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Advocacy Basics

Advocacy involves influencing what other people believe, think and do so that change happens the way you want it to.

Advocacy is more likely to be successful when many people are involved.

Advocacy can be in response to someone else’s agenda (reactive) or it can be designed to set the agenda (proactive).

Most successful advocacy is carefully planned rather than just happening.

An effective advocacy programme will have answers to the following questions:

bulletWhat do you want to change?
bulletHow can change come about?
bulletWho can help you to bring about change?
bulletWhat methods will you use?
bulletWho will do what by when?
bulletHow effective is your strategy, and where do you need to adapt?

Here are some common but different definitions of advocacy:

to highlight and solve problems

bulletputting a problem on the agenda, providing a solution to that problem, and building support for acting on both the problem and the solution

to influence public interest

bulletan organised, systematic, intentional influencing process on matters of public interest

to influence government policy

bulletaction aimed at changing the policies, positions and programmes of governments, institutions or organisations

to promote democracy

bulleta social change process affecting attitudes, social relationships and power relations, which strengthens civil society and opens up democratic processes
bulletWhich definition comes closest to what you want to do?
bulletWhat else would you like to include in your definition?
bulletDoes everybody else in you organisations agree?

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