What is it?

Movement Monitor is a two year project that will develop a comprehensive movement measurement methodology and apply it to the Australian climate movement. The project is run by researchers at the Commons Library with input from academics, international movement experts, and many stakeholders in the Australian climate movement. The project builds on the Australian Climate Movement Map survey undertaken by the Sunrise Project with input from the Commons Library in 2022.

Movement Monitor is made possible by funding from the Sunrise Project and Boundless Earth. The project is coordinated by Holly Hammond (Commons Library Director) with Dr Robyn Gulliver (Research Lead) and Sophie Hartley (Researcher).

Findings from the project will help identify movement wide interventions that have the potential to increase movement capacity, coordination and effectiveness. The mapping process will involve an extensive data collecting exercise and analysis process to help the movement maximise strengths and resources, minimise duplication, and identify gaps for groups, funders and supporters to address. The team is currently seeking feedback on our proposed methodology, which is outlined below.

Download the Movement Monitor Methodology Overview including Appendix: Further Detail on Movement Monitor Research Activities.

What are we measuring and how will we measure it?

The project aims to gather and analyse a diverse range of data to provide an annual snap-shot of climate movement impact. Impact will be measured against a number of defined indicators of movement capacity and power. These indicators will draw on past research into social movements as well as the identified priorities of stakeholders in the Australian climate movement. The indicators will allow for easy comparison over time, identifying areas of progress, decline or stagnation.

Movement Monitor will measure:

  • The size of the movement, measured through
    • Groups and individuals emerging and subsiding over time
    • Number of members and supporters
  • The focus and activities of the movement, including:
    • Issues focused on by each group
    • Tactics used by each group
  • The diversity of the movement, specifically
    • Constituencies involved in each group (cultural and geographic)
    • Lived experience of people of non-dominant identities in the movement and barriers to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion
    • Engagement of diverse sectors in the movement
  • Strategic alignment and connectivity between groups, specifically
    • Group and campaign networks
    • Networks between groups and external sectors
  • Means and capacity to mobilise and engage numbers of people in strategic action, specifically
    • Financial resources available to groups
    • Number of staff and volunteers in each group
    • Skills and roles within the climate movement
    • Formal structures of groups
    • Communication platforms used by groups (websites, social media pages)
    • Access to power (eg media mentions, references made by politicians to specific groups, campaigns or tactics)
  • Narrative power and levels of passive support, including ability to shift the story, beliefs and assumptions, examined through
    • Longitudinal media analysis
    • Polling data
    • Supporter sentiment (where data is available)
  • Outcomes of movement activities, including
    • Electoral outcomes
    • Policy outcomes
    • Positions of political parties
    • Behaviour of corporate targets
    • Recruitment of high profile allies and supporters

Where will we gather our data?

Our novel approach will collect data from a variety of sources, including websites, social media pages, media databases, publicly available annual reports, Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission reporting, polling data, survey responses and interviews/focus groups. Outcomes of movement activities will be measured through analysis of Hansard, local, state and commonwealth legislation, political party platforms including positions adopted at national conferences, media releases, and shareholder AGM motions.

For more information see theĀ Appendix: Further Detail on Movement Monitor Research Activities.

What will we produce?

The primary output of the Movement Monitor is an annual impact scorecard. We aim to maintain consistency in the impact measures used, in order to track change over time. In addition to the impact scorecard, the following outputs will be developed:

  • The Movement Monitor website with an interactive map of groups and campaigns, a campaign depository, and a searchable campaign database
  • An open source methodology and academic paper outlining the movement monitoring methodology and how it can be applied to other movements
  • Articles presenting findings across all components of the project

How can you be involved?

At this stage of the project we are seeking feedback on the proposed methodology. You can email your feedback to holly AT commonslibrary.org. If you would like to provide feedback via an online meeting or phone call let us know. You may wish to provide feedback in relation to:

  • What we are measuring
  • How we are measuring it
  • Data sources
  • The key questions you would like the research to answer, to inform your work in the Australian climate movement

If you have access to data that may be useful to this project please get in touch.

A survey of organisations in the Australian climate movement will be launched early in 2024. We appreciate your support in promoting the survey and ensuring it is completed by as many organisations as possible.