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Policy Advocacy and Engagement Training Narrative Report - Abuja Nigeria 2 (Feb 2010)

Policy Advocacy and Engagement Training Narrative Report - Abuja Nigeria 2 (Feb 2010)

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RAPPORTEUR REPORT
ON

POLICY ENGAGEMENT & ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ACTORS IN NIGERIA
ORGANISED BY

WEST AFRICA CIVIL SOCIETY INSTITUTION (WACSI), OPEN SOCIETY INITIATIVE FOR WEST AFRICA (OSIWA) AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM INITIATIVE (LGI)
February 22-26, 2010 ABUJA, NIGERIA

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................. 3 DAY ONE ........................................................................................................................................................ 4 OPENING CEREMONY ............................................................................................................................... 5 SESSION ONE ............................................................................................................................................ 7 SESSION TWO ........................................................................................................................................... 9 DAY TWO ..................................................................................................................................................... 11 SESSION ONE .......................................................................................................................................... 12 SESSION TWO ......................................................................................................................................... 13 DAY THREE .................................................................................................................................................. 16 SESSION ONE ........................................................................................................................................... 17 SESSION TWO .......................................................................................................................................... 18 DAY FOUR.................................................................................................................................................... 19 SESSION ONE ........................................................................................................................................... 20 SESSION TWO ......................................................................................................................................... 21 SESSION THREE ....................................................................................................................................... 23 HOW TO CONSTRUCT A PERSUASIVE MESSAGE ................................................................................... 23 DAY FIVE ...................................................................................................................................................... 25 SESSION ONE ........................................................................................................................................... 26 CLOSING CEREMONY .............................................................................................................................. 28 FURTHER COMMUNICATION .................................................................................................................. 29 APPENDIX: PROFILE OF WORKSHOP ORGANISERS ................................................................................. 31

INTRODUCTION
With focus on strengthening Policy Advocacy Initiatives in West Africa, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WASCI) organized a Policy Engagement & Advocacy Training workshop that will build capacity and enhancing policy advocacy practices amongst civil society actors in the sub-region. This was done in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI-OSI). Shortlisted Participants for the Training workshop went through a vigorous selection process aimed at choosing the right group of persons with basic understanding of policy advocacy and the role of civil society in advancing the policy formulation process within the society and West Africa in particular. Managed by WACSI, the workshops were organized to further share best practices and approaches for influencing policy throughout its various stages of formulation, implementation and/or review in West Africa. These training workshops were the final phase of the Train-the-Trainers (ToT) certification process in Policy Advocacy which kicked off December 2009. The Abuja leg of the Training workshop was the first in the final Phase of the ToT workshop series with the scheduled participation of about one hundred (100) civil society practitioners spread across West Africa. A total of thirty (30) participants drawn from NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, Womens’ groups and Youth Networks were present at the five (5) day event held February 22-26, 2010. The venue of the workshop was Dennis Hotel, Wuse 2, Abuja. This rapporteur report details the daily proceedings as it ensued over the course of the workshop at the Ihialia Hall section of the event.

DAY ONE
February 22, 2010

OPENING CEREMONY The first day of the workshop opened with the Lara Balogun (WACSI) welcoming everybody with brief remarks. She also introduced other persons seated on the high table who were the following; I. II. III. Mr. Oladayo Olaide (OSIWA) Ms. Lisa Quinn (LGI/OSI) Mr. Eoin Young (LGI/OSI)

