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DO PETITIONS ACTUALLY WORK?

Can an act as simple as signing your name on a digital platform make a difference? A lot of people go through this dilemma when asked to sign a petition.
Online petitions are often the first step of a longer campaign. Here we explain why signing a petition can make a difference:

SHOULD I SIGN A PETITION?

  1. You are participating in creating a healthy democractic process of feedback loops 
  2. Your signature adds legitimacy to the campaign by showcasing collective people power 
  3. It raises awareness of the issue
  4. It brings the campaign narrative to public attention
  5. The decision maker is made aware of the needs and demands of the community
  6. Petitions often get converted to legal cases which further enable the campaign
  7. It keeps the conversation around the issue going
  8. It brings together people who are interested in the issue

Petitions alone won’t bring change but it is a great first step. It mobilises people and brings them together for a cause. But before you sign a petition, these are some questions to ask:

  1. Who is the organiser? Are they trustworthy?
    Do background checks
    Always check the NGOs/Individuals who have started the petition. You can understand the work they do and the results they have achieved in their previous campaigns.

  2. Who is the petition targeted at?
    We need to understand if the targeted person has a role to play in the petition.

  3. Do they have the power to implement the change?
    It’s important to target the petition towards someone who had the power to make the change. For example: It doesn’t make sense to highlight a garbage burning issue in your city to the Prime Minister of the country. There won’t be any positive result from that.

  4. What are the steps of action?
    Are they ambitious or attainable? Understanding what they want to do with the campaign will also help you to understand what your signature is contributing to. It also gives you the option of volunteering further for the cause.

  5. What kind of data is the platform storing?
    It’s important that they respect your privacy and have a strong privacy policy in place.

If you find clear answers to all of these questions, the petition is probably trustworthy. So, we hope that we have convinced you to take that 10 seconds to sign the petition! 

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