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Evidence-based Advocacy


Evidence-based Advocacy Serghei Ostaf Brussels, 10 July 2008 for ILGA-Europe Schedule Session 1: What is Advocacy? Normative-based advocacy vs. evidence-based ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Evidence-based Advocacy

Evidence-based Advocacy
  • Serghei Ostaf
  • Brussels, 10 July 2008
  • for ILGA-Europe

  • Session 1 What is Advocacy? Normative-based
    advocacy vs. evidence-based advocacy
  • Session 2 What is evidence? Policy-evidence vs.
  • Session 3 Production of evidence
  • Session 4 Stages for advocacy based on evidence

  • Session 1 What is advocacy?

Case study 1
  • 25 of population is an adolescent representing
    an ever-growing proportion of the population.
    Hospital treatment of teenagers for the
    consequences of unsafe abortion accounts for
    between 20 and 50 of all such cases. Teens aged
    15-19 years also constitute approximately 35 of
    all reported HIV/AIDS cases in country. Still,
    the government prohibits the distribution of
    contraceptives to adolescents.
  • The Center for the Study of Adolescence (CSA) was
    established to conduct research on adolescent
    health issues and to advocate for policies that
    promote the well-being of young people. CSA
    encountered opposition to their advocacy efforts
    early on, but used this opposition to build a
    stronger and more creative force for adolsecent
    reproductive health. Religious organizations that
    had attended several conferences on adolsecent
    reproductive health in Kenya opposed CSA.s work.
  • They were so effective in their opposition to
    family life education in schools that the
    Ministry of Education threatened to eliminate the
    family life program from the curriculum. Against
    this backdrop, youth-serving organizations
    including CSA decided to develop a coalition to
    support adolescent reproductive health.

Case study 1
  • In 2004, they established the Association for the
    Promotion of Adolescent Health (KAPAH), conducted
    advocacy trainings and developed an advocacy
    strategy. KAPAH developed and distributed fact
    sheets on adolescent reproductive health which
    helped to dispel myths and misinformation about
    adolescent reproductive health and programs such
    as family life education. KAPAH also worked
    closely with the press to educate the public
    about the true content of family life education
    programs and the extent of reproductive health
    problems facing countrys youth.
  • KAPAH paid the newspaper to print an overview of
    the family life education curriculum and explain
    the contentious issues. KAPAH.s media advocacy
    was so successful that they now regularly
    contribute views, opinions and advice to a column
    on adolescent health in newspaper . The column is
    sponsored by the Youth Initiative. KAPAH also
    reached out to the opposition and engaged them in
    consultations in order to understand their
    concerns and to find common ground. In addition,
    KAPAH met with individual policy makers and found
    that while these leaders supported adolescent
    health privately, it was difficult for some of
    them to take a public position on the subject.
  • The Association made an effort to support these
    decision makers both publicly and .behind the
    scenes. As a result, KAPAH developed better
    relationships with several ministries including
    the Ministry of Education. In fact, KAPAH
    successfully advocated for pregnant school girls
    to be allowed to stay in school while pregnant
    and to return to school after delivery.

Case study 1
  • Now that you have read the case study, discuss
    how you would define advocacy.
  • Describe the advocacy strategies KAPAH used?

What is Advocacy?
  • Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcomes
    including public-policy and resource-allocation
    decisions within political, economic, and social
    systems and institutions that directly affect
    peoples life.

definitions of advocacy
  • Advocacy is an action directed at changing the
    policies, positions or programs of any type of
  • Advocacy is speaking up, drawing a communitys
    attention to an important issue, and directing
    decision makers toward a solution.
  • Advocacy is working with other people and
    organizations to make a difference.
  • Advocacy is putting a problem on the agenda,
    providing a solution to that problem and building
    support for acting on both the problem and
  • Advocacy can aim to change an organization
    internally or to alter an entire system.
  • Advocacy consists of different strategies aimed
    at influencing decision-making at the
    organizational, local, provincial, national and
    international levels.
  • Advocacy strategies can include lobbying, social
    marketing, information, education and
    communication, community organizing, or many
    other tactics.
  • Advocacy is the process of people participating
    in decision-making processes which affect their

Advocacy dynamics
  • Stage 1 - identification of action issue,
    agenda setting. Unlimited problems, few get on
    the agenda.
  • Stage 2 - solution formulation. proposed
    solutions, selected one that is pol. econ. soc.
  • Stage 3 - building political will to act on
    problem, solution, centerpiece of advocacy,
    include coalition building, meeting with decision
    makers, awareness building and delivering
    effective messages.
  • Stage 4 - policy action, takes place when a
    problem is recognized, solution accepted and
    there is political will to act, all at the same
    time. window of opportunity to seize.
  • Stage 5 - evaluation, often not reached. Good
    advocates assess the effectiveness of their past
    efforts and set new goals based on their

Advocacy Planning
Types of advocacy
  • Normative based advocacy
  • Use of norms, standards, legislation (national,
    CoE, EU)
  • Evidence-based advocacy
  • Evidence from quantitative data and information
  • Evidence from qualitative data and information

What is evidence?
  • Data - facts or representation of facts about
    situations, incl. statistics, capacities and
  • Information - data that has meaning, arranged
    into logical or empirical categories
    (comparative, etc),
  • Evidence information, affects beliefs of
    important people (icl. you) about significant
    features of the problem and how to solve it

What is evidence for?
  • Necessary to produce realistic projections of
    possible policy outcomes
  • Assessing the nature and extend of the problem
  • Assess particular features of concrete policy
  • Assess policies that have been fought, worked
    successfully in situations similar to your own

  • Directions, programs selected by public
    authorities as a direct response of the
  • Set of goals and proposals proposed by a
    political party
  • Policies are expressed in regulations, laws,
    finances, institutions, concrete programs (but
    not laws only)

Policies input-output
  • INPUT ----gt POLICIES ----gt OUTPUT
  • Perception regulation
  • Organization distribution respect
  • Demand redistribution
  • Support capitalization
  • neglect ethic procedure legitimacy,

  • modification

  • adjusting

Political process public choice
  • James Buchanan public choice revolution Nobel
  • public policies will create value added and
    benefit only if interests of political actors
    will be in accord with the effective and
    efficient use of resources
  • Economic model of political process
    Voter-consumer, politician -supplier

Session -2
  • What is evidence? Policy-evidence vs.
  • Mapping constituencies of advocacy
  • Understanding what evidence is relevant
  • Methods to produce evidence

Mapping audience
  • One constructive way to separate audiences into
    groups is to identify primary and secondary
  • What is a primary audience? The primary audience
    includes decision makers with the authority to
    affect the outcome for your objective directly.
    These are the individuals who must actively
    approve the policy change. These decision makers
    are the primary targets of an advocacy strategy.

Mapping audience
  • What is a secondary audience? Individuals and
    groups that can influence the decision makers (or
    primary audience). They affect the opinions and
    actions of the decision makers.
  • May contain oppositional forces to your
    objective. Address them as part of your strategy.

Advocacy audience
  • Policy-makers I (legislative bodies)
  • Policy-makers II (ministerial bodies)
  • Policy-implementers (agencies, service delivers,
  • Political parties
  • Mass-media
  • Opposing parties
  • Judiciary

Advocacy audience preference for evidence
  • Based on slide above, what kind of evidence would
    actors prefer?

Role of policy community/network in shaping agenda
  • Actor interest
  • Maximize resources
  • Additional control of resource
  • Interest dimensions
  • Financial resources
  • Political resources
  • Human and technological resources
  • Bureaucracy resources

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Research method for audience
  • Observation This is the most common way to gather
    information about audiences cheaply and quickly.
  • Talk with people who are familiar with the
  • Gossip talk with other advocates and colleagues.
    This is especially helpful in learning what
    audiences really think about issues their true
    opinion may be different from their .official.
  • Read speeches or other documents written by the
    key organizations or individuals
  • Review the results of recent polls, surveys or
    focus groups
  • Attend open meetings where the individual or
    group will be speaking or participating.

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Audience belief, attitude
Audience belief, attitude
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Role of policy community in agenda or policy
  • a) Public policy community (Ministry, Department,
    Parliament, Agency, parties)
  • b) Administrative network (territorial agencies,
    representatives in the territory)
  • c) Opportunity groups (any of the above)

Policy agenda shaping
  • Actors
  • President most powerful, can change agenda
  • Staff of president important in determining
    president opinion and alternatives.
  • Cabinet ministers, prime-minister important to
    establish subject on the agenda
  • Civil servants technically determine the
    alternatives, have expertise, link to interest
    groups, long live,
  • Parliament ability to change agenda and
  • Staff of Parliament contributes in shaping the

Public agenda shaping
  • Outside government
  • Interest groups various degree of influence on
  • Type of business groups business (important),
    professional (important), trade unions
  • Academics, researches, consultants impact on
    alternatives, can have impact on long-term
  • Media report on achievements and failures
  • Public opinion important only to some extent,
    affects to some extent institutional agenda and
    some alternatives

Shaping policy agenda
Participants From government Outside government president political appointees Parliament (deputies) Staff of president, parliament Civil servants
Participants From government Outside government elections-related participants Public opinion interest groups academics, consultants, opinion-makers
Participants From government Outside government (VIZIBIL) (INVIZIBIL)
Approach Agenda changes sharply incrementalism
Approach Garbage-can model combination of agendas and alternatives, combined with solutions Garbage-can model combination of agendas and alternatives, combined with solutions
Processes Problems and politics Policies
Agenda setting
Session 3
  • Production of evidence
  • Problem analysis
  • Problem analysis approaches
  • Research methods

Advocacy problem definition
  • Problems -- gt Subjects -- gt Advocacy Strategy
  • Substantive problems
  • Process problems
  • Participatory (constituency based) problem
  • Causes-problem effects
  • Problem tree analysis
  • Causes economic, political, socio-cultural

