Financial Transaction Tax campaign: Evaluation report | Oxfam | Evaluation

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The Financial Transaction Tax (Robin Hood Tax campaign) is a series of loosely coordinated national campaigns aiming at a small tax on financial transactions, with some of the proceeds spent on development. First launched in the UK in February 2010, by mid-2012 the campaign has spread to a number of countries in both Europe and around the world. Oxfam’s contribution to the campaign involved leading or participating in coalitions in some countries, providing resources (such as communications materials) in others, and coordination of global projects and products, and during global moments. Unusually for an Oxfam campaign, it did not have one global strategy, but rather involved different coalition structures, brands and even policy asks in different locations. This evaluation was conducted by a team of external consultants between Jan-June 2012. It involved 87 telephone interviews with internal and external stakeholders, a review of materials and monitoring information and an online survey of over 500 Oxfam GB campaign supporters. Policymakers and advisors at national and European level were some of the 21 external stakeholders from 9 countries interviewed by the evaluation team. The evaluation involved interviews with representatives from 17 countries, but focused in particular on France, Germany and the UK. The evaluation took place during a “live” campaign, and capitalized on opportunities for the team to benefit from campaign findings in real time.
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  Financial Transaction Tax campaign Interim evaluation report (revised) July 2012  Newton Hall NewtonCambridge CB22 7ZETel:(01223) 871551Fax:(01223) 871303cpc@campolco.co.uk   i CONTENTS Executive summary.........................................................................................................ii1.Introduction..........................................................................................................12.Background to the campaign...............................................................................5 2.1.The Financial Transaction Tax campaign52.2.National FTT strategies and approaches8 3.Impacts and achievements.................................................................................21 3.1.Influencing policy-making213.2.Influencing public opinion/the media29 4.Added value of oxfam.......................................................................................42 4.1.Added value of Oxfam in national coalitions424.2.Added value Oxfam GB/Oxfam International464.3.Value for money51 5.Lessons learnt....................................................................................................54 5.1.What works -mobilisation545.2.What works –advocacy585.3.What works –partnership working64 6.Conclusions and recommendations...................................................................67Annex A Timeline of the FTT campaign.....................................................................72Annex B Poll evidence: FTT awareness/support..........................................................77Annex C Benchmarking tables.....................................................................................78Annex D Additional social media monitoring data.....................................................80Annex E Analysis of June 2012 survey responses.......................................................82  ii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  Introduction 1.This report presents an evaluation of Oxfam’s FinancialTransaction Tax (FTT) campaign. The evaluation was commissioned by Oxfam Great Britain and aimed to assess the impact and effectiveness of the campaign to date, with a view to offering lessons for the future direction of the campaign. The research methodology included  telephone interviews with 87 Oxfam staff,  campaign partners and external stakeholders; a review of relevant  background materials and an online survey of Robin Hood Tax UK  supporters(552 responses) .  Background to the Financial Transaction Tax campaign 2.TheFTTcampaign, as the namesuggests, campaigns for the introduction of asmall levy on financial transactions that would raise funds for international development, climate change work and tackling domestic poverty and social injustice. The FTT campaign is (loosely) coordinated by Oxfam Great Britain and Oxfam International, but Oxfam affiliates and national FTT  coalitions set their own campaign objectives, strategies and priorities, linked  to different national contexts . For example: Policy objectives varied: French campaigners advocated for 100% of the tax  proceeds to go to development; in the UK the coalition opted for a split 50% for domestic issues and 50% for development and climate change; Many countries usedthe Robin Hood Tax branding developed by Oxfam Great Britain; some opted not to do so;The national contexts for the campaign varied considerably: several countries had a long history of FTT (or Tobin tax) coalitions;a number of countries had already introduced legislation in support of the tax; and the  political context varied between countries and over time as a result of election cycles and changes in Government.  Impacts and achievements 3.There was a strong undercurrent of interest in the introduction of an FTT  prior to the launch of the FTT campaignand stakeholders and  policy-makers  consistently and systematically fed back to the evaluation team that it is this  broader underlying interest in taxation and regulation of the financial   Executive summary iii  sector, linked to the financial and fiscal crisis, that put and has kept the  FTT firmly on the political agenda –rather than the FTT campaign as  such . Stakeholders also referred to the political dynamics of having France (and later Germany) in favour of the FTT and credited the pressure by the European Parliament. 4.That being said, there is clear evidence of the FTT campaign impacting on the  policy-making process: Officials in the French Government, one of the main champions of the FTT, explicitly acknowledged that the  FTT campaign had been a central  component in achieving movement on the FTT in France ; The overall impression is that the  campaign has helped bring the FTT to  the attention of the public and that, indirectly, this facilitated the policy-making process. Evidence supporting this impression includes (i) the systematic and consistent feedback from interviewees that they feel public awareness has increased; (ii) anexponential increase in online media coverage for the FTT as recorded by Google News;and (iii) the fact that (British) Robin Hood Tax supporters feel more informed and, for 17% of them, more supportive of the FTT as a result of the campaign; The FTT campaign’s own materials donot appear to have directlyswayed  people, but the nod of approval from other stakeholders (such as the Gates Foundation and the IMF) appear to have people sit up and notice and the  FTT campaign has directly contributed to this by actively advertising and  promoting thisapproval  ;Several Oxfam affiliates can point to convincing in-house evidence suggesting that their  activities directly influenced parliamentary interventions and motions in their countries . 5.Although difficult to draw firm conclusions, the overall impression is that the  campaign reach (600,000signatoriesto FTT petitions ) was average to strong for a campaign of this scale but parts of the campaign clearly punched above their weight, in particular the  Banker 1 video featuring British actor  Bill Nighy which secured 650,000 YouTube viewings . Germany stands out from otherFTT countries in terms of the FTT petition signatories it secured.  Added value of Oxfam 6.Campaign partners overall reactedvery positively to the role played by Oxfamin national FTT coalitions. The areas of added value quoted most often were Oxfam’s experience in popular mobilisation, the  strength of Oxfam’s media expertise, specifically social media, and the organisation’s
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