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Implementing a participative advocacy approach

A co-production in the form of educational posters

Participative advocacy consists of helping groups to make their problems visible and to seek solutions by involving all the actors in a territory : the people concerned, the community, the authorities, other organisations, etc.

During peer-to-peer capacity building sessions, APEF, Duhamic-Adri and CENCA presented their experiences in participative advocacy. These exchanges allowed us, together, to identify commonalities and differences in these approaches, and to decide to produce six posters intended for facilitators who wish to develop these approaches or reflect on their practice.

In the downloadable booklet, you will find the six posters and pedagogical tips for leading a team reflection on participative advocacy.

Three posters allow you to reflect on participative advocacy approaches :
- Participative advocacy, what for ?
 The steps of participative advocacy
 Mobilising actors of participative advocacy

Three posters present the actions carried out, for inspiration :
- APEF’s community barza
 The virtual parliament of Duhamic-Adri
 CENCA’s participatory video

These tools enable teams to reflect on the objectives, steps and mobilisation strategies of a participative advocacy approach. This reflection can be carried out with a team that is already carrying out participative advocacy actions, or that wishes to start implementing them.

The first poster shows that the aims of participative advocacy can be situated at different levels :
- Promote empowerment, participation and awareness :
o For participants : to become aware of their rights, abilities, power
o For the community : fostering community dynamics for change, awareness of problems, injustices and inequalities
- Seeking solutions to concrete problems, getting the authorities to take decisions that improve the situation of the people.

Depending on the approach, priority may be given to one or the other of these levels. But in any case, these two aims feed off each other : the more the populations see that the authorities take decisions on the basis of their diagnoses and recommendations, the more they become aware of their power over their situation.
Within a team, within an organisation, we may not all the same representations regarding the most important purpose when engaging in participative advocacy.

Although the different purposes are mutually reinforcing, it is important to know where you stand on the purpose ’slider’ for several reasons :
  To be able to exchange and reflect calmly within the team on the issues of participative advocacy,
  To be able to clearly present the different issues to the people we work with,
  To take these different aims into account when evaluating the results of one’s action (for example : not to consider that there were no results if one did not succeed in changing the laws, but that the empowerment process worked).

The second poster shows that the materials produced and the presentation sessions with the authorities and the media are only the tip of the iceberg !

The third poster shows that mobilising the actors of participative advocacy takes a lot of time and energy, but it is crucial, because it is the mobilisation of the participants that allows the mobilisation of other actors to take place.

Finally, the three posters presenting examples of action allow everyone to understand how different participative advocacy approaches work and the steps involved, so that they can draw inspiration from them.

To learn more about the community barza, you can also read the following article : The community barza.

To learn more about the virtual parliament, you can also read the following article : The virtual parliament.

To learn more about the participatory video, you can also read the following article : The participatory video .

Download the complete booklet !

Booklet : implementing a participative advocacy approach
Booklet : implementing a participative advocacy approach