Kansas Beats the Virus: What We Learned From Our Mass Civic Action Campaign

COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented leadership challenge around the world. In the fall of 2020, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths led to lockdowns, transitions to virtual learning, economic crisis, mask mandates, and social distancing that demanded new ways of doing business and celebrating winter holidays.

Amidst these challenges, Kansans recognized an opportunity to mobilize small teams across the state to act on behalf of the common good of their communities.

To help slow the spread of Covid-19, the state of Kansas approached the Kansas Leadership Center.

The result: Kansas Beats the Virus (KBTV), a civic action campaign to improve public health practices in communities across the state.

Study Purpose: This report details the grassroots efforts and networks mobilized in response to the Kansas Leadership Center’s call to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Kansas communities.

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OUR CURIOSITY

Could teams of ordinary Kansans launch local action projects to improve healthy behaviors that slow the spread of the virus in their communities?

USEFUL FINDINGS

A network of motivated individuals with a shared purpose can mobilize the masses – and do it quickly

  • Faced with fighting a common enemy, citizens from all walks of life rallied around a common cause of encouraging people to wear masks, socially distance, and follow other basic public health guidelines.

Relationships Matter

  • Connections to an organization or individual had a direct association to a person’s willingness to participate.
  • The top two motivators to participate in KBTV were “invitation by an organization I feel connected to” and “invitation by an individual I respect.”

If They're Engaged, They're Empowered

  • As a result of participating in KBTV, Kansans felt more civically minded and ready to exercise their own leadership.
  • Participants’ perception of confidence, connection, responsibility, and willingness is greater now than before participating in KBTV.

A Clearly Defined Process Led to Better Outcomes

  • Experienced, trained facilitators propelled more productive meetings and more impactful projects than the teams could have accomplished themselves.
  • Conveners played an important role in activating their networks.

Leveraging Relationships + Incentivizing Action Projects = Local Solutions

  • Thousands of Kansans came together to develop unique approaches specific to their community’s needs.
  • The top three priorities for action projects were to:
    • Promote healthy and safe behaviors
    • Increase awareness
    • Support vulnerable community members

Want to Learn More?

Download this complete project including graphs, research, and results.

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