Key Principles of Partnership Advocacy
There are some key principles and recommendations that were developed specifically to cover advocacy collaborations, but also apply to many other animal protection collaborations. These are summarized briefly below:
- Participatory approaches: Develop ‘ownership’ and ‘buy-in’ through participatory planning from an early stage. This would usefully include a joint steering group and joint strategic planning.
- Action-orientation: Work together on agreed priorities. To maximize outcomes, design the collaboration’s work around actions, rather than unfocused discussions. Ensure that clear action-orientated goals and objectives and developed, and shared roles and responsibilities.
- Skills and resources inventory.
- Know and play to strengths: Understanding each organizations’ comparative advantages - expertise, skills, contacts and resources – and using these to fulfill the collaboration’s goals.
- Integration: Advocacy should not be seen as something separate to your organization’s program work. Advocacy should be integrated into all program work, including ‘service delivery’ work carried out for government. Every practical animal welfare problem should be analyzed in order to discover root problems and find sustainable policy solutions – with advocacy work introduced to achieve these. Advocacy should be introduced throughout your organization’s planning and budgeting processes.
- Share visibility: The principle of conducting advocacy with partners implies that the visibility that accrues through the work will be shared. Any reports produced as part of the work should include the logo and contact details of each of the main author organizations. Similarly for any public events (conferences, marches, campaign actions, press releases etc.), consideration should be given to how each organization could be profiled and/or credited. Partnership guidelines should be prepared on the use of photos and video footage for publication and communication.
- Focus on capacity development: Build and use ‘best practice’, and make ‘continuous improvement’ part of the collaboration’s ethos. Each piece of advocacy should leave partners in a stronger position. Expertise in areas such as: advocacy, media, communications, policy, and organizational development should be utilized and shared throughout. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) should be central to this process. Where advocacy campaigns cover a number of countries or regions, local knowledge and risk analysis should be valued and shared.