In his opening remarks, Mr. Oladayo Olaide, acting director of OSIWA (Open Society Initiative for West Africa, Nigeria) welcomed and congratulated the participants on being selected for the training workshop. Mr. Olajide emphasized the fact that the workshop model was quite interactive, tasking as it sought to ensure participants used knowledge gained thereafter in their work. This, he noted was responsible for the structure and style of the workshop. This will maximise the impact and consolidate on the gains of the Training workshop. Mr. Eoin Young of the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative/ Open society Initiative-(LGI/OSI) then took the floor and gave a detailed analysis of the various activities of his organization and its journey over the years working in Eastern Europe to promoted democratic and effective governance and public administration by advancing policy analysis as a tool decision making in public affairs Ms. Lisa Quinn also of (LGI/OSI) further elaborated on the activities of the organization and the tremendous progress made so far via the Train-the-Trainer (ToT) programme. She also briefly spoke of the ten (10) selected trainers drawn from the West African Sub-region. Four of these ten trainers facilitated the Abuja Training Workshop. They are  Mr. Alhassan Mohammed  Mr. Paul Bemshima Nyulaku  Mr. Kaine Nwashili  Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward Participants were split into two groups with our designated group assigned to Ihiala Hall. Our Two trainers were Mr. Paul Bemshima and Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward. The training commenced with the first activity conducted by Ms. Margaret (trainer). She encouraged all participants to get to interact with different people across the room as a group familiarization exercise. Afterwards, participants shared experiences and knowledge about persons they met and new insight they had gained from the exercise. The activity was followed

by the establishment of ground rules that will guide us throughout the training workshop. The rules were democratically made and conceded with sanctions against anyone who flaws anyone of them. The participants were then divided into 3 teams to itemize their expectations from the training workshop and afterwards, share such with the general group. These expectations are captured below:

WORKSHOP EXPECTATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS AT THE WACSI POLICY ADVOCACY TRAINING WORKSHOP
GROUP 1           Underlying basis for policy engagement Best Practices: Are there examples of policy makers who have made it and how participants can benefit from their experiences Due to the peculiar terrain in Nigeria, how can policy makers be engaged Basic understanding of policy engagement How to write a policy paper How to build the capacity of policy makers How to make a 5-day training not boring How do participants conduct similar trainings for others Enhanced skills in communication to encourage participation Policy making as it relates to conflict management

GROUP 2

Group 3

Based on these participants’ expectations, the following points were agreed with respect to goal, outlines and methodology of the workshop.  Workshop Goal       To equip participants with strategy and insight on how to carry out advocacy campaigns and how to use the skills and resources to engage the processes to achieve the desired policy objectives Context of policy advocacy and writing Structuring and developing a coherent policy paper Developing a targeted advocacy plan using the advocacy planning framework Will be practical and learning centered Learning by doing approach Participants experience in policy advocacy

Outline

Methodology

Trainers: Mr. Paul Bemshima Nyulaku Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward SESSION ONE Participants were requested to go through the training manual during their leisure and if they had any questions they could raise it during the workshop. They were also encouraged to use the manual to train other colleagues in their various organizations afterwards. Discussing their experiences in policy writing and advocacy, the following common points were found: - Alliance building: One of the participants recounted to the group his experience advocating the establishment of a youth committee in the National Assembly. This campaign was successful as a Committee on Youth Issues was established in the House of Representatives and a Committee on Women and Youth Issues was established in the Senate. He was also involved in advocating the passage of the child rights act in the National Assembly. He highlighted the need to ensure all stakeholders are carried along as while advocating for the Child Rights bill, it was essential to get support from both Muslims and Christians thereby securing widespread support without any religious barriers. The act was passed in 2003. Identification of stakeholders: It was established here that an understanding of the context of a policy position been sought is necessary and aids the identification of stake holders.

 Based on participants’ experiences, some of the Challenges faced:  Involvement of policy makers in the process of governance: One major problem encountered was getting policy makers to be aware of their role in governance and building relationships between stakeholders. - Stereotyped notions: This involved managing certain perceptions and at times belief already existing. - Fighting against unpopular themes: A particular issue may not be in the agenda of policy makers. - Religion - Presentation: It is critical to present policy issues in ways appealing to policy makers - Development of communication skills - Capacity to develop and manage human and financial resources: the need for resources to get issues through to the policy makers. Bureaucratic processes take too long time.

-

Gender: People tend to pose resistance because a particular gender is involved. Timing: This is crucial to determining the failure or success of programmes. Mistrust between government and CSOs Acquisition and use of data to support their issues: This most often results in the failure of programmes as there is no evidence to support their cause. Talk down approach.

