In this section, you are going to learn about some of the different methods that you will be able to use for your advocacy work. These methods are called advocacy tools (Box 18.1). One of the advocacy tools you will use is lobbying, which means influencing the policy process by working closely with key individuals in political and governmental structures, together with other decision makers. Another tool is the use of meetings, usually as part of a lobbying strategy or negotiation, to reach a common position. Project visits are another useful tool of advocacy to demonstrate good practice and information, education and communication as various means of sensitising the decision makers. In addition, community organising is another important tactic that can be used.
Box 18.1 Key principles to help you get support for your advocacy activities
Remember to consider the following principles which can help you to get support for your advocacy activities:
- Use several tools for advocacy to reach a wide audience (for example, not only the public, but also officials and decision makers), and be sure to form good relationships with your local media representatives.
- Have good relations with the private sector and all the NGOs working in the area around you. Collaborate with them and all the people who can help your advocacy work.
- Have good strategic planning.
- Use effective monitoring tools.
Lete Birhan, who was a student with you on your previous course, is currently working in one of the woredas in Tigray region. She wrote to ask you to explain to her the different tools you would advise her to use for the advocacy activity that she is planning to conduct. What are the tools you are going to suggest that she uses to reach a wide audience?
She needs to consider the most effective advocacy tools in her locality and to choose a range so that she reaches a wide audience. For example, she can use the Tigray regional media for reaching the public as well as the policy or decision makers, NGOs, etc. She may also be able to use her local traditional media. Her work should include using all local forms of communication, as well as a combination of posters and film shows, or perhaps radio spots to convey messages to the influential people or decision makers.