There are many local campaigns for achieving some socially desirable object — such as stopping the planned closure of a bank branch, preventing the running down of rail services, preventing the building of a giant incinerator, many other issues involving planning; and many positive ones as well . Despite strong support, most of these campaigns do not succeed. Analysis shows that the most common reason is a piecemeal approach lacking a solid, underpinning foundation. Think of the Roman phalanx!
The requested funding will provide for the basic essentials to allow campaigns to access the service — a website and dedicated phone number — and enable at least one campaign to be fully supported until completion. It is assumed that once the initial funding is exhausted, further activity will be funded separately by each campaign that is taken up (possibly by specific crowdfunding actions).
Here's how it will work. The campaign leader will apply for support with a brief description. Only projects that benefit the social fabric will be accepted. Upon acceptance, a NCAO coordinator will be appointed, who will prepare a vision and action plan. A draft version will be agreed with the local campaign, and the plan will then be reinforced by expert input from lawyers, engineers, scientists etc. — whoever is needed. They will be recruited from the NCAO founders' networks and expected to provide high-level advice voluntarily. Complex campaigns may require the gathering and analysis of data, for which a research assistant will be paid (for the number of hours of work carried out). For implementing the action plan, typically multiple channels will be addressed, including Parliament, newspapers, radio and television, public meetings, blogs, social media, the courts and so forth. Implementation might include setting up a dedicated community interest company (CIC) to effectively run the campaign. NCAO funds will be used to cover the expenses of mobilizing these channels.
The success of the NCAO will be measured by the number of campaigns that successfully achieve their goals. The progress of each campaign will be carefully monitored and documented, and posted on the NCAO website. These experiences will be collected and distilled into a manual of best practice.
The NCAO aims to counter the growing perception of a democratic deficit. The consensual wishes of communities about how they want their environment to be and evolve are often ignored by distant but powerful authorities, backed up by inaccessible quangos and turgid reports hundreds of pages long. NCAO will have the muscle to effectively oppose unreasonable decisions forced onto communities, and effectively facilitate their wishes to introduce innovative features.