Tracking the impact of the Lobbying Act

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The Sheila McKechnie Foundation, with the Directory of Social Change, is seeking to update the evidence about the impact of the Lobbying Act on campaigning.

Part Two of the Lobbying Act regulates the activity and spending of campaigners in the run up to elections. It also defines the circumstances in which they must register with the Electoral Commission and report spending.

The Foundation says, "What we can all agree on is that the Act has contributed to a ‘chilling effect’ in the sector.  What is less clear, though, is the difference the Act has actually made on the ground. Has the Lobbying Act made everyone tremble but not actually stopped anyone doing anything? Or is it affecting the way campaigning organisations think and behave?

"It’s been discussed incessantly, but the Act is only a few years old. Our understanding is changing over time. We want to make sure that the most up to date evidence is available to civil society, government and regulators."

The Foundation has already conducted telephone interviews and a focus group. Now, based on those conversations, it has launched an online survey in partnership with the Directory of Social Change.

"If you work in the charity and voluntary sector, and regard yourself as being involved in campaigning aimed at national or local governments in the UK, this survey is for you. "

The survey is completely anonymous – no answers will be attributed to individuals or organisations. The results will feed into a final report. This will be shared widely and used to drive discussions with stakeholders, including the Government.

* The survey should take about 15-20 minutes. It closes on 30 April 2018, and is available here

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