This online course has been prepared to share learning and experience of advocacy across the animal welfare movement. We at World Animal Net (WAN) believe that advocacy is a key tool for achieving the movement’s animal welfare goals in an effective and lasting manner, rather than simply dealing with the symptoms of institutional neglect of animal issues.
Advocacy is a strategy or process to bring about beneficial change in the policies and practice of influential institutions, groups and/or individuals.
There are strong reasons for developing advocacy work to progress animal welfare. These include the following:
In summary, advocacy can improve both the status and welfare of animals in an enduring way.
Research carried out at the USA’s ‘Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship’ confirms that all high-impact NGOs become effective at advocacy, as well as service delivery. Some begin working on service delivery, but add policy advocacy to change legislation and acquire government resources. Others begin with advocacy work, and later add grassroots work to supercharge their advocacy (for example, ‘best practice’ pilot projects). The grassroots work helps the NGO to deliver informed policy advocacy, making legislation more relevant, and advocacy helps the NGO to achieve its policy and program objectives.
Advocacy is a strategy or process to bring about beneficial change in the policies and practice of influential institutions, groups and/or individuals. Advocacy can improve both the status and welfare of animals in an enduring way. There are strong reasons for developing advocacy work to progress animal welfare:
The Advocacy Course is central to the mission and purposes of WAN. The WAN co-founders each have over 20 years of practical experience of all aspects of international animal welfare advocacy. Over the years, we have developed a considerable body of information including subjects such as: animal welfare issues; legislation; education; the animal welfare movement; and animal welfare society management.
From 2005, WAN conducted the highly successful ‘Pioneer Training’ animal welfare leadership program. This included the development of targeted course materials and a one-month residential training course, followed by mentoring.
Following this, WAN’s Director Janice Cox diversified and added development work to her management consultancy portfolio. Much of this was in the field of participatory strategic planning, covering various development issues. Then, in 2009, she used her skills and experiences to draft an Advocacy Toolkit for Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) to use internationally (for country offices and partner organizations). This included all development ‘best practice’ for advocacy. She has also played a leading role in the development of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)’s Southern African Regional Animal Welfare Strategy (SARAWS), including in-depth research and analysis of the animal welfare situation in the Southern African region, and subsequently similar research and analysis for West Africa.
In 2012, WAN piloted this course, as a delivered online course. It has now decided to make these useful resources available online. This is because we are committed to ensuring that this course is widely available to activists across the world.
This course will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about best practice in advocacy. WAN will also endeavor to provide support and advice to animal welfare organizations who apply this course to build a comprehensive advocacy strategy.
The course modules are in-depth, in order to assist busy animal welfare professionals – who can make their own choices about the level of additional reading they pursue – from simple ‘top tips’, to full written modules, and further resources.
This course examines all aspects of advocacy work. It begins with an overview of social change, and how this happens; including the role of social change movements in driving change. Then it examines the strategic planning process for advocacy, using effective strategic planning methods and tools. Different aspects of advocacy are covered, including: research and analysis; networking and alliances; campaigning; media and lobbying. It ends with monitoring and evaluation, which is needed to improve and perfect the advocacy, and to feed back to supporters and funders. Each of the eight modules comes with a presentation which is accessible from the module's introduction page.
This course is suitable for a wide range of national and international audiences. It is recommended for all individuals who are planning to undertake advocacy for animal welfare - including those working in the animal welfare movement; official organizations and governments; and professional animal welfare bodies.
The course consists of the following eight modules:
Important for understanding what social change is, and how it can be brought about to benefit animals – changing the perception of animal welfare as purely a practical, compassionate activity to a force for lasting social change.
Strategy is at the heart of effective advocacy, and this module contains what is needed to develop a practical and winning strategy.
Important for providing thorough analysis of your policy environment and advocacy issue; and for producing credible evidence to support your advocacy.
Important for understanding different models of joint working, and how these can be used to build policy strength and influence for your advocacy.
Important for building and demonstrating public support for you advocacy issue; keeping your issue alive and topical, using creative and inspirational tactics.
Important for reaching and shaping public opinion, and influencing policymakers and other stakeholders.
Important for achieving policy change--gathering support and neutralizing opposition for your policy issue, using effective lobbying techniques.
Important to keep your organization and work on track, continuously improve, and to satisfy increasingly complex feedback requirements from funders.