POLICY ADVOCACY TRAINING
Major goals of policy advocacy training is to teach audience to: define “advocacy” and identify basic elements of advocacy; select advocacy objectives;identify key stakeholders and decision – makers; develop and deliver advocacy messages; understand and manage decision – making process; make effective communication and build alliances; find financial resources for policy advocacy.
Advocacy is defined as a set of actions or activities directed at decision-makers (government institutions, local authorities, public servants, non-profit organizations, etc.) in support of project, law, regulation, policy, etc. International Planned Parenthood Federation Advocacy Guide defines advocacy as “the act or process of supporting a cause or issue. An advocacy campaign is a set of targeted actions in support of a cause or issue. We advocate a cause or issue because we want to build support for that cause or issue; influence others to support it; or try to influence or change legislation that affects it” (Networking for Policy Change: An Advocacy Training Manual, 1999). Therefore, advocacy is also process of influencing targeted groups in order to achieve established objectives.
For advocacy to be effective and successful, it is necessary to analyze and appropriately collect its key elements. Basic elements of advocacy include objectives, data, audiences, messages, presentations, evaluation, coalitions, alliances, and fundraising. Objective: in order for advocacy campaign to succeed, objective has to be clearly defined. Vague, unclear or general statements will mislead audience. Audiences: advocacy campaign is mainly directed at decision – makers and key stakeholders, who can actively participate in campaign. Audience may include, but is not limited to, non – profit organizations, public servants, local authorities, public advisors, media, training facilitators and staff, etc. Data: collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data for making informative decision at each step of campaign, as well as setting realistic and achievable goals. Before collecting information, think, which information can the most useful and persuasive for your goals and arguments.
Messages: before planning the campaign, think of the way you will deliver message to your decision – makers (radio, presentation, public speech) and type of message each decision – maker will be persuaded with. Presentation: considering time limits think of the way you will present your key messages to audience. Prepare convincing arguments, reliable facts, and experts’ opinions to support you message.
Monitoring and Evaluations: actions directed at measuring your success at each stage of advocacy campaign. Monitor timely completion of each stage and evaluate if you achieved advocacy goals. Coalitions and alliances: key factor of advocacy success is the ability to build coalitions and find alliances. Finding more people supporting your goal will allow representing diverse interests, building consensus for action, and find additional interested parties and fundraisers. By finding alliances and broadening network of your supporters, you will persuade decision-makers in necessity of policy.
Fundraising: collecting financial resources for supporting advocacy campaign.
Goals and objectives
Before identifying objectives and goals, it is necessary to define timeframe of advocacy campaign, so you can correctly define completion period for each objective. Goal is the long – term long-term result …