Youth policy advocacy
Thanks for your contribution. I like the fact that you mentioned what worked well and what didn't, that is very critical information when we get to evaluating how successful an advocacy campaign is/was. I note you mention there was wide participation of the people affected by the issue (students) - this helps a lot it confirming that it is/was a real issue. In advocacy strategies it always works well when the affected group is part of the process. Of course you mention too that the demonstration spoiled the gains you had earlier made - it is always important to make a plan on how best you want to proceed with an advocacy strategy as well as making the participants of the campaign aware of actions that may not be helpful towards achieving your advocacy goal, that way, each one of us takes responsibility of our actions. I know that in a number of instances, unexpected circumstances make it difficult to realise your agreed plan, but it becomes manageable to identify with the people and actions that should not have happened.
I note that in your second advocacy campaign, it was key to gather as much evidence as possible on the matter to constructively develop a key message around the issue. It is important to do your evidence based research before an advocacy campagn
We once did did an advocacy campaign in Zambia on Sex Education in schools, we did in the rural areas of Central Province. What worked was mapping the stakeholders in 4 categories: Supporters, Opposers, Neutrals and Infulencers. We needed to know who was on our side and who we would work with. That mapping helped us have a lot of wuick wins within the communities. However what didnt work was that we engaged, lower level stakeholders like head teachers and not higher government official, so even after having support from the locals, it was hard for change to come coz approval was needed from higher offices. And that meant starting afresh.