of the DataCenter and Books not Bars.