Advocacy WE Center – Mahmoud Hishmah
People Decision - Makers Change Power Can Win Art Tactic Communicate Participate Policy Key words for Advocacy Advocacy
What is Advocacy? “The process of using information and communication strategically to change policies that affect the lives of disadvantaged people.” Is this your definition ?
Advocate (ad’ve-kat) n. One who supports or defends a cause 2. One who pleads on behalf of another
Much of advocacy is about policy: The way in which policy is formed • New laws and regulations The way in which policy is implemented • Local by-laws, local implementation • operational policy, budgets and resources
What is Advocacy? • creating a common agenda with you and decision-makers • delivering the right message to the right person • lobbying effectively in a different political and economic environment • community partnerships and collaboration
If you have ever: Helped a relative or neighbor get help when they needed it? Asked friends to support a favorite project? talked with your school management about certain problem facing your fellow students? then…. You are an advocate.
Types of Advocacy Direct Advocacy • Persuading decision-makers on public policy Public Engagement • Building awareness and support Media Engagement • Getting your message out to decision-makers and the public
Why is it important for you to be an advocate for your issues? • You are the experts • Your work will be impacted by policymakers’ decisions • You are voters and can hold policymakers accountable • If you don’t speak up, someone else will speak for you
“Power concedes nothing without demand” Frederick Douglass
US President Roosevelt said after meeting with A. Philip Randolph, the leader of the Brotherhood of Coalmen Porters Union: "I agree with you, now go out in the streets and fight like hell to make me do it."
From Sun Tzu—the Art of War Know Your Adversary Know Yourself Know the Terrain The Center for Victims of Torture—New Tactics in Human Rights Project
Frederick Douglass – “Power concedes nothing without demand” Stakeholders are: “Those who have an interest in the issue or can have an impact on your success”
Mayors • School boards • Service groups • Community leaders • Media. • State elected officials (Parliament) • City councils • School administrators • Governors • ….etc.
Before you contact with policymakers….Do Your Homework! • Who are the most influential individuals and how can you get access to them? • What are their backgrounds and what are their areas of interest/expertise? • What will personalize the issue of your message for these individuals? • What information or concern do you have and how are you going to get your message across?
The Media Government Professionals Education Politicians Community Leaders Business NGOs Stakeholder Map Campaign
3 2 4 5 1 Spectrum of Allies The Center for Victims of Torture—New Tactics in Human Rights Project
Target Audiences "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong”. Frederick Douglass Target analysis • Who are they? • Why are they important to you? • What do you want from them? Can you list your audiences ?
The perfect message? • The introduction – what is the issue ? • Why is it important to you ? • What can you do?
The message Hierarchy of messages: • Your messages will change over time • Even your general message will change over time • Your messages will be different for each group • Where are they now in perception ? • Where do you want them to get to ? • Make it simple to agree with you • Why is this important to ME ? Can you list your messages ?
Raise awareness Explain and Inform Engage Motivate to action Communicating advocacy form • Think about going ‘direct’ and don’t forget ‘indirect’. • Use their terms and their interests. • Show why this issue is important to them as well as the wider interest. • Make their involvement as simple as possible.
Communication tools • Face-to-face briefings • Conferences/Seminars • Direct Mail • Written briefings • Training sessions • Newsletters • Leaflets • Brochures • The media – editorial/advertising • Billboards • Internet • E-mails/Viral campaigns • Campaign event – National Date/Awareness week
Best forms of Advocacy • Public awareness is a key component • Objectives should be realistic • Different types of communication • With credibility comes influence • Information brings credibility • There is strength in numbers • However don’t dilute your message • Remember this takes time….
Effective Advocacy • Intentional • Strategic • Flexible • Organized
Effective Advocacy is Intentional • Intentional means knowing what you are seeking to accomplish; identifying long and short term goals • An Intentional Advocacy Task • Develop a legislative agenda that has no more than 3 areas, is related to what policymakers are doing, and is decided with others in the community
Effective Advocacy is Strategic • Strategic means taking into account social, economic and political climate; being aware of capacity opportunities and challenges • Some Strategic Advocacy Tasks • Using data on needs to drive your priorities • Understanding the political, economic and social climate • Choosing partners based on political realities, not personal feelings
Effective Advocacy is Strategic: Context is Key • Political Climate – Do you have political will? Can you build political will? Or are you building awareness for a day in which the climate is more favorable? • Economic Climate – What are the competing strains on the budget? If tough times, what are your priorities? In good times, do you want expansion, new initiatives, or both? Have you planned a vision/agenda for better times? • Social Climate – Do you have public will? Have you made your issue known with support from an array of potential stakeholders?
Effective Advocacy is Flexible Being Flexible means that you canadjust plans, tools, partners, and tactics as needed
Effective Advocacy is Organized • Being Organized means having a plan of action • Three parts of your plan of action: • Getting Connected • Getting Informed • Getting Involved
The Advocacy Plan Advocacy is about RESPECT
Planning • Who ? - do you need to communicate with • Why ? – are they important • What ? - do you need to say to them • When ? – are you going to say it • Where ? – in what media
Planning Remember the importance of: • Consistency • Branding – and your brand values • The tone of your voice/message
Evaluation • Monitor your targets comments • Monitor relationships with your target audiences • Monitor the media • Monitor public opinion
Things to Remember • Policy change is incremental • Achieving a short term goal is just as important as reaching the ultimate goal • Celebrate your successes – no matter how small
Thank You East & West Center WE Center Mahmoud Hishmah