How it works
- Read the articles
- Check out the stories, quizzes and reflections
- Train yourself with the accompanying skills
- Take action!
“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized, I am somebody.”
Advocacy is an organized attempt to change policy, practise, and/or shape attitudes by presenting evidence and arguments for how and why change should happen. It is a set of targeted actions directed at decision-makers in support of a specific policy issue.
So, the core of advocacy is about influencing people with the aim to change policies, practices, structures and attitudes. It can be focused on a particular person, group of people or even an entire organization. Advocacy uses different strategies and a big network of people to reach its goal of bringing change to a large group of people. This change focuses on creating a fair and just society for all.
Advocacy can be done in a lot of different ways and on all different levels. There are small advocacy activities, such as starting a petition in your neighbourhood. There are also bigger advocacy campaigns, sometimes even on an international level, such as international calls from change.org. You can find some more examples of advocacy here.
However, don’t get discouraged by large-scale advocacy projects. A bunch of committed people are able to make a huge difference in their own communities, even more so than global campaigns ever could.
When you want to further explore how advocacy works, then you need to know that these are basic elements or steps you will encounter when doing advocacy:
Selecting an advocacy objective: What issue do you want to advocate for? Is your goal achievable?
Using data and research for advocacy: Do research on the issue you want to address, to make sure you can make informed decisions and set realistic goals.
Identifying advocacy audiences: Who will you direct your advocacy campaign to? Is this really the best person/group/organization to influence?
Developing and delivering advocacy Mmssages: What message can really motivate people to make a change?
Building coalitions: How will you involve a group of people to advocate with you? Who is your ally in this?
Making persuasive presentations: Make sure you bring your message in a convincing way to influence decision makers. How would you bring a message to make a change?
Fundraising for advocacy: Activities often require resources, so think about where you can get resources (human, financial, time) to advocate for your cause.
Evaluating advocacy efforts: Evaluate whether your advocating efforts really made a change in reaching your goal. What would you different next time? What went well?