Case Studies

Bearing Witness

Christian Aid

Learn how Christian Aid view development work; how they articulate the deep links between issues; and how they maintain an engaged relationship with their membership.

Hidden Gardens flowers

The John Muir Award

Learn about what it takes to work successfully in partnership and how experiences in the natural world can impact pro-environmental actions.

FOE Merthyr work

Friends of the Earth

Learn how staff at Friends of the Earth have been able to put the organisation’s values into practice by bringing equality and diversity more strongly into its organisational strategy.

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Streets Alive

Learn how Street Wise have reframed campaigning by radically empowering street party organisers and working with the assumption of intrinsic values.


Fairtrade Foundation

Learn how the Fairtrade Foundation has listened to what its campaign network wants and how it has structured its governance so that it better represents the grassroots activists.

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Eden Project

Learn how a place-based organisation gives transformational experiences, measures impact and shares stories of meaning to engage intrinsic values.


People United

Learn how a small charity in Kent is promoting the value of kindness in schools and communities and measuring impact along the way. This is an audio case study – download the podcast and enjoy!

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Amnesty International UK

Learn how Amnesty’s network of volunteer trainers are spreading best-practice throughout the grassroots network, and how the head office team and volunteers collaborate successfully.

Sewing Machine

Waste Watch

Learn how Waste Watch has redefined their work to start crossing sectoral-boundaries, encouraging self-direction from the communities they works with, and develiped a framework that enables them to measure the impact their work has beyond the number of glass bottles that have been recycled.


The Otesha Project

How a small sustainability education charity has moved to a flat hierarchy – sharing responsibility, building resilience, and putting into practice their organisational values. What have they learned? What does this mean for us as change-makers?

Original Common Cause Case Studies

Below we outline a number of recent episodes that exemplify how – from the environment to social justice to gay rights – choices about values and frames can often underlie major public policy and campaign decisions.


The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change

The Stern Review (Stern, 2007) represents a contribution to the climate change debate that undeniably helped to create political traction. However, this traction was achieved, in part, through reliance upon elements of unhelpful deep frames. How might civil society organisations…


Instrumentalism in countryside protection

Changes in UK planning policy over the course of the last few decades have highlighted the limitations of basing arguments for conservation on the coincidenceof conservation concerns with other, more instrumental policy priorities. This case study presents an example of…


Advertising and bigger-than-self problems

This case study presents a possible campaign for a change that could have generic benefits in promoting concern about a range of bigger-than-self problems– for example, environmental challenges, development challenges and inequalities– at a ‘cognitive’ level. There is not space…

policy feedback planning

Policy feedback in UK land use planning policy

This case study explores some of the possible ways in which UK land use planning policy may have helped to strengthen the common-interest frame among UK citizens, with implications extending beyond public attitudes towards planning issues. Although untested empirically, it…

gay rights

Trade-offs in the gay rights movement

This case study explores the strategies deployed by the gay rights movement in the course of campaigning for same-sex marriage – and in particular, the position that gay rights organisations have taken on whether sexual orientation is biologically determined. Accepting…


The Jubilee 2000 debt campaign

The Jubilee 2000 campaign serves to underscore the importance of how a campaign is framed. This example illustrates the possible costs of failing to deploy frames that could have come to underpin widespread support for systemic approaches to tackling debt.…