on Lobbying and Advocacy Techniques
Mr. Emmanuel Kallonga of Haki Kazi Catalyst started the presentation by
defining the concept of advocacy. Advocacy involves activities that lead to:
Highlighting and solving problems by putting them on the agenda,
recommending solutions and building support for action on both the problems and solutions.
Influencing the public interest through organized, systematic and
intentional action to influence a particular process or/on matters of public interest.
Influencing government policy by way of actions aimed at changing the
policies, positions and programmes of the government and other institutions.
Promoting democracy by enhancing social changes so as to influence and
affect policies, attitudes, social and power relationships.
In short, lobbying and advocacy is a process of influencing what other
people feel, think and believe so that changes can happen the way the influencers want
them to happen. For successful lobbying and advocacy practice it is important:
involve the people
have a reactive agenda designed
advance/promote pro-active agenda
have careful planning
In this respect, it was pointed out that an effective advocacy programme
must have the strength of answering some of these key questions.
What do you want to change?
How can change come about?
Who can you help to bring about the desired change?
What methods would you use?
Who will do what and when?
How effective is your strategy?
Where do you need to adapt?
Two main Approaches of Advocacy
Abolitionalist (radical/revolutionary) approach
This is a more radical and a revolutionary approach. It targets the political level. It
attempts to influence high level process and structures and patterns of thinking. It
involves mass interest groups and requires a broader base of support to achieve the wanted
changes e.g. the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign. Abolitionist advocacy campaigns are likely to
be critical of the way things are normally done and therefore tend to be confrontational
and often opposed to established powers.
Reformist (evolutionary, gradual, constructive engagement)
This is an evolutional, gradual and constructive engagement approach that targets
particular people who are open to change. It tries to influence specific programmes or
projects normally at the local and district levels. It needs a high level of technical
knowledge based on experience in order for the presented views to be taken seriously.
Since the reformist approach targets at particular people or groups which
are in key decision making positions, time is required to build relationship with them as
individuals rather than relating with institutions. In this respect, it is important to
define your primary target people. The following questions may help you to determine your
Find out the key individual (by name) of the institution/organization.
Clearly determine what you need to know or achieve from the identified
Determine what you have learned from past experience that did not work?
As far as advocacy is concerned, institutions like the Ministry of
Education does not exist. What exist, and should be targeted are key individuals by name
and position e.g. Hon. Joseph Mungai (Minister), Mrs. Mwamtumu Malale (Permanent
Principles of Effects of Advocacy
Effective advocacy work should lead to influence the thinking and actions
of the key targeted audience. If you will focus your advocacy to target a particular
audience, then it is useful to divide your audience into the following groups:
Stakeholders - individuals and groups who do, or will have an interest
in what you advocate/want to change.
Decision makers - key individuals that will bring about the change you
want to achieve
Influencers - people who can influence decision makers. Influencers can
act on your behalf or against you
Planning Advocacy Activities
Planning for an advocacy activity takes place on similar lines as used in
project planning and follows the project development and management cycles as follows:
1. Analyse the situation
Analysing the policy environment
Analysing the audience
Analysis of your organisation's comparative advantage (SWOT analysis) of
doing advocacy work around a certain theme. Have you got the capacity?
2. Decide what needs to be done
This should be done in a participatory way
Set your goals and objectives
Identify and analyse your target audience
Define your messages
Identify appropriate channels media
3. Make a plan
Prepare a workable timeline
Make a sequenced list of activities
Decide who will do what, when and at what cost
4. Carry out the plan
This involves implementation of the planned activities
Putting in place a system of checkpoints in your plan to measure changes
and overall performance and impact
Making the necessary adjustment in the process of implementation.
Advocacy work, like any other intervention needs a thorough analysis of
the implementation process to assess success or failures and areas which are more or less
effective and useful.
Make sure you learn from past experience so that you do it better next
Advocacy Monitoring Indicators
In planning advocacy activities it is important to have measurable
indicators. Indicators can be developed if you have SMART objectives. SMART means
Specific, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound. These indicators may include:
Input indicators - resources used
Output indicators - results of the activities
Outcome indicators - impact you expect to achieve
Advocacy tools include Media, meetings, workshops, personal face to face
visits, video, written correspondence, electronic communication, use of influential
persons and so forth.
Participants did a group exercise by identifying the people they want to
lobby (stakeholders, decision makers and influencers). They were told to identify the key
people by NAME, so that they can start building a relationship with them for effective
advocacy work. The advocacy messages that were developed in the small group exercise
Remove all taxes from agricultural inputs
Increase the number of qualified teachers
Drop cost-sharing from health services provision
Water for domestic consumption
Democratise processes of making decisions on natural resources
Increase women participation through decision making
Orphans rights to social services
Advocate more resources to district based HIV/AIDS programmes
Promote SACCOs in the communities
Increase the price of cotton
Enhance active participation of the people in planning and issuance of
Actively involve CSOs in district development
CSO lobbying and advocacy planners should take into consideration the
basics of advocacy.
When planning advocacy activities, the experience and knowledge of the
subject and policy environment around which advocacy activity is being undertaken is
It is also important to make a mapping exercise of key actors who have a
bearing in influencing policies.
It is very crucial to have influential people in place.
It is important to build knowledge and ideas for lobbying and advocacy
Information and data generated must be disseminated so that people are
aware what is going-on and keep in touch and informed with relevant authorities.
Relevant messages much be developed for further lobbying and advocacy
Lobbying and advocacy must be constructive. If it is to succeed we
should avoid embarrassing the concernees, otherwise you loose the motion and mission.
Sometimes the abolitionist (extreme activism) advocacy is not taken seriously by policy
Every member of TCDD must have the full knowledge and skills on lobbying
TCDD must ensure training programmes are organized on lobbying and
advocacy for its members to enable them to be effective.
Lobbying and advocacy should take place systematically and
simultaneously at all levels-national, regional, district and local/community level.
There should be in place a common system and framework for lobbying and
advocacy among TCDD members.
There is need for increased effort to focus our lobbying and advocacy
activities at the local government level, especially the district councils.