The training progressed into the second exercise where participants were divided into 3 groups and were given the responsibility to name their groups and come up with what they considered to be five (5) most important characteristics of an effective advocacy paper. CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY PAPER Group No Group Name 5 characteristics of an Effective Advocacy Paper Group 1 MOLZI GROUP  Have research background  Clear objectives  Short and straight to the point  Capture the interest of policy makers  Demand a specific line of action Group 2 CHANGE-MAKERS  Background statement of the problem  Need driven and solution based  Contain all relevant data  Must be clear, precise and easy to understand  Should be targeted at specific policy makers Group 3 ABLE GROUP  Identification the issue  Identification of the target group  Addressing the issues  Strategy or methodology of advocacy  Recommendations/conclusion

SESSION TWO The second session began with a warm-up exercise, where specifically participants were saddled with a “running dictation game”. This was to shake off some lethargy and quickly get everyone back in learning mood. In this session the following were looked into: Public policy writing: These contextual factors were identified for framing any policy project. a- Perspective/Views Participants were asked to carry out activity two on page ten (10) in the training manual. It was stated that the definition in this activity were selected because they possess certain principles and different opinions of public policy. Members went through the definitions and identified key words central to policy making. The following themes were found to be key perspectives from the definitions: 1- Authoritative government action 2- Problem/solution relationship 3- Addressing specific problems to achieve ( Outcome oriented) 4- Change 5- Process/ interaction between stakeholders 6- Framework that guides decisions 7- A course of action or strategy ( goals, decision and means of achieving) 8- Political (Value driven) 9- Decision making based in interaction amongst stakeholders b- People: Policy networks. Discussions focused on how interactions shape public policy. c- Process: Understanding Policy making processes ROLE PLAY: This exercise involved Role cards on the privatization of education in African countries being given to participants for them to act out their interpretation. In the course of this, participants saw the processes involved both in policy making & policy channeling and also identified patience as key in achieving the desired objective. It was further stated that different views and multiple interactions most often change the pattern/ dynamics of policy making as there are not clear cut ways of achieving it. Furthermore it seemed the longer a policy advocacy process gets, the messier things became hence it is critical to manage such situations correctly.

Participants also made note of the fact that in real life settings, direct access to the main policy makers is almost never at play especially in the Nigerian context as the policy making process is greatly aided by one’s ability to network amongst different stakeholders. The next activity was for the participants to identify the following components of an effective policy advocacy process: COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE POLICY ADVOCACY PROCESS Types of people/ - Trade unions organizations - Traditional ruler - NGOs - Governments official - Student Union - The Press - Ministry of Education and Finance - Politicians Means of - Radio talks Communication - Media - Letters - Advocacy groups - Policy papers - Industrial actions - Campaigns/Rallies - Meetings - Seminars and workshops - Communiqué/ position papers - Press conferences Values and Interest - Profit making Over-all perspective of the network - A policy paper should be persuasive - Must justify policy action - Must Call to action - Must be a Decision making tool - Should address a target audience. - The problem - The solution - The application *it is essential that facts and figures-statistics are presented in our advocacy
paper.

A policy paper must show the following

END OF DAY ONE

DAY TWO
February 23, 2010

Trainers: Mr. Paul Bemshima Nyulaku Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward SESSION ONE The workshop opened with a game focused on reminding participants on knowledge and learning gained from the previous day. The following were identified:  Interaction  Evidence based  Policy making  Contextual issues  Policy  Public policy, policy advocacy  Policy paper  Problem- solution FRAMEWORK OF A POLICY PAPER A policy paper is not a research paper/consultancy report/programme implementation plans. A policy maker was defined as a person responsible for making a change happen and this does not necessarily mean the Government as a policy may be targeted at expert groups. A policy paper was differentiated from a policy brief as follows: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A POLICY PAPER & A POLICY BRIEF OF POLICY STUDY POLICY BRIEF Targets other policy specialists Targets decision makers and a broad but knowledgeable audience Issues driven: Broad recommendation Policy message designed to convince and analysis of policy issues key stakeholders Dissemination and debate on results of Used for advocacy and lobbying policy research inform the policy brief purposes Can include much primary record Includes only key findings from primary research Can be quite discipline specific/technical Must be clear and simple Up to 260 pages Between 4 and 10 pages

