What is advocacy? What are the tools?
Tags: #advocacy #involvement #studentparticipation

A crash course in advocacy and different advocacy tools through drawing, acting and real-life problem solving. ● Defining advocacy ● Exploring the 4 categories of advocacy tools ● Explore the way participants use advocacy tools and the process they go through

● Learning what is advocacy ● Understanding different advocacy tools ● Reflecting on how they use advocacy

Read through OBESSU Manual for School Students pages 37-47 ( (For step 2:) Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy is speaking acting, writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group to promote, protect and defend their welfare and justice Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocacy is: - Taking actions - Protecting rights - Interests - Influence - Promoting justice - Decision makers - Defending welfare and justice on behalf of disadvantaged - Ensure respect of rights - Make a change (law) - Change public perception (For step 4:) How do we plan advocacy? - What exactly do we want to achieve - How to get the DMs to take us seriously - Which are our potential opponents - Look back at the work that has been already done - What do we want to focus on - How do we approach the DMs - Divide your problems - Who has the power over the matter - How do we do this - Is it going to be better when we change it - Who do we want to reach - How strong is the support among the students - Which are the different viewpoints about the issue - Who are exactly the DMs - Can we access this person - Look for cooperation with other groups - Can we succeed in this issue - What is the best strategy - What do we lobby for - Who gets benefit - Do we have arguments to debate (For step 5): 4 categories of advocacy tools are (from OBESSU Manual page 42): 1) Social actions 2) Media actions 3) Discussion actions 4) Internal actions


90 minutes

Flipchart, flipchart papers, markers, post-it notes or some other kind of paper for participants

  • Write down the definitions for advocacy on different papers.
  • Print out the questions for step 4.
  • Write down different advocacy tools on pieces of paper for step 5.

Activities step by step
Step 1: Introduction
5 Minutes

Introduce the tracks and the day all together in plenary.

Step 2: Defining advocacy
10 Minutes

Write three different definitions of advocacy on flipchart papers. Ask participants to go around and select a definition which they like best. In the end, share a little why they selected that particular definition.

Step 3: Advocacy outcomes and involvement
10 Minutes

The trainer discusses together with the group what are always the outcomes of advocacy. Also it is important to mention key difference between advocacy and lobbying here + briefly discuss how should involving civil society groups in advocacy work.

Step 4: How do we plan advocacy?
20 Minutes

The trainer asks the participants to write down what do we need to ask ourselves when planning an advocacy campaign. The results are later put up on a flip chart paper in an order that makes sense. Also the trainer has printed out the questions that can be added.

Step 5: Four categories of advocacy tools
30 Minutes

show or draw - ​the trainer briefly introduces the four categories and puts them on a flip chart (just the category names). Later on a “show or draw game” is played. One participant will get a tool, for example demonstration, and has 1 minute to draw or show (he/she picks) it to others on a flip chart. This goes on for at least 3 tools per category (or more if there is time). Later the trainer puts other tools that are still left on the flip chart.

Step 6: Discussion about organisational realities
20 Minutes

Share about advocacy that participants do in their organisation, what tools have they used, what worked for you, what didn't, what was more/less challenging.

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