Policy Advocacy

Presented by: S A Hasan Al Farooque
With Inputs from UNESCO-UNICEF, OSI and RWS Policy Team
• Policy is a set of principles that represent the
end result of a decision as to how best to
achieve the set objectives
• It is the function of POLITICS
• Politics is the function of ARTS and SCIENCE of
How we
How do
we do
• Policy Advocacy is a strategy to
– Build evidence based on analysis
– Engage with development planning and
policy debates
– Influence policy makers, policy agencies
and policy agenda
With a view to create, reform and/or
change policies, and to ensure that the
policies are implemented properly
• Policy advocacy is a coordinated effort to
achieve meaningful change – for real
education reform, it is important to ensure
coordination among:
– the right institutions; and
– sensitized and mobilised citizenry
(this includes, but is not limited to,
organized civil society – NGOs, CSOs, CBOs
Identify a
policy issue
- Set a policy goal
- Desired outcomes
- Define the target
Plan for monitoring
and evaluation
Identify key
Plan of
Define the
Identify key
• Be Analytical: Undertake research and understand
what the data and information reflect – What story
are they telling you and where the gaps lie?
• Find a position: Identify what needs to be
changed (politically, economically, culturally) to
fix the situation.
• Stay focused: Make sure to follow a process where
your communication and advocacy actions are
mutually supportive to the changes required.
• Be Strategic: The next phase is about delineating
strategies to address the challenges identified. So
comes the how part....
• Develop a policy statement
• Identify your audiences and allies
• Develop your SMART objectives (specific,
measurable, appropriate, realistic and time-bound)
• Engage/coordinate/ ensure linkage among partners
and allies to
– Mobilise the stakeholders (awareness & capacity
development and ongoing actions based on ownership)
– Lobby with the relevant counterparts/ audiences/
government through consultations/ briefings
• Involve Media at all stage
• Continue wider communication, dissemination &
knowledge management (publications, case studies,
information communication materials, websites, e-mail
• Technical expertise in advocacy and
campaigning for effective communication at all
levels and stages
• Knowledge and expertise on the issue being
addressed to hold the authorities accountable
• Political expertise on the relations of power
that affect the issue (the key target)
• An ongoing process
– Establish a regular process of understanding
emerging policy issues based on research and
analysis and sharing of information
– Periodically review & document changes and
successes and accordingly plan revised actions
based on shared learning
– Establish means to keep all actors and audiences
informed on the progress, results, learning,
challenges and the changes
Tip # 1: Define your goal
• A clearly defined goal, is essential for developing a
clear, concise and compelling message.
• Defining the goal also includes understanding the
achievability & identifying resource requirements.
• Think SMART (specific, measurable, appropriate,
realistic and time-bound).
• Know your political environment. Look for
opportunities (hooks).
– Meetings and Summits of ADB, WB-IMF, ASEAN
– Budget hearings at the national level
– GAW, Post-CONFINTEA VI meetings, etc
• Ultimate end goal: We need change in ODA
Tip # 2: Identify your target.
• It is critical to Know and Understand Your
Audience & Your Target. Your goal will help
determine your audience.
– Donors, MOE, IFIs, MoF etc
– General People/ citizenry
• Understand your audience - identify what
motivates them and what may hold them back
from supporting your goal.
• Understand the best way to reach your
Tip # 3: Make your audience act.
• Present possible & doable solutions. Think
“Never go outside the expertise of your people…..
whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the
enemy.” – Saul Alinsky
– Advocates and the Public
 Engage them in awareness raising activities, lobbying
and mobilisation
– Policy Makers
 engage them through consultations, dialogue
 ask them to read your policy paper
Tip # 4: Keep it simple & brief.
• It is important to be very concise in your
message. Keep it simple. Use precise
language, powerful words and active verbs.
• Attract attention. Eg. One ODA statistic US$ 16B per year resource gap for educationwill do at the moment.
Tip # 5: Be persuasive. Combine
the rational and emotional.
• Present evidence. Many people believe something
only when they see proof in the form of facts.
Others need to believe in something before they
acknowledge the facts.
– Use real life stories. Dramatization of facts more
often than not appeals more to audience.
• Your messages need to be balanced to capture
both hearts and thoughts.
• Use facts and numbers creatively, but accurately.
– Don’t let wrong data and numbers ruin your plan
Tip # 6: Determine the primary
• This is the one message that is clear,
concise and compelling and appeals to the
broadest audience.
• Adapt the message to the medium.
Tip # 7: Create secondary
messages for each of your
• Prioritise your secondary messages
according to the priorities of your target
Tip # 8: Write and share the
• Simplify the message into talking points that
every advocate (individual and group) can
Tip # 9: Do not use jargon in
your messages
• Speak to people in their language not
• Do not assume everyone knows the
meaning of your acronyms!
Jargon vs Development Speak
Situation: To properly implement this
dance of Latin American derivation
requires the simultaneous participation of
both stakeholders.
Situation: It is crucial to make sure that
the end result of a farm animal
reproduction project is not assumed in
advance of proper tabulations being
conducted. This ensures that results are
conclusive and confirmed by all partners.
Tip # 10: Know the language of
your audience.
• Language should be used appropriately to appeal to different
targets. In talks with
– With policy makers/decision makers/experts - know and
express concepts and terminology clearly and effectively.
– Public – simplify and use select jargon smartly and often to
familiarize the general audience. Eg. Simple fact sheet - ODA
101 - for public use
Jargon vs DevelopmentSpeak
Situation: Official Development Assistance
for which the associated goods and services
may be fully and freely procured.
Jargon vs DevelopmentSpeak
Situation: Transfers made in cash, goods or
services for which no repayment is
Having these tips in mind…

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