Writing a good challenge

Every investigation on Help Me Investigate is broken down into a number of small ‘challenges’. This allows different members of an investigation to contribute in different ways – from inviting a friend or adding background information to submitting a Freedom of Information request or analysing the results.

Anyone can set a challenge. The most successful ones tend to be

a) short and simple. Don’t ask people to do too much – break it down into smaller chunks.

b) include a link to a longer tutorial or useful tool. The site’s KnowledgeBase contains a number of tutorials that are related directly to typical challenges; while there are a number of online tools on sites like MySociety that you can link to.

Typical challenge questions

Use the following list to help:

  • Blog about this issue
  • Write the story so far
  • Add some background information
  • Invite a friend
  • Find a discussion space
  • Get expert opinion
  • Find evidence on where the money goes (or should be going)
  • Find out who regulates this
  • Find out who is responsible
  • Write to your MP
  • Write to your councillor
  • Submit a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to get answers
  • Get response from party concerned
  • Map occurrences
  • Find regulations
  • Create a spreadsheet of XXX (Collate data)
  • Explain why this is important
  • Find a definition or explanation of this
  • Find an expert
  • Invite someone with good contacts
  • Write about your experiences pursuing this
  • Add your tips to the KnowledgeBase
  • Write the full story of a completed investigation
  • Organise an event to discuss the issues
  • Vote on whether this investigation is complete, open, or a new one needs to start


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: