What Is Advocacy Strategy ?


The advocacy strategy refers basically creating a roadmap and acting according to that road map. In this case, the strategy includes determining the situation, defining the place to be reached and determining how to reach it.

The advocacy strategy may differ depending on how the situation, location, time, people, target audience and circumstances are defined. It is not possible to speak of a single advocacy strategy, considering that external factors cannot be controlled within a strategy. As a result, each organization’s advocacy strategy may vary due to its own circumstances.

First things to do for an advocacy strategy are;

1) Identifying the Problem

2) Analysis of the Problem

The aim of the problem analysis is to determine how laws and policies lead to this problem, to determine how they contribute to the solution of the problem, and to reveal all the information deficiencies necessary to complete the analysis and the roadmap.

3) Triangle Analysis (content-culture-structure)

The problem is examined in three different ways: content, culture and structure. Content; covers laws, policies, and budgets that relate to the issue you are addressing. Structure; includes formal or informal institutions that exist for the implementation of a policy or law. Culture includes people’s perceptions of the problem / issue depending on the value judgments, customs, class, society, religion, gender, ethnicity, etc.

When the analysis is done, organizations should determine 4) an advocacy strategy considering the external factors. This strategy is determined after the organization decision on which component of content-culture and structure it wishes to influence in line with the aims and objectives determined in the short term or long term.

The long-term goal is a social transformation that the organization wants to achieve; this is also in line with the vision of the organizations.

The short-term objective is the advocacy solution proposed for the desired effect or the problem. At this point, the short-term objective is all of the concrete activities should be achieved in order to achieve the short-term objective.

At that point, it is very important to use 5) SMART analysis to determine the objectives. SMART analysis makes the objectives special (answers of who, where, when questions), measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound.

6) Identification of the actors

With SMART analysis, it is determined who will be affected, how target group will be affected and how they will be associated with institutions and organizations. In these relations, the institutions (parliament, bureaucracy, courts, local governments, etc.) which are identified within the structure of the triangle analysis should be determined for each objective. Private sector and non-governmental organizations may also be included in these actors. They can be defined as the actors that will affect civil society in line with the objectives determined by the cultural dimension within the triangle analysis. Also, an outsider group can be defined as an actor. In summary, the definition of actors may vary according to the purpose and objective of the organizations.

7) Creating SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is very important for advancing the advocacy strategy in an accurate and desirable way. After the identification of the actors which are affected by the aims and objectives, an analysis should be made for the organizational structure and the political, economic and cultural situation. At this point, defining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which the organization can be faced is important for the advocacy strategy.

As a result of this analysis, objectives should be reviewed for the long and short term. The strategy should be built on the strengths of the organization and aims to minimize the weaknesses of the organization. The strategy should also be aimed take advantage of identified opportunities to minimize existing threats.

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