AREA DIFFERENCE Audience Focus Context of use Methodology

Ideas/Language use Length

Participants discussed among themselves the above stated differences. At the end of the exercise, it was sought to know if was necessary to carry out a primary research before bringing out a policy brief. In response, it was stated that a policy brief is not a summary of a study. A policy study is technical as well as attention grabbing. It was also sought to know if it is important to produce a policy study before a brief. This was stated not to be necessary as the need for a brief could be urgent as there might be an urgent situation that must be dealt with and no time to conduct a study. Also a person may already be knowledgeable in a particular area and as such will not need to carry out a research first before producing a brief. It was however stated that because a research was not conducted, the brief may be lacking in certain areas. A policy brief was however identified as a call to action and the context of use is important in determining the type of policy paper to be produced.

SESSION TWO COMMON STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS OF THE POLICY STUDY 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Title Table of content Abstract/Executive Summary Introduction Problem description Policy options Appendices Bibliography Endnotes

Participants were divided into groups and given different elements of a policy paper to study & discuss with the entire group. They were asked to identify the purpose of the element in the paper, its main feature, its organizational structure and factors to consider when writing that element GROUP 1- PROBLEM DESCRIPTION (PAST AND PRESENT) Purpose of the element:  Identifies, defines and elaborates the nature of the problem  The need to convince the reader that the issue in focus requires government action

Focus in outlining the problem within its environment

What is included?  Background of the problem  Problem within its current policy environment  Organizing your problem description Other points/advice  Coherence; make clear links  Arguments must consist of claims, support and warrant (implementation)  Use of paragraphs effectively  Basic arguments on wide variety of sources into your argument (use of sources)  Make reference to tables and figures

GROUP 2 - POLICY OPTIONS (FUTURE) Purpose of the element  It presents an argument for the preferred policy alternative based on the evaluation of all possible alternatives What is included?  Framework of analysis  Evaluation of policy alternatives Other points/advice  Less prominent use of primary and secondary sources  Must be coherent and adequately divided into paragraphs  Must reflect the expertise and creativity through option evaluation

GROUP 3 - CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Purpose of the element:  Concise synthesis of major findings  Set of policy options  Concluding remarks What is included?  Layout and format of the recommendation  Proposed solutions in separate measures

Other points/Advice  Structure and content of the element  Effectiveness of both samples as decision making tools

SESSION THREE THE BASICS OF POLICY ARGUMENTATION (THE POLICY LOGIC) BASICS OF POLICY LOGIC ELEMENT OF THE POLICY MOVEMENT IN ARGUMENT STUDY Problem description Problem Policy option Solution Conclusions recommendation and Application

QUESTION Why act? What Strategy? And what not? How to implement

THE POLICY MAKING PROCESS (THE POLICY CYCLE) The following steps were outlined as part of the policy making process: 1. Problem definition/Agenda setting 2. Constructing the policy/Alternatives/Policy Formulation 3. Choice of solution/Selection of preferred policy option 4. Policy design 5. Evaluation

We closed proceedings for the day here as our learning experience continues.

