Opposition is Not a Single Issue — Our Forensic Course Outline

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Reading the latest issue of Nonprofit Quarterly, I found the following in an interview with maternal rights activists, “We often raise up Audre Lorde’s words, “There’s no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”1

Audre Lorde, “Learning from the 60s,” in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press, 1984), 134–44.

Our contacts tell us a similar story. We can’t have a campaign about polling centre threats at election time if we are not also talking about the need to organize between elections, to have media coverage daily in the legislature, and raise funds. The Opposition faces a full spectrum of challenges. Opposition International needs to be organizing in that way and raising the multitudes of issues effective accountability and competitive politics. That strategy reflects how people on the ground think when they have a chance to reflect. That’s what brings them out to organize, donate, and communicate in the community.

As a guide, here is our proposed course outline for instruction on forensic opposition. Feel free to add or comment.

Forensic Opposition in an International Context

 

Course Outline

 

Forensic opposition (FO) is the application of political and other research tools to unearth opportunities for the opposition to craft either new alternative policies or deliver open challenges to the government on its principles and policies.  FO enables the opposition to take a deep dive into the details of government activities and requires the ability to dig into every corner of the government to present information to those directly responsible for challenging the government.  FO tools of the trade are:  1.  Researchers capable of understanding the government and its activities at every level; 2. Mechanisms that enhance public transparency, such as legislative procedures and freedom of information laws; 3. Open data policies within and external to the government; 4. Transparency in financial markets and public entities; 5. International sources of information; and 6. An ability to adopt technology to enhance FO activities, including analytics tools to identify and pursue public policy issues that are not currently under discussion.

 

Learning Outcomes

By completion of this course, students will be able to:

• Recognize the roles, processes, techniques, and technology in an opposition role 

• Describe the main components of successful opposition to government

• Explain the role of forensics and competitive intelligence in a successful opposition strategy

• Apply new tools and technologies in opposition

 

1.  Researchers capable of understanding the government and its activities at every level; 

 

Chief of Staff

Senior Policy Advisor

Policy analyst

Senior researcher

Opposition researcher

Technology and networking analyst

Internships

 

Types of Political Opposition Research

 

Policy Development

Opposition Research

Issues-based Research 

Application of forensics

Political Polling

 

2. Mechanisms that enhance public transparency, such as legislative procedures and freedom of information laws; 

 

Freedom of Information legislation

Freedom of Information roles, processes, techniques and technology

FOI cases

 

3. Open data policies within and external to the government; 

 

Open data legislation and policies

Open data roles, processes, techniques and technology

Open data cases

 

4. Transparency in financial markets and public entities; 

 

Financial market legislation and policies

Financial market roles, processes, techniques and technology

International financial organizations and markets

 

5. International sources of information;  

 

The United Nations

UN Organizations

G20 and G8

Non-governmental organizations

European Union

North America

Indo-Pacific

 

6. An ability to adopt technology to enhance FO activities, including analytics tools to identify and pursue public policy issues that are not currently under discussion.

 

Types of Opposition Data:  quotes, policies, financial, information requests, questions, answers, legislative reviews, briefing notes, research papers, election, demographics

 

Gartner Quadrant in Business Intelligence

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