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Policy Advocacy Concepts, Strategies & Effective Communications. Presented by: S A Hasan Al Farooque ASPBAE-CSEF. With Inputs from UNESCO-UNICEF, OSI and RWS Policy Team . What is Policy.

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Policy advocacy concepts strategies effective communications l.jpg

Policy AdvocacyConcepts, Strategies &Effective Communications

Presented by: S A Hasan Al Farooque


With Inputs from UNESCO-UNICEF, OSI and RWS Policy Team

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What is Policy

  • Policy is a set of principles that represent the end result of a decision as to how best to achieve the set objectives

  • It is the function of POLITICS

  • Politics is the function of ARTS and SCIENCE of power


How we conceptualise


How do we do

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The Policy Framework

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What is Policy Advocacy

  • Policy Advocacy is a strategy to

    • Build evidence based on analysis

    • Engage with development planning and policy debates

    • Influence policy makers, policy agencies and policy agenda

      With a view to create, reform and/or change policies, and to ensure that the policies are implemented properly

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What is Policy Advocacy (cont.)

  • Policy advocacy is a coordinatedeffort to achieve meaningful change – for real education reform, it is important to ensure coordination among:

    • the right institutions; and

    • sensitized and mobilised citizenry

      (this includes, but is not limited to, organized civil society – NGOs, CSOs, CBOs etc.)

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Policy Advocacy: Essential Steps

Analyse policies

Identify a policy issue

Plan for monitoring and evaluation

  • Set a policy goal

  • Desired outcomes

  • - Define the target

Plan of implementation

Essential Steps

Identify key messages

Define the strategy

Identify key partners/allies

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Where do we start?

  • Be Analytical: Undertake research and understand what the data and information reflect – What story are they telling you and where the gaps lie?

  • Find a position: Identify what needs to be changed (politically, economically, culturally) to fix the situation.

  • Stay focused: Make sure to follow a process where your communication and advocacy actions are mutually supportive to the changes required.

  • BeStrategic: The next phase is about delineating strategies to address the challenges identified. So comes the how part....

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Policy Advocacy: Strategy

  • Develop a policy statement

  • Identify your audiences and allies

  • Develop your SMART objectives (specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic and time-bound)

  • Engage/coordinate/ ensure linkage among partners and allies to

    • Mobilise the stakeholders (awareness & capacity development and ongoing actions based on ownership)

    • Lobby with the relevant counterparts/ audiences/ government through consultations/ briefings

  • Involve Media at all stage

  • Continue wider communication, dissemination & knowledge management (publications, case studies, information communication materials, websites, e-mail etc.)

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Policy Advocacy: Required Expertise

  • Technical expertise in advocacy and campaigning for effective communication at all levels and stages

  • Knowledge and expertise on the issue being addressed to hold the authorities accountable

  • Political expertise on the relations of power that affect the issue (the key target)

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Policy Advocacy: Way Forward

  • An ongoing process

    • Establish a regular process of understanding emerging policy issues based on research and analysis and sharing of information

    • Periodically review & document changes and successes and accordingly plan revised actions based on shared learning

    • Establish means to keep all actors and audiences informed on the progress, results, learning, challenges and the changes

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Tips for Effective ODA Policy Advocacy

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Tip # 1: Define your goal

  • A clearly defined goal, is essential for developing a clear, concise and compelling message.

  • Defining the goal also includes understanding the achievability & identifying resource requirements.

  • Think SMART (specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic and time-bound).

  • Know your political environment. Look for opportunities (hooks).

    • Meetings and Summits of ADB, WB-IMF, ASEAN

    • Budget hearings at the national level

    • GAW, Post-CONFINTEA VI meetings, etc

  • Ultimate end goal: We need change in ODA Policies!

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Tip # 2: Identify your target.

  • It is critical to Know and Understand Your Audience & Your Target. Your goal will help determine your audience.

    • Donors, MOE, IFIs, MoF etc

    • General People/ citizenry

  • Understand your audience - identify what motivates them and what may hold them back from supporting your goal.

  • Understand the best way to reach your audience.

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Tip # 3: Make your audience act.

  • Present possible & doable solutions. Think SMART.

    “Never go outside the expertise of your people….. whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” – Saul Alinsky

    • Advocates and the Public

      • Engage them in awareness raising activities, lobbying and mobilisation

    • Policy Makers

      • engage them through consultations, dialogue

      • ask them to read your policy paper

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Action Methods: Raising Awareness

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Action Methods: Lobbying

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Action Methods: Media Work

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Action Method: Popular Mobilization

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Tip # 4: Keep it simple & brief.

  • It is important to be very concise in your message. Keep it simple. Use precise language, powerful words and active verbs.

  • Attract attention. Eg. One ODA statistic - US$ 16B per year resource gap for education- will do at the moment.

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Tip # 5: Be persuasive. Combine the rational and emotional.

  • Present evidence. Many people believe something only when they see proof in the form of facts. Others need to believe in something before they acknowledge the facts.

    • Use real life stories. Dramatization of facts more often than not appeals more to audience.

  • Your messages need to be balanced to capture both hearts and thoughts.

  • Use facts and numbers creatively, but accurately.

    • Don’t let wrong data and numbers ruin your plan

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Tip # 6: Determine the primary message.

  • This is the one message that is clear, concise and compelling and appeals to the broadest audience.

  • Adapt the message to the medium.

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Tip # 7: Create secondary messages for each of your audiences

  • Prioritise your secondary messages according to the priorities of your target audience.

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Tip # 8: Write and share the message.

  • Simplify the message into talking points that every advocate (individual and group) can use.

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Tip # 9: Do not use jargon in your messages

  • Speak to people in their language not yours.

  • Do not assume everyone knows the meaning of your acronyms!

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Situation: To properly implement this dance of Latin American derivation requires the simultaneous participation of both stakeholders.

Jargon vs Development Speak

It takes two to Tango.

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Situation: It is crucial to make sure that the end result of a farm animal reproduction project is not assumed in advance of proper tabulations being conducted. This ensures that results are conclusive and confirmed by all partners.

Don’t count your chickens until they are hatched.

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Tip # 10: Know the language of your audience.

  • Language should be used appropriately to appeal to different targets. In talks with

    • With policy makers/decision makers/experts - know and express concepts and terminology clearly and effectively.

    • Public – simplify and use select jargon smartly and often to familiarize the general audience. Eg. Simple fact sheet - ODA 101 - for public use

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Situation: Official Development Assistance for which the associated goods and services may be fully and freely procured.

Jargon vs DevelopmentSpeak

Untied Aid

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Situation: Transfers made in cash, goods or services for which no repayment is required

Jargon vs DevelopmentSpeak


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Having these tips in mind…

We are all set to work for the realization of EFA through education financing!

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Thank you

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