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Advocacy – systematic planning(Project Cycle Management)

1.0 Analyse the situation

Analyse the policy environment: there will be existing policies and other groups advocating other policies – how do your ideas fit into the bigger picture?

Analyse your audience: Identify all stakeholders (internal and external). Who will be affected? Define ‘decision makers’ and ‘influencers’ – who are your allies and adversaries?

Analyse your organisation: Given the aims and mission of your organisation figure out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of developing advocacy work on a particular issue. Do you have the necessary resources?

1.1 Decide what needs to be done

Participatory planning: Involve stakeholders in identifying the issues, clarifying the vision and planning the strategy.

Set your objectives: Identify and research the issue you will be working on. Set smart objectives for the short, medium and long term.

Identify and analyse your target audience: Work out who can make the changes you want. How do they make decisions? Who do they listen to?

Define your message: Decide what information you need. Do you need more research to prove your case to the target? Put it into words.

Identify media: Which media will be most useful in getting to your target? What 'spin' do you need to put on your story to get it in the media?

Build alliances if appropriate so that you can call on more resources and support.

2.0 Make a plan

Prepare a timeline. List the external and internal events and opportunities you could link your advocacy strategy to.

Make a sequenced list of activities. Find an appropriate mix of 'tools' for your audience: direct lobbying, public campaign, media etc. Make sure that you have activities to cover all your objectives.

Decide who will do what by when and at what cost: build in plenty of checkpoints along the way so that you can alter course if things are not going according to the original plan

3.0 Carry out the plan(Implementation)

4.0 Monitor & evaluate

Monitor: have a series of checkpoints in your plan so that you can measure how you are getting on and reflect on changes in the overall situation. Be open to new ideas and events and stay flexible.

Evaluate: once you have achieved success (or failure) make a thorough analysis of what you did that was more or less effective and useful. Learn from this and do it better next time. Share the lessons with others.


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