3.2 Ingredients of an Advocacy Strategy

Research, Monitoring, Systematic Organization, Evaluation

Phase 1: Vision

  1. Institutional Vision
  2. Identifying Priorities/Challenges in Advocacy (International/National/Local Frameworks)
  3. Better Goals – Measurable, Specific, Just in Time, Action-oriented, and Realistic

Phase 2: Strategy

  1. Context Analysis: Analysis of Strengths and Opportunities (FODA Analysis), Comparative Advantages, Scenarios
  2. Map: Mapping of Actors
  3. Strategy Based on Alliances
  4. Selections of Proxies for Advocacy
    Training/Technical Assistance
    National Debate, Negotiation
    Strategic Communication
    Social Mobilization/Direct Action
    Networks and Coalitions
    Action-oriented Research
    Use of the Legal System
    Use of Formal Political Processes: Vote, Citizen Initiatives, Participation Mechanisms
  5. Development of Central Message/Arguments/Counter-Arguments
  6. Communication Plan
  7. Selection of Persuasion Tools and Techniques, when Dealing with Different Audiences

Phase 3: Operation

  1. Selection of Institutions
  2. Development of an Action Plan
  3. Mobilization of Resources
  4. Monitoring and Evaluation
  5. Dissemination and Accountability

A strategy is a guide to action serving as a roadmap to direct and gauge advocacy actions. The advocacy strategy provides the framework for identifying issues, setting clear objectives, defining results to be attained, selecting approaches or tools to be adopted, specific actions to be undertaken and ways to assess progress. An advocacy campaign that does not follow a clearly spelt out strategy may lack direction or find it difficult to claim success because expected results were not clearly defined at the beginning.

Advocacy can play three interrelated roles: i) to foster a favourable climate for the implementation of population and development policies, and broadly the ICPD PoA and the MDGs, ii) to address and promote issues of national priority, and iii) to mobilize resources necessary for the implementation of various internationally agreed programmes and strategies.

A good strategic plan describes a step-by-step process for designing and carrying out interventions. It also shows the logical linkages among various actions, and how they combine to achieve results. The question is how to plan and implement a comprehensive advocacy strategy?

A detailed description on how to developing an advocacy strategy and action plan can be found in the Distance Learning Courses on Population Issues Course 4 on Advocacy, Action, Change and Commitment.

Module 5 of the Training Manual on integration of population issues on African Development Bank programmes and projects addresses the issue of advocacy and policy dialogue on population issues with policy makers. The objective of the module is to enable users to 1) identify priority population issues for advocacy and how they should be addressed, 2) plan and carry out actions to improve population dimensions into PRSPs and CSPs as well as 3) know they key priority issues related to the implementation of national population policies.

107   Adapted from: UNFPA (2002) Advocacy, Action, Change and Commitment Distance Learning Courses on Population Issues. Available at: http://foweb.unfpa.org/dist_learning/course-4/