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Advocacy

Strategize & Organize

for Change!
What Is Advocacy?

Advocacy is first and foremost a process,


occurring over unspecified amounts of time,
sometimes brief and often lengthy. Advocacy is
also strategic and targets well-designed
activities to key stakeholders and decision-
makers. And lastly, advocacy is always directed
at influencing policy, laws, regulations,
programs, or funding decisions made at the
upper-most levels of public or private sector
institutions.
The Policy Project
What Is Advocacy?

Advocacy is critical in efforts to ensure that


adolescent reproductive and sexual health
programs are enacted, funded, implemented
and maintained. Advocacy (like lobbying)
seems intimidating to manybut the idea is
more frightening than the activity. All advocacy
involves is making a case in favor of a
particular cause using skillful persuasion and/or
strategic action.
Advocates for Youth
What Is Advocacy?

Advocacy can be anything from a young


woman demanding access to safe abortion
services, to the head of a non-governmental
organization (NGO) speaking with a Member of
Parliament about comprehensive sexual and
reproductive health services. Whatever form it
takes it will involve the act or process of
supporting a cause or issue.
Advocates for Action and Student
Partnership Worldwide (adapted)
The Art and Science of
Advocacy

Identify the Deepen Identify


Issue Understanding Targets

Develop a
Set Goals and Create Key
Strategic
Objectives Messages
Action Plan

Identify Allies
Deal with Monitor and
and Build
Opposition Evaluate
Support
Key Component 1:
Identify the Issue

The first step to developing an effective policy


advocacy campaign is to clearly identify an issue.
Key Component 2:
Deepen Understanding

Once you have the initial issue in mind, you need to do


additional research and deepen your understanding of
the issue before you move forward.
Key Component 2:
Deepen Understanding

I. Conduct Initial Research


Research is an important initial step of advocacy.
Before you move forward, you want to make sure you
understand some basic facts about the issue and know
some of the key players and stakeholders. A
stakeholder is a person or group with an interest,
involvement, or investment in the issue. It describes
people who are affected by the issue or who can
influence it.
Key Component 2:
Deepen Understanding

Essential Facts
Who is affected by the issue?
What factors contribute to the issue?
What are the consequences (social, economic, etc.) of
the issue?
What are the barriers (political, cultural, etc.) to
addressing the issue?
What is the history of the issue in this community?
Who are the key players and stakeholders?
Are there current policies that address this issue?
What works or doesnt work?
Key Component 2:
Deepen Understanding

II. Conduct a Needs Assessment


A needs assessment is the process of identifying
and measuring areas for improvement and deciding on
the most effective methods that will create the change
you want to see. In other words, it is a way of asking a
particular group of people what they see as their most
important and pressing needs. Beyond data collection
which is important conducting a needs assessment
will allow you to involve and prioritize the people who
are and will be affected by the issue and any policy
solutions right from the initial stages of the process.
Key Component 2:
Deepen Understanding

How do people feel about the issue?


How are people affected by the problem or
issue?
What are the most serious consequences?
What factors contribute to the problem?
Which of the factors is easiest or most
important to address?
What are the barriers to addressing the issue?
How does the issue link or divide different
communities?
Key Component 2:
Deepen Understanding

What is the history of the issue in this community?


Who are your opponents and what influences them
take the positions they do?
What political forces may be influencing decision-
makers?
What will it take for people to support your goals (or
at least not oppose them)?
Who are the key players and stakeholders?
Are there current policies that address this issue?
What works or doesnt work?
Are there policies that could be created to address
this issue?
Key Component 3:
Identify Targets

Who has the power to make that change?

This person or small group of people, often within an


institution, is your primary target.

Secondary target(s) are those who can play a key role in


influencing the primary target or decision-makers.
Key Component 3:
Identify Targets

Power mapping is a visual method to examine and


identify your primary and secondary targets and their
relationships to your issue.
Key Component 3:
Identify Targets

The first step is to map out the various audiences for


your advocacy based on:
Their level of power or influence. The persons
authority to make decisions that will have an impact on
your advocacy goal and objectives.
Their position on your advocacy goal. Whether
the person is in favor, against or neutral to your
advocacy goal or objectives.
Their level of interest in your advocacy issue.
The persons willingness to commit to the success or
failure of your advocacy efforts.
Key Component 3:
Identify Targets
Key Component 3:
Identify Targets
Key Component 4:
Set Goals and Objectives

