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Setting the campaign goal

Last edited: January 03, 2012

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The campaign goal, aim or purpose states what needs to change, and to what extent, in order to solve the problem addressed by the campaign. Ideally, the goal should fit into a single, short sentence and be designed in a way that can be fully understood by all participants in the campaign. Goals should be specific, engaging and reasonably realistic.

Some campaigns state broad, distant goals, such as “to end all forms of VAW”. While it may be useful to formulate such a vision, the vision should not be conflated with the campaign goal. Choosing a goal that can realistically be achieved within the lifetime of the campaign makes it easier to design the strategy that is most likely to attain that aim. Attaining a realistic campaign goal can be an enormous boost to the campaigners’ morale; publicizing such success sends a powerful signal to the audience that change is possible.


Bear in mind: Whatever the goal, the campaign strategy should be guided by solid research, and its implementation accompanied by regular monitoring and evaluation. The broader the campaign goal, the more resources are needed to research for, plan and implement an effective strategy. In setting a campaign goal, it can be useful to develop a theory of change, which illustrates how the goal interacts with assumptions, strategies, different actors and desired results of the campaign. Theories of change can be helpful in determining how realistic goals are, and how best to then develop an appropriate campaign strategy to achieve them.



Examples for clear campaign goals include:

The goal of Disarm Domestic Violence, a world-wide campaign launched in 2009 by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), is to ensure that anyone who has had a history of domestic abuse are denied access to a firearm, or have their gun license revoked. Research in the USA has shown that a gun in the home increases the overall risk of someone in the household being murdered by 41%. For women, however, the risk of death is tripled. The list of countries involved in the campaign is available on the campaign website.  

The Campaign for Non-sexist advertising, launched by the Colectivo Fem-TV in Peru, aims to ensure that advertisements can be creative and exciting without violating human rights and especially women’s rights. The campaign awards the Premio Fem-TV (Fem-TV prize) to the advertisement that best expresses the advancement of women in society and equitable gender relations between women and men; and the Anti-premio Sapo-TV (anti-prize) for the most sexist advertisement.