Setting the action agenda. Dr. Inas A.Hamid. It is much tougher to struggle with specific language that will ensure everyone is working in the same direction. Before one can map a course of action for change, it is necessary to answer the question, action for what?
Setting the action agenda
Dr. Inas A.Hamid
Betty and Brad look at each other. There is a lot of hemming and hawing, while the senator thanks them for coming by and walks away.
Knowing what you want sounds simple, but it is a step that is all too frequently ignored in advocacy.
In the previous scenario; Betty and Brad never go beyond being angry over the welfare problem. They could tell the senator at length about the terrible conditions in America's inner cities.
Media usually tell us what is wrong without saying much about what would improve things.
The advocates have to get beyond that point and define what they would like to see happen.
Suppose someone else comes along with a family therapy program they claim will salvage inner-city families. Will Betty and Brad approve this solution?
By knowing where you want to go , you are less likely to be talked into backing someone else's agenda, one that may have little to do with seriously attacking the problem you started with.
One must be clear about what is being sought and be able to explain this to others .
Either approach could be considered “ right” in the sense that it has the potential for reducing the poverty of some families.
One may believe in the need for radical change in the long run yet work for improvements within the existing structure in the interim.
In order to lobby effectively, one should be clear about which of these is being sought now, since some incremental and fundamental changes may work against each other.
Insisting on holding out for total victory, you may lose an opportunity to make tangible gains.
So, it is very important to know how to approach the problem.
Without any fallback positions, lobbyists will stew over the issue until it is too late.
It is not possible to anticipate exactly how an original proposal will be altered during deliberation, but it is possible to decide what kinds of changed would still retain enough of the original intent to make it worth fighting for.
Will accepting half a loaf now help move your agenda ahead later, or make it harder to achieve in the end?