END OF DAY TWO

DAY THREE
February 24, 2010

Trainers: Mr. Paul Bemshima Nyulaku Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward

SESSION ONE The day started with the participants engaging in a familiarization and warm up game before we went into the events of the day. There was a brief recap on the journey so far, lessons learnt and clarification where necessary. In policy making process, it was re-emphasized that timing is a very key element. It is about participation, letting policy makers be aware of the fact that the people they lead should have an entry process to make contributions. However, it was stated that in practice CSOs have to carry out an in-depth study to know when to come in. The session began with an exercise shown as activity 8 on page 23 of the training manual. This was focused towards identifying the basic differences between academic research papers and policy papers. FEEDBACKS FROM THE EXERCISE: Outlining the difference: A policy paper is practical in outlook while an academic paper is theoretical in nature. Purpose of Policy and Academic Research Papers: It was identified that a policy paper is a call to action in a persuasive approach while the academic paper is not necessarily aimed at a call to action. Outcome: The policy paper designs policies and societal issues while academic paper is meant to change thinking and influence disciplinary & educational issues. Policy paper is targeted at certain group of people while academic paper is open-ended. Academic papers are not timed bound, but time is of the essence as regards policy paper. It was also identified that the style and methodology of the preparation of both types of paper results in significant differences as Methodology for academic paper includes primary and secondary papers while policy paper may not follow such strict methodology. Also, academic papers have some very strict guidelines on its structure while policy papers do not necessarily follow such guidelines. While academic papers are usually more verbose in content, policy papers are straight to the point and brief.

SESSION TWO This started with an exercise after which participants went straight into discussions on the genesis and history of advocacy and engagement in general. It was established that although the ideals and principles of advocacy has been there over human history, it has evolved over time to reflect present day realities hence the coinage of the word, policy science. It was also added that all CSOs should take into account that being ill-informed on societal issues is no longer allowed, as one must display a thorough grasp of issues to reduce repulsions from the politicians. At this point, a quick reminder from previous learning was done to enumerate the differences between policy and academic papers. Thus, a policy paper will have the following;  Problem description  Policy options  Conclusion and recommendation

SESSION THREE After lunch break, the final session for the day began. This kicked off with a warm-up exercise. In this session, we undertook a recap of lessons learnt so far from the three days of the training workshop. Subsequently, we had thought-provoking group discussions examining the differences & similarities in the policy advocacy terms used during the course of the training workshop.

END OF DAY THREE

DAY FOUR
February 25, 2010

Trainers: Mr. Paul Bemshima Nyulaku Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward

SESSION ONE We started the day with a word association game using specific words from our learning experience over the course of the workshop. The main focus of the session was ADVOCACY as participants examined it holistically from different angles and perspectives. Participants were then divided into pairs to work on their understanding of the various meanings of advocacy. This assignment was drawn from the training manual (please see part B of page 29). Some identified synonyms to the word “Advocacy’ include: 1. Lobby 2. To appeal 3. Persuade 4. Arguing on behalf of 5. Appeal 6. Plead 7. Support 8. Present It was agreed that Advocacy can also be defined as a combination of “Strategy, methods and actions.” The following were taken to be key elements in defining advocacy: 1. Strategy to affect Policy Change/action (at any stage of the process) 2. Primary audience of decision makers 3. Deliberate process of persuasive communication (aim: move to action) being deliberate to win over stakeholders by making them know what they stand to benefit. 4. Requires the building of support and momentum: here it was stated that momentum is built gradually, support is gotten from coalition, network members and people who can be used to garner support. The best acceptable representative to get the message across. 5. Conducted by groups of organized citizens. Participants were thus taught on developing advocacy strategies and communication tools for policy action. The following was identified as the guiding perspectives:

   

It is more than a one (1)-Way Transfer. It is not simple transportation of research to policy sphere It is not just demonstration – the facts generally do not speak for themselves. It is not just research it, write it and they will find it.

Advocacy was stated to be a two (2)-way process of mediation and negotiation that could get messy, takes time and requires a lot of commitment and resources. Advocacy is also strategic and not necessarily mob action. Using Activity 29-30 in the training manual, participants were to identify which of the advocacy strategies of any civil society organization can be determined by their names/write-ups. After the exercise, discussions focused on how lobbying can be described in the African context. In response, it was stated that in lobbying the key is determining what is ethical and what is not. It was stated that lobbying is an informal way of influencing decisions and within the context, what is key is the ethical values and strategies chosen. In adopting strategies, it was stated that factors such as Location, Issue, Audience and focus were necessary to making right choices. Hereafter, we took a lunch break SESSION TWO Using Activity 11 on page 32 of the training manual, Participants were grouped and asked to discuss the following among themselves. The outcome of their deliberations was presented to the whole group. The groups were as follows:     Entry into the process The messenger The message The overall Advocacy Planning Framework (APF)

