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Effective Advocacy

BY

NOEL IHEBUZOR AND BILKISU KAMADI

OUTLINE:

u WHAT IS ADVOCACY u WHY DO WE ASK?

u WHAT DO WE ASK FOR?

u TEN PRINCIPLES OF ADVOCACY/ACTION LETTER u ADVOCACY TOOLS WE CAN USE

u SAMPLE LETTER OF ADVOCACY u HOW DO WE ASK

WHAT IS ADVOCACY?

uWhat is advocacy? Key features of Advocacy

A series of political actions, conducted by interested citizens and stakeholders

to transform power relations.

Purpose is to achieve specific changes that benefit a defined population Advocacy is targeted at decision makers

and is a deliberate targeted process for influencing decision making and policy changes

WHAT IS ADVOCACY?

u What is advocacy? For example,

a set of organised activities designed to influence  

Save the children, a children focused organization defines advocacy thus – Advocacy is

ü the i policies rand actionsi of iothers lto achieve positive

in all its forms seeks to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, are able to:Have their voice heard

WHAT IS ADVOCACY?

uWhat is the purpose of advocacy?

u Advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, are able to:

Ø Have their voice heard on issues that are important to them. Ø Defend and safeguard their rights.

Ø Have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.

WHAT IS ADVOCACY?

u What is so distinct about advocacy? Eg, how is advocacy different from….? u Lobbying?

u Public relations? u Sensitization?

u Community mobilization? u Social marketing?

u Awareness creation? u Fund raising

Use Group work and discussion approach

WHAT IS ADVOCACY?

u What is so distinct about advocacy? Eg, how is advocacy different from….? The following questions can help us in finding what is distinct about advocacy

u What is the target audience of Public relations campaigns? of Sensitization exercises ? of Community mobilization? of Social marketing? of awareness creation? of Fund raising campaigns

u What are the goals and what activities are carried out for each of these u What power relations are involved

Again, use Group work and discussion approach

WHAT IS ADVOCACY?

uAdvocacy? ??? Three Questions uWhat do we want to change ? uWho can change it?

uHow can it be changed – what action is needed?

These three questions are central to all advocacy efforts

Text Box: 1.1What change do we want? What is going wrong?

uProvide strong, unambiguous evidence

What must change?

uBe very clear about what must stop, what must change

or what alternative solution should be adopted

You can do it!

Text Box: 1.1Who can make that change? Who has the power to make the change?

uBe clear that they can actually make the change

Who are our allies and opponents?

uBe clear about who we work with and who we have to convince

You can do it!

Text Box: 1.1How can we make them change? How are we going to win?

uPick the most effective tactics for your target uProduce a clear and effective plan of action

How will you know if the change has happened?

uProduce a clear plan for advocacy monitoring and evaluation

You can do it!

WHY DO WE ASK?

u For social change u To get committed u To galvanize action

u To move policy change u In our case, girl child

What do we ask for?

u Girl child enrollment u More kids in school

u Complete fee abolition

u Engagement of more female teachers u Better school infrastructure

u More inclusive school architecture

ADVOCACY TOOLS

ACTION LETTER and Policy briefs

uLetters and

upolicy Briefs

are the most frequently used advocacy tools

STEPS TO WRITING AN ADVOCACY/ACTION LETTER

u Identify yourself as a constituent. Politicians are only compelled to respond to constituent mail u Use evidence that is live and relevant

u Be brief and simple. Try to keep the letter to one page or two at the most

u State and report your position. Always state your position in your opening paragraph and again in the closing paragraph u Personalize your letter. If using a form letter make changes to it and make it your own.

u Personalized letters carry much more weight

u Be polite and avoid ultimatums and rudeness. Everyone responds better to praise then criticism. Rudeness does little to create change

u Do not enclose additional material. These are rarely read.

If you have an excellent resource you wish to share, mention it in your letter and offer to send a copy if desired

STEPS TO WRITING AN ADVOCACY/ACTION LETTER

uDo not exaggerate or lie. Stick to facts and personal experiences. Fabrications could ruin your credibility uMake sure your message is timely.

uFOCUS

uMonitoring and tracking

uWho monitors must be ( objective, impartial, accurate and informed uSend a copy of your letter to your local policy makers/CEOs/managers uAcknowledge any response

SAMPLE LETTER

u Your name and address u Date

u Name u Title

u Address

u Salutation (Dear ______ )

u 1st Paragraph: Let the reader know what your concern is.

u 2nd Paragraph: You need to let the reader know the importance of your concerns and any impact the concern may have on the community.

u 3rd Paragraph: Thank your reader for taking the time to read your letter and make sure you re-state your concern. Provide a way for him to respond to you letter. Always add that you look forward to hearing their response on the issue. Now they know you expect an answer.

u Sincerely, u Your Name

u Your Address u Phone number u Email address

HOW DO WE ASK?

·    Be brief

· Bold but politely · Be Confident

·    With evidence

·    With best practices example

TIPS

· Use some ego massaging · Build rapport

·    Arouse interest

· Appeal to enlightened self interest · Build empathy

Use emotional intelligence

Author:

Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

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