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.


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).


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.


Documenting Our Lives (2012) We, community members and organizers, are experts of our own communities. We are at the forefront of what is happening in our workplaces, neighborhoods and homes, and are in the best position to articulate the problems and provide the necessary meaningful solutions. By decolonizing research, we are putting research into our hands and reclaiming community knowledge to build grassroots power, self-determination and liberation.

Researching Corporations (2010) 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.
Researching Individuals (2010) 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.
Conducting Interviews (2010) This toolkit provides an overview of an interview project. It focuses on participatory research; research done for and by individuals in the community. Interviews by community members allow us to document what is going on in our community, learn more about ourselves and give voice to individuals who are often denied presence and visibility in our society.
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.
Getting Public Records (2003) 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.


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.