Producing a Strategy Document
Usually to develop an Advocacy Strategy you will hold a strategy workshop – or at least a series of meetings with other colleagues. The more participatory the strategic process is (within limits), the greater the likelihood of commitment to the end strategy.
Engage an expert facilitator: If you are new to strategic planning, it may be desirable to have a facilitator to run a Strategic Planning workshop(s) for you. They can design and manage the process, mediate between differing factions, and handle the varied concerns of participants.
If this is not possible, share out tasks between various members of your group.
Keep it simple: Design and use a simple process without too many tools. Use just a few of the tools provided for this course. Also, use simple terminology where possible, and clarify commonly used terms before beginning, to avoid misunderstanding.
There is no definitive time scale for running a process but we recommend the following as a minimum:
Background research and planning (identifying stakeholders and deciding on level of involvement/consultation; examining existing situation and internal organizational experiences; external environment/relevant policy context, designing the participative process etc.). At least two days.
Participative strategy process:
This is the key workshop stage for strategic analysis and decision-making. Aim for as much participation as possible from key stakeholders, but within budget and resource constraints. At least two days (more if board, staff and key stakeholders are consulted separately).
Writing up the draft strategy. Two days. Tip - do it as soon as possible after the workshop, before you forget the discussions).
Draft strategy sent out to all those who may have some role/responsibility in delivering the strategy or whose input/advice would be valuable. At least a two-week consultation period.
Collate and review comments, make necessary amendments to the strategy to create final document, send out final strategy document. One day.
The following is a basic structure you can follow. Do not let it get too long or no-one will read it.
- Clear Title and Contents Page
- Short Introduction and Methodology
- Advocacy Issue
- Context Analysis – a description of the environment and what it means for the advocacy
- Problem and Solution
- Advocacy Aim/Goal
- Advocacy Objectives
- Advocacy Ask(s)
- Risk Analysis
- Appendix with analysis tables, action plan, budget narrative etc.
If you want other parts, it might be best to put them in as Annexes