Developing an advocacy action plan involves creating


different activities that will ultimately allow you to reach
your goal(s) and objectives. Like specifically identifying
your issue, making sure that your goal(s) and objectives
are SMARTSpecific, Measurable, Attainable,
Realistic and Time-boundincreases the likelihood of
success.
Key Component 4:
Set Goals and Objectives

An advocacy goal is the change you are trying to


achieve in the long-term and the intended outcome of
that goal is expressed in general terms. Your goal(s) are
a SMART articulation of your vision.
An advocacy objective is short-term and expresses
intended outcome in specific terms.
Key Component 4:
Set Goals and Objectives
Key Component 4:
Set Goals and Objectives
Key Component 5:
Develop a Strategic Action Plan

A strategic action plan for advocacy should directly support


meeting the goals and objectives of your campaign.
Ultimately, the complete plan is a document that often
contains information about each of the 9 Key Components
of advocacy explained in this module.
In this section, we focus on understanding the best role that
you, your organization, or coalition can play in moving your
issue forward (what is your strategic advantage?) and
laying out the steps (activities) you plan to take to achieve
your goals and objectives.
The action plan will be suited to the specific skills of your
group or coalition so that it can be achieved effectively and
within budget.
Key Component 5:
Develop a Strategic Action Plan
Key Component 5:
Develop a Strategic Action Plan

I. Assess Your Power


To determine the best role for you, your
organization, or coalition to generate positive action
around your issue, think through your strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). A
SWOT analysis explores the internal and external
factors that may influence your advocacy and can help
you anticipate the challenges and opportunities you
may face.
Key Component 5:
Develop a Strategic Action Plan
Key Component 5:
Develop a Strategic Action Plan

II. Determine Tactics


Advocates use a variety of tactics to affect policy change. For example,
direct advocacy to target policymakers may include:
Lobbying and holding face-to-face meetings;
Testifying at political hearings or assemblies;
Preparing and giving briefings;
Writing and distributing position papers, fact sheets,
and briefing notes;
Presenting petitions to them;
Writing letters, emails, and making phone calls; and
Using social media campaigns directed at the
decision-makers account.
Key Component 5:
Develop a Strategic Action Plan

Be prepared to makes
changes to your plan.
Key Component 6:
Create Key Messages

Key messages tell the world what you want


to change. They are concise and compelling
statements that communicate your issue ideally in
less than one minute.
Key messages are supported by facts that you
gather during the research phase of your planning
and should be used consistently across all of your
activities and communications.
They should be simply stated and tailored to fit
your target audience while also conveying a sense
of urgency for action.
Key Component 6:
Create Key Messages
Key Component 7:
Identify Allies and Build
Support
An advocacy goal cannot be achieved single-
handedly! To increase the likelihood of success,
identify allies and build support for your cause.
Key Component 7:
Identify Allies and Build
Support
To build support and gain allies, the first step
is to think about your current partners. Who do
you work with now? You likely already know many
people, organizations, and groups who would
support your advocacy effort.
It can be helpful to make a list or database of
those people and groups who you want to reach
out to about working together on this issue.
Key Component 8:
Deal with Opposition

Opposition can be fierce, but it can be


managed.
Failing to take opposition into
consideration when developing your
strategy leaves you vulnerable to their
attacks and efforts to block your campaign.
Key Component 8:
Deal with Opposition

Opposition can be based on ideology, morals


and values, religion, cultural or traditional beliefs,
or even economic concerns.
The nature of your opposition, what their
specific issue of contention is, and which
opponents individuals or institutions will pose
the biggest challenges will influence how you
plan your strategy.
Be prepared and equipped to address them
before they cause any problems.
Key Component 8:
Deal with Opposition
Key Component 9:
Monitor and Evaluate
MONITORING:
is continuous
tracks progress
shows what activities were implemented
alerts you to problems
Key Component 9:
Monitor and Evaluate
EVALUATION:
is periodic
is an analysis of actual vs. planned
achievements
answers how and why results were achieved
Key Component 9:
Monitor and Evaluate
EVALUATION:
is periodic
is an analysis of actual vs. planned
achievements
answers how and why results were achieved
Key Component 9:
Monitor and Evaluate
Key Component 9:
Monitor and Evaluate

Monitoring and evaluation is a requirement


for many donors, and it is an important skill set to
master. It will help strengthen your program and
also provide you with the information you need to
report back to your donors and convince them to
keep funding your project and even potentially
increase your funding!
Questions?
AnthonyLopez
fb.com/lopezanthonycpc
twitter.com/athenslopez
alopez@wdyoungleaders.org