Introduction to Strategy Planning. NIGERIAN TOBACCO CONTROL STRATEGY PLANNING MEETING Lagos 16-19 May 2005. Q1: What do we want?. Any advocacy effort must begin with very concrete objectives.
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NIGERIAN TOBACCO CONTROL STRATEGY PLANNING MEETING
16-19 May 2005
“Our society cannot wait to act until millions of our children become victims of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.”
“Ratifying the FCTC will show that the government cares more for the future health of the country\'s children than for the economic wealth of the tobacco industry.”
1. The more political intelligence you gather about the concerns and motives of key targets, the more effectively you can tailor the messages they need to hear to support your advocacy objectives.
2. Your messages will vary depending upon the policy you want to change and the people you are trying to convince.
Existing local and international research, public opinion polls, household surveys, etc. can and should be used to support your advocacy efforts.
You can also produce your own research and conduct your own focus groups. See:
“Low Cost Research for Advocacy” by PATH Canada for ideas.
“Advertising restraints will not harm the economy. The advertising industries in countries with advertising bans have not suffered significant losses of jobs or been bankrupted.”
“Advertising restrictions and bans have proved effective in keeping fewer young people from starting to smoke.”
These are short phrases or labels that capture the essence of what you are trying to accomplish in ways that resonate naturally with most people:
“a tobacco free future for our children“
"freedom from addiction and disease“
“health before tobacco industry profits”
What are Numbers That “Sing”?
“The deaths of 350 children under age five could be prevented each day if only 70% of their parents’ tobacco expenditures went to food instead…Each year, 10.5 million children are needlessly malnourished, due in part to their parents’ expenditure on tobacco rather than food.”
-- WBB Bangladesh, “Hungry for Tobacco”
What words and phrases best evoke important cultural values? What might be effective "responsive chord messages" (i.e. questions that evoke responses already embedded in people’s minds)?
“Many poor tobacco-growing countries argue that they need the revenue from tobacco. But who in your family are you willing to sacrifice so that the Government can earn more taxes? Would you want your brother, or sister, or child to start smoking so that
the Government can earn more money?”
– Phillip Karugaba, Uganda
For example, if your target audience is the Prime Minister, the most effective messengers could be former or current aides, a cabinet member, business or labor leaders, leading scientists, journalists, religious leaders, etc. Or it could be friend from University, a spouse, or a celebrity. This is where intelligence pays off.
Additionally, you will need to ask:
Who does our target audience dislike, distrust, and/or not take seriously?
Who needs to join our cause during the first phase of our campaign?
As we progress, what kind of groups do we need to influence decision-makers in government?
How can we efficiently recruit the allies we need?
Do we need a formal coalition? If we do need it, who do we include?
Take careful stock of the advocacy resources that are already there to be built on. This includes past advocacy work that is related, alliances already in place, written and visual materials, staff and other people\'s capacity, information and political intelligence. In short, you don\'t start from scratch, you start from building on what you\'ve got.
After taking stock of the advocacy resources you have, the next step is to identify other or additional advocacy resources you need that aren\'t yet there. This means looking at alliances that need to be built, and capacities such as outreach, media advocacy, and research which are crucial to any effort.
What would be an effective way to begin to move the strategy forward? What are some potential short term goals or projects that would bring the right people together, symbolize the larger work ahead and create something achievable that lays the groundwork for the next step?
As with any long journey, the course needs to be checked along the way. Strategy needs to be evaluated revisiting each of the questions above (i.e., ask yourself: Are we aiming at the right audiences? Are we reaching them? etc.) It is important to be able to make mid‑course corrections and to discard those elements of a strategy that don\'t work once they are actually put into practice.