GROUP PRESENTATIONS GROUP 1: OVERALL APF: Leverage: These are conditions that facilitate your choice of a particular mode of entry, new evidence argument that could move the process further, new problem identification. Levers: are tools to facilitate the process, strategies to be adopted into the process, combination of right advocacy measures – media, lobbying, advising, support building, inside track approaches, best way or strategy to get into the process. GROUP 2: WAY INTO THE PROCESS: Demand: issues on the agenda. The current position: value and interests Consensus or conflict: What is the issue triggering? Current thinking on procedure and solution: What language is to be used to frame a presentation? Opening and timing: What is the right time to come into the process? Obstacles: What are the impediments that could be faced in coming into the process? Here it was stated that an overall look must be had to determine any problems that may arise. For example; the stakeholders, broader context issues, interests, e.t.c. GROUP 3: THE MESSENGER The group stated that what must be paramount in the mind of the messenger is the fact that the messenger is often more Important than the message. This is the philosophy upon it is based.  Credibility/Visibility  Personality: does the messenger have the credibility to push the agenda?  Subject Matter: will it attract the targeted audience? Is the organization well vested in the subject matter? If the credibility is lacked then it has the option of seeking other support which can bring credibility and visibility to the project.  Resources: the basic resources to bring the objective into reality. GROUP 4: THE MESSAGE The following were identified as key elements that the message must contain; Audience Profile: This requires an understanding of the targeted audience and centering the message on the issue in question.

Listening to the audience and responding: CSOs were requested to imagine the possible responses and questions that could arise. Focus and language: The language of the paper must be at the level of the targeted audience and directed at something that is already in issue or should be in issue. Format/Packaging: The message should be made to look attractive to get the targeted audience interested. Attention must be paid to the wording and general layout of the document. It was further stated that the media is a very important lever.

SESSION THREE HOW TO CONSTRUCT A PERSUASIVE MESSAGE Participants embarked on an activity from page 41-42 of the training manual. This sought to determine which of the messages in the activity would best convince the targeted audience based on different reasons such as the interest of the audience. It was emphasised that there is a need for the message to appeal first to the personal interests of the audience as this will then gravitate to the overall interest. Questions also arose as regards the place of ethics, morality, good conscience and natural justice in the policy making process as participants sought to know if one should suppress a particular issue that is right based on good conscience and pursue another just for the purposes of ensuring that it sails though. In response, the trainers stated that personal issues particular to a person advocating an issue should not be brought to play as this could compromise and defeat the whole purpose of pursuing a particular objective. The following were identified as necessary in constructing effective advocacy messages:  Have a clear objective  Know the process  Know your audience – perspectives, interests, hopes, positions, fears e.t.c  Present the tip of the iceberg – from all the research data/evidence you have collected, what is the most grapping?  Keep it simple at the beginning – the questions will come later… you will get to present the whole of the iceberg

 

Get THEM into the research – not present YOUR research Overall – consumable, plausible and striking.

It was noted that where there is a failure to adhere to the guidelines, reputations will be destroyed and conflicts may arise. The message must be comprehensive but no necessarily verbose or lengthy. Also, where a policy process fails to result in the adoption of proposed policy, experience & knowledge gained can be used to form a basis for something else thus resulting in satisfaction for its initiators.