Identify the key factors first
Promoting inclusion of children with special
needs in mainstream extended services
Analyse each of the key factors (main bones) in
Clarity of future budget provisions
Wheelchair access limited
Need for special equipment materials
Reliance on voluntary agencies
Unreliable estimates of costs
Need to train up mainstream staff
Stairs limit access to facilities
High costs of special medical social support
Promoting inclusion of children with special
needs in mainstream extended services
Limited No. of specially qualified staff
Specialist transport required
Low awareness and tolerance among mainstream
Staff work- life balance issues
Dependent on existing LA contract
Higher staff to pupil ratio
Need to adjust travel times
Advocacy problem definition
  • "deficit-excess",
  • "existence of unfairness, "discrimination
  • market failure",
  • nonfunctioning of systems, processes"
  • failure of government to exercise obligations"
  • absence of the system,
  • factors that cause the problems also constitute
    a problem"
  • too much, many, too little, rapid growth,
    not working, bad

Quantitative evidence
  • Surveys assisted by operators
  • Surveys (self-completion questionnaires) not
    assisted by operators
  • Exit polls
  • Hypothesis, questions, answers

Evidence from qualitative research -1
  • Interviewing and semi-structured interviewing,
  • Focus-groups (interview of group on a topic,
    experts, beneficiaries, etc),
  • Case study of a particular situation, phenomenon,
    occurrence (or a number of cases),
  • Discourse content analysis (politicians, experts,
  • Review (meta-review) of secondary sources and

Evidence from qualitative research -2
  • Analysis of information on budgets, finances
    (administrative, policy),
  • Institutional analysis (procedures, allocations),
  • Secondary analysis of statistics (regular,
    administrative, etc)

Case study 2
  • Evaluation of LGBT mental health policy in
  • What research methods have been used in the
  • What specific evidence you can find in the paper?
  • What are the conclusions, recommendations of the

Session 4
  • Stages for advocacy based on evidence

Evidence strategy
  • What evidence is needed and for whom?
  • Schedule evidence production process!
  • Evaluate internal and locate external resources!

Advocacy strategies (tactics)
  • Monitoring reporting
  • Media awareness and public education
  • Policy lobby
  • Strategic litigation
  • Partnerships/constituency building
  • Empowerment
  • Nonviolent resistance

General Advocacy Strategy
  • Strategy approach
  • Offensive
  • Defensive
  • Driving Forces (what changes the whole situation)
  • Key Success Factors (KSF)

Advocacy SWOT analysis
  • Outward looking
  • Inward looking
  • Advocacy issue
  • SWOT analysis (force field)

Outward Looking Assessment
  • a.       political parties, who are they,
    orientation (relate to main stream definitions or
    doctrine orientation if possible, name leading
    individuals, get some facts about them), are
    there any international links?! research what
    is their attitude towards LGBT
  • b.      What are important civil society groups
    (human rights, resource centres, media based,
    think tanks, youth, etc), specifically what is
    their attitude towards LGBT
  • c.       Type of democracy of your country
    presidential based, parliamentary based,
    government led
  • d.      Mass-media actors main papers,
    influence, links to parties or other groups, get
    facts of chief editors
  • e.       Are there specific human rights bodies
    ombudsman, etc
  • f.        Assess the degree of awareness on human
    rights in the country and critical it is for the
  • g.       Are there any polls on LGBT attitude
    from the population

Inward Assessment
  • a.       Describe experience of advocacy (types
    of strategies media work, reporting, litigation,
    lobby, etc)
  • b.      Types of experts in the organization
    (legal, political science, journalist, human
    rights backgrounds) or links to experts outside
  • c.       Describe what organization does now
    (services, activities)
  • d. Describe Leadership capacity in the

Inward Assessment
  • Local level
  • Organic ties between popular-movement leadership
    and support orgns
  • Long track record in the regional/local area
  • Using paraprofessionals for outreach or locals
    with technical knowledge
  • Ability to identify and provide support for local
    grass-root orgns
  • Knowledge, ability to explain regional, national,
    international decision-making processes to help
    local groups navigate through them
  • Ability to frame issues in the larger
    socio-economic-political and human rights
    context, stimulate reflection, help formulate
    analytical capacity
  • Listening closely to peoples issues, fears,
    hopes and desires.

Inward Assessment
  • Regional/national level
  • Knowledge of bureaucracy and decision-making
    process to know where the key points of
    intervention are
  • Personal contacts and social political networks
    to open up access to power arenas
  • Ability to use highly technical skills as entry
    into issues (legal skills, legislative, economic,
    environmental expertise)
  • Playing a broker role in opening doors, getting
    orgn members a seat at the table at higher levels
    of power
  • Ability to identify and cultivate receptive
    subgroups within the bureaucracies
  • Finding campaign vehicles that resonate deeply,
    but also get at the core issues (paradigmatic
    human rights issues, domestic violence, etc)

Inward Assessment
  • International level
  • Physical presence, personal ties, other
    connections in this arena
  • Knowledge of the systems, doctrines, laws,
    procedures and so (EU, UN, CoE)
  • Special competency (policy knowledge, technical
    skills, legal skills)
  • Friends and allies who can open doors and provide
    guidance on skills needed to act at this level
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