As part of ongoing discussions with many colleagues on the Open Society Foundations’ role in advocacy and what kinds of change are most amenable to advocacy, we have developed this guide as a basic, introductory resource. It is aimed at activists and NGO staff considering doing advocacy perhaps for the first time. There will be those who know everything in this manual already!
This guide outlines important, basic steps to ensure that your advocacy is as effective as possible. It draws on learning within the Open Society Foundations’ network, especially the experiences of our advocacy colleagues, as well as resources from other organizations.
Understanding of and engagement with advocacy varies from one organization to another. Here is a description that I hope helps clarify what we mean by advocacy:
Advocacy is an organized attempt to change policy, practice, and/or attitudes by presenting evidence and arguments for how and why change should happen. As advocates we should always be clear about the values and principles which inform our reason for taking a particular stand. Key to delivering effective advocacy is the evidence we can gather, the messages that we present, and, of course, clarity about the impact that we achieve.
International Advocacy Director