Youth policy advocacy
This discussion is very enganging and practical. I have been involved in youth policy advocacy work in various ways: When I was a student at university on issues regarding student loans and grants provision by the government. What worked well.. is that there was wide participation by the students. What did not go well is a demonstration by students before the matter could be addressed. This further delayed the process as some students were expelled. The key advocay message directed at the school council and central government was to increase the university grants.
A second situation was policy advocacy regarding implementation of the girl children re-entry policy in Zambia. What worked was gathering evidence on the prevalence of the issue in the focus districts. The key advocay messages were directed at parents/husbads to allow girls back to school, to schools to change their attitudes removing stigma and taking the girls back. --Smauye 06:46, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Smauye, I think we share somethings in common-Advocacy by Student leadership. It's unfortunate some of your people faced the full rigors of the law through their expulsion following a demonstration.--Kafuiaheto 07:58, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your contribution - I note student life is full of opportunities for advocacy campaigns. It may be worthwhile to enhance skills of students in advocacy, your thoughts?
Students need to develop better advocacy strategies than the traditional running battles they have. In most campuses including in Europe, students are good at rioting to get their messages across. But if we are looking for a future of leaders who use diplomacy and peace to have their way, we need to help students begin to appreciate negotiation for advocacy
I agree with you intoto. I have coached students to use diologue and diplomacy in resolving conflicts rather than confrontation with the powers that be and the result has always been positive. Sometimes because of youth exuberance, some of them have rioted to get their messages across, but the consequencies have been dissastrous. Indeed if we really believe that the youth are the future leaders of this beautiful planet, then we've got a lot to do with youth 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.