END OF DAY FOUR

DAY FIVE
February 26, 2010

Trainers Mr. Paul Bemshima Nyulaku Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward

SESSION ONE We began the day with a name game as participants and trainers all took part. Thereafter, participants embarked on outlining and remembering the lessons of the previous day as well as some of the key term/swords used in the course of the training. After outlining the words remembered from yesterday’s event, the participants then tried to explain the words as they understood it. This was to demonstrate newly acquired communication skills from the workshop therewith focused on delivering the message in a format that is understood by audience. The Trainers then led participants in analyzing a chart on ADVOCACY PLANNING FRAMWORK (APF). The chart has the following elements; I. The Message: This is the core of what you want to do. II. The Messenger: who could be a politician, technocrat or whoever you think is best to advance the cause you are pursuing. III. The Way into the Process: This was explained as your manner of engagement. IV. The Leverage: This is referred to as the point where everything connects. Activities here could be- Lobbying advising, activitism etc. In summary, it simply means that the message/cause being pursued determines the messenger and the point of entry. That is when you engage the message and then message you will determine the point of entry. Participants were divided into 3 groups based on their current areas of engagement in the issues listed in the table below. Group 1 Law, Human rights and Gender Group 2 Group 3 Peace and conflict Poverty, empowerment, child development and community development.

The task for the participants was to 1. Identify one of the issues per group 2. Set a specific and realistic objective 3. Use the objective to develop an advocacy plan Each group took turns to present the output of their discussions. The whole activity took about ninety (90) minutes. An additional reading assignment drawn from page 39 of the training manual was given as participants read through till page 50. The goal of the exercise was use the APF to develop an advocacy plan. The first group to present was the Peace and Conflict group who chose to merge both peace and conflict as the issue to tackle using as the 2009 Guinean conflict as a case study. They stated their objectives, CSO engagement and suitable ways to intervene, and transitional proposals to civilian rule. After the proposal, questions were thrown at the group on the merits and demerits of the presentation. Generally, it was agreed that the presentation met with the guidelines set by the APF concerning the message, messenger and the timing for engagement. The second group chose as its focus IMPROVING SECURITY THROUGH ARTISAN EMPOWERMENT IN THE FCT. They effectively use guidelines of the APF and were applauded for the choice of their topic, clarity of presentation, and adherence to the APF. The third group chose ANTI-VIOLENCE COALITION IN NIGERIA as its focus as they identified the timing of the next elections in Nigeria as influential to their choice. While the presentation was well received by fellow participants, questions were raised as regards the face of messenger. Generally, participants were not really comfortable with the choice made by the group. A five (5) minute recess was taken at this point. After the recess, a Question & Answer session took place. Q: How will you utilize the knowledge and skills acquired in your work? A: One of the participants attested to how the training has sharpened his policy advocacy skills as previously, he had never really taken an organized approach to engage. He outlined he will transfer knowledge gained to others with his organisation and fellow Civil Society practitioners within his network. C: Further contributions by other participants were made as they expressed their appreciation to the organizers of this training and hoped more people will be trained subsequently in the country. Participants also suggested that linkages should be explored with academic institutions so as to have both theoretical and practical experiences in the policy advocacy process. Thereafter, we took a lunch break.

CLOSING CEREMONY The Program Officer of West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Ms. Omolara Balogun thanked all participants, invited guests, and trainers for a very successful training over its five (5) day duration. Ms. Balogun conducted the closing session of the workshop, which is targeted at obtaining feedback from participants and trainers. This session was also used to provide answers to participants’ questions in relation to the workshop and WACSI activities generally. The final discussion was focused on how the training process can be improved in the future. The following were highlighted by the participants during the deliberation;  Follow-up/assistance Participants were in agreement that WACSI along with her partners, OSIWA & LGI need to provide further support as a deliberate process to assist and follow-up on the good foundation that the training workshop has established via the knowledge they had gained. The viewpoint was that without any coordinated support program, then the impact of the ToT process will be reduced as participants might struggle to implement the knowledge transfer process on their own.  Reputation of the course The quality of the Training workshop was commended as been of impeccable standard with proven course content. This was encapsulated in the training materials used as well as the training methodology/style in practice. Specialization in an area & Personal development Participants sought clarity on how to build career opportunities and personal competency in the field of Policy Advocacy. This was perceived as a possible area to demonstrate expertise within the Nigerian civil society community and thus, become a certified specialist. In response, the LGI team outlined the possible career path and ways they would be willing to support any participant interested in attaining further qualifications. Lara Balogun also reiterated WACSI’s commitment to her stakeholders and participants of the Policy Advocacy Training Workshop.

