Building capacity

Building your advocacy competence: handbooks

It is important that organisations wishing to engage in public private dialogue and private sector advocacy build their competence as quickly as possible. The factsheets give a good overview of a wide range of topics but are less comprehensive that the handbooks available here. These were originally originally written to accompany a range of training programmes though are all designed to stand alone. These can be downloaded for your own use. The handbooks are updated periodically and we would welcome your feedback on areas that are sufficiently clear or where you feel the handbooks would benefit from the inclusion of additional material. Note that to download the handbook, you need to click on the title.

Module 0: Foundation

Module 1: The policy process

Module 2: Policy positions

Framing
2.1 Identifying, understanding & framing issues: Explores what is necessary to substantiate that an issue exists, to understand how to commission research, to consider how to assess research evidence once it has been completed and to frame the issue to have a simple solution
Policy positions
2.2 Preparing policy positions: Not so much a training course, but a workshop which takes an actual issue, with research evidence and pulls together an early draft of a policy position paper
Argumentation
2.3 Influence & argumentation: Introduces concepts, tools and techniques that will help BMOs prepare teh arguments to support their policy positions and to engage in dialogue and advocacy in face to face meetings

Module 3: Communications

Comms & PR
3.1 Communications & public relations : Raises awareness of the power of and introduces effective approaches to communications and public relations. This unit will provide a firm foundation for the other units in module 3 and all the units in module 4.
Media relations & social media
2.2 Media relations & social media: Explores when, and when not, and how to use the media, including the setting of objectives for a media campaign and techniques to measure the effectiveness of a media campaign, remembering that media relations is just a small part of public relations. This unit also introduces social media and how it can be used effectively
Interviews
3.3 Interview skills: The ability to give effective, cogent and succicnt answers in interviews is an important skill. This handbook offers a range of techniques to employ to prepare well before you are interviewed by journalists

Module 4: Written communications

Branding
4.1 Branding & house styles: Offers suggestions to ensure that BMOs adopt and maintain a brand so that all documents consistently adhere to a house style. This covers, inter alia, formatting, fonts, use of colour, etc.
Press releases
4.2 Writing press releases: Describes the steps to prepare press releases that will secure good media coverage
Writing
4.3 Preparing written documents: Proposes techniques to ensure that you prepare good written documents, so that the reader is led logically and persuasively through a document or argument.

Module 5: Managing advocacy projects

Financial control
5.2 Effective financial management: Introduces budgets, financial statements, management accounts and bookkeeping technques to help you exercise effective financial control.
Evaluating advocacy
5.3 Evaluating advocacy projects: Introduce a range of techniques to evaluate whether advocacy has been successful, including impact assessment, cost benefit analysis and regulatory impact assessment.

Module 6: Managing a BMO

Leadership
6.1 Leadership, strategy & planning: Introduces and explores the need for effective leadership and strategy in setting the direction of a BMO and how advocacy and dialogue fits within that strategy
Governance
6.2 Corporate governance & ethics: Explores key aspects of governance and ethics and encourages responsible behaviour
Members
6.3 Members & member services: Introduce a range of techniques to evaluate whether advocacy has been successful, including impact assessment, cost benefit analysis and regulatory impact assessment.

Module 7: Research

Research
7. Practical research methods: Introduces a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods together with tools and techniques to analyse the results of the research

Other resources

Links to resources on the net

Annotated policy position example: blood transfusion

Annotated policy position example: sugar regulations

Tools and templates

Here are some tools and templates which you might find helpful as you develop your ideas, prepare your plans and implement your activities.

Simple Gantt chart
If you want shorter briefs, see our range of factsheets

And if you want a more comprehensive approach, see Irwin, D, Jackson, A & Hawley, PA (2012) Advocacy for Business Associations which provides an introduction to advocacy for business associations and others who are seeking to influence public policy using a mix of theory, examples and case studies.