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Monday, 28 November 2016 18:24

The Role of Strategy in Effective Advocacy

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I am sorry I was not able to attend the 2016 Effective Animal Advocacy Research Symposium which was held at Princeton University on November 12-13th. Interestingly, I note that this was organised and co-sponsored by Animal Charity Evaluators, so this ties in nicely with our last blog on Effective Altruism. Overviews of the conference presentations can be read on the event website. We were pleased to see that there were contributions on social science and movement building from Zachary Groff and Ling-Ann Hsiung, which we believe to be a crucial aspect of lasting social change.

EA blogWAN has been focussing on strategic advocacy for 20 years, and has carried out extensive research on best practice in advocacy from across social change movements. We have used this work to produce our Strategic Advocacy Course, which is currently available free on our website and will shortly be turned into an online course for the AP movement. We believe that this course will meet the need expressed by Greg Bose (ACE’s Advocacy Research Program Officer) in the blog “Charities We'd like to See” – where Greg mentions the possibility of a new or existing charity helping advocacy groups with evaluation policies and practices and providing relevant training.

Our course includes all aspects of strategic advocacy, including Social Change and Strategy as well as the four major aspects of advocacy: research and analysis; campaigning; lobbying; and networking and alliances.

There is also a Module dedicated to Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), and a full set of advocacy tools in the Advocacy Toolkit, including tools covering M&E, which is an often neglected aspect of advocacy.

Effective strategy must be based on thorough research, analysis and heart-searching. The movement definitely needs a more strategic approach to its advocacy work to bring about lasting social change. With the right approach and tools, every organisation can be successful in charting a pathway to its own desired change for animals, and create lasting and significant improvements to the lives of animals. With this in mind, we are proud to announce our new Backgrounder on Effective Advocacy, which highlights the importance of a strategic approach to advocacy and includes some of our favourite messages and tips.

Click here to download the Backgrounder.

Janice Cox

Janice is co-founder and a director of World Animal Net. She has held a variety of management and advocacy roles in the international animal welfare movement over the past 30 years. Janice focuses on WAN’s work on advocacy, development and education/training. Based in South Africa, she has assisted with regional strategic planning for animal welfare on the continent, including working with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)'s Southern African office for one year. Janice was the recipient of the Humane Society International 2014 award for “extroardinary commitment and achievement for animal protection”.


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