Professionalism It was identified that engaging in policy advocacy and influencing the policy making process requires professionalism on the part of civil society organisations working in and/or around those specific policy matters being addressed. This would mean a detailed knowledge and understanding of the challenges, current policies and a clear proposition with exact strategies for improving these social entities such as water, electoral reform, good governance, ICTs, education amongst others. Building interaction within groups Participants were interested in exploring the possibility of further interactions amongst themselves as well as the trainers after the conclusion of the ToT workshop. Lara Balogun responded to these requests by stating the efforts already made (Please see under further communication below for complete details).

Furthermore, Participants commented appreciated the teaching method, relaxed teaching environment, outstanding training personnel, localization of the trainer pool, training skills of the trainers, quality of training manual, excellent training methodology, wonderful gender balance in the selection of the participants and wonderful welfare package. However, based on feedback, participants wished there has been opportunities for both groups to interact beyond the walls of the training room over the course of the workshop. They emphasized the need for social activities such as site visits as well as incorporating prayer-time breaks into training schedule. In closing, it was emphasized that the journey has not ended as work continues outside of the training workshop as participants need to constantly practice all they had learnt during the workshop as a way of developing their writing skills individually.

FURTHER COMMUNICATION A mailing group has been developed policyadvocacywestafrica@googlegroups.com for participants to further interact and engage one another after the conclusion of the training workshop. Opportunities were given to the four (4) Trainers and two (2) LGI facilitators to make a closing remarks/statements. In their statement, they expressed their appreciating to the participants, organizers, facilitators and everyone who have contributed to the success of the training workshop

Acting Director of OSIWA-Nigeria, Mr. Dayo Olaide expressed his appreciation by thanking everyone who supported and helped facilitate the workshop. The event concluded with a series of group pictures after which, everyone retired for the day.

END OF DAY FIVE END OF TRAINING WORKSHOP

APPENDIX: PROFILE OF WORKSHOP ORGANISERS About WACSI The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) was established by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to reinforce the capacities of civil society in the region. The Institute is committed to bridging the institutional and operational gaps within civil society. WACSI’s vision aims to strengthen civil society organisations as strategic partners for the promotion of democracy, good governance and national development in the sub-region. The objective of the Institute is to strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of CSOs in the formulation of policies, the implementation and promotion of democratic values and principles in West Africa by serving as a resource centre for training, research, experience sharing and political dialogue for CSOs in West Africa. Through policy dialogue, WACSI engages & discusses current issues affecting West African States. Reference documents are regularly published by the Institute and disseminated to political leaders/policy makers. For more information, please visit the website: www.wacsi.org

About OSIWA The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) was created in December 2000 as part of the world network of 32 autonomous foundations founded and supported by George Soros. These non-profit-making foundations share in the commitment to work for an “open society”. Based on the principle that no one has monopoly of the truth, an open society recognises the different points of view and always remains open to improvements. In practice, open societies are characterised by the priority of law, democracy, respect of diversity and human rights, liberalisation of markets, information to the people and the dynamism of civil society. For more information, please visit the website: www.osiwa.org

About LGI-OSI The Local Government & Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI) supports the OSI mission by working to promote democratic and effective governance and public administration, and by advancing policy analysis as a tool for decision making in public affairs. LGI supports local and regional governmental reform, in collaboration with its civil society partners, by monitoring and benchmarking government performance on the one hand and providing analytical and technical support to government on the other.

While LGI works primarily in the transition countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, it has recently formed strategic partnerships with other OSI programs and external institutions to implement programs in Asia and Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa. LGI policy engagement initiatives can be summarized in five broad themes namely;      Democratization & Decentralization Fiscal Management, Transparency and Accountability Delivery of Public Services and Urban Management Management of Multi-Ethnic Communities Local Economic Development

For more information, please visit the website: http://lgi.osi.hu

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