Public advocacy


Public advocacy takes place in those democratic societies in which the citizens can formally and truly exert influence over institutions and public authorities. NGOs, as organised citizens, rely on public advocacy to complement the official political system by creating opportunities for making their voices heard through a constant dialogue, especially during non-election years when the interaction between political parties and voters is more mitigated than when public authorities fight for their voters’ affection throughout the election race. Public advocacy differs from other approaches because it always strives to change a policy or a programme, i.e. it results in a signed binding resolution (laws, ordinances, decisions). It is therefore tentatively called legislative advocacy.


The target group comprises young people, 15 to 30 years of age, who want to be directly involved in decision-making processes and who have experience previously gained through other educational units.


Advocacy skills are the key to the further development of a democratic practice at all levels of political life. In this process, the role of an activist is of particular importance to the civil society. As part of the workshop on Public advocacy, young people learn how to advocate public interests by making lasting social changes regardless of whether the goal is to improve the position of young people, create equal opportunities for women or build a better school system.
How to draw attention to an important issue and direct decision makers towards finding a solution, influence the decision-making process at all levels, activate the citizens and convince them to join upon relying on public advocacy techniques and strategies? How to assume the roles of those who establish networks and alliances with government and non-governmental organisations, who use the media to spread their messages, how to become a successful advocate, represent the topics young people learn about and consequently get the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through practice.


During the workshops, young people are given the opportunity to acquire particular knowledge upon being guided through the following stages: 1. build trust among users,
2. gain support needed for the organisation’s mission,
3. develop communication channels,
4. encourage the development of the public politics that will be organisation/youth/public-friendly,
5. inform and motivate the major public,
6. develop specific activities,
7. mobilise advocates (lobbyists)
8. gain media visibility for a particular idea which is being implemented.


The Unit objectives are:
1. introduce young people to the definition of public advocacy,
2. prompt young people to get involved in politics, and start introducing changes into this field,
3. animate young people to explore and call for new legislation,
4. provide advice, information and various forms of technical assistance in the course of shaping the public politics,
5. promote greater participation and transparency in the decision-making process.


Young people who have successfully undertaken the workshops on Public advocacy possess the skills and become familiar with public advocacy mechanisms and strategies. They are successful in promoting and advocating changes, and thus directly affect the changes taking place in the local community and even beyond.


The methodology incorporates group work performed in smaller or larger groups, plenary discussions, audiovisual presentations, simulations of real-life situations, and various creative workshops that promote an active acquisition of knowledge. The participants, among other things, have to organise a press conference to present their respective project, upon relying on public advocacy techniques, so as to attract the attention of donors in the best possible manner.


Young people have to make a plan for a local public advocacy campaign, which will be implemented in their own city.


The training course is a very important part in the process of delivering civic education because without public advocacy skills it would be difficult to urge decision makers to implement the initiative launched by the participants.


2 days, 9 hours, 6 units (1.5 hours each)



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