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To Struggle for an Idea

An Advocacy Training Manual

for Cambodians

Prepared by
Ana Maria O. Clamor
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introductory Activities 1

Leveling of Expectations 1
Introducing the Concept of Advocacy 2
Word Association 2
Demystifying Advocacy 2
Advocacy and Community Development 3
The Context in Which We are Working 4
“Tao P’sar!”—A Game of Socio-Political and Economic Analysis 4

Chapter 2. Lecture Topics 7

Definitions of Advocacy 7
Khmer Definition of Advocacy 8
Advocacy versus Lobbying 9
Community Development and Advocacy 9
Advocacy Approaches 16
Factors that Make Advocacy Possible 16
Elements of Advocacy 17
Duration of Advocacy 18
Ingredients of Successful Campaigning 18
Advocacy Process and Strategy Development 21

Chapter 3. Special Topics 24

Policy Advocacy 24
Political Mapping 25
Measures of Policy Success 26
Running Effective Meetings 31
Using Media for Advocacy 39
What is News? 44

Chapter 4. Preparing for Advocacy 48

Problem Selection and Analysis 48

Web Chart 51
Problem Tree 52
Problem Definition and Issue Framing 53
Goal Setting and Planning 54
SWOT Analysis 55
Making an Initial Advocacy Plan 56

Chapter 5. Evaluating the Advocacy Workshop 59

General Questions 59
Detailed Questions 60

References 62

Introductory Activities
Starting the Workshop Right

Leveling of Expectations

Despite prior training needs assessment (TNA), some participants may still have
different ideas about the objectives of the workshop. To prevent misunderstanding
and address unrealistic expectations, it is best to ask what they expect to gain from the
workshop. This will indicate if there is a need to modify the design you have prepared.


1) Below are several variations depending on the available time:

Directly ask the guide question(s) below to the participants and write their
responses on the board or flip chart paper.

Divide the participants into pairs or small groups. The dyads or small groups will
write their responses to the guide question(s) below on flip chart paper and report
to the big group.

Ask the participants to write down their responses to the guide question(s) below
on multi-colored meta cards that will be posted on the board for everyone to see.

2) Summarize the responses and clarify which among the expectations can and cannot
be met in the workshop.

3) Present the objectives of the workshop and the schedule.

4) (Optional) Set workshop ground rules with the participants.

Guide Questions

1) What do you expect to gain from this workshop?

Additional questions:

2) What do you think will make this workshop successful?

3) What can you contribute to make this workshop successful?

Introducing the Concept of Advocacy
The appropriate approach in orienting participants to the concept and practice of
advocacy will depend on their previous experiences, understanding, and knowledge,
and also the time available. Below are five possible ways:

I. Word Association


1) Directly ask participants the question,

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, "advocacy"?
This is a simple approach to introduce the concept of advocacy. It will also indicate the
participants' current level of understanding and knowledge of advocacy.

2) Cluster the responses into broad headings (e.g., advocacy methods, goals and
objectives, advocacy targets, etc.). Explain the concept of advocacy with a brief
lecture (Refer to lecture topics in Chapter 2).

II. Demystifying Advocacy


1) Randomly pair participants. Ask partners in every dyad to share a personal

experience when they were able to bring about change:

What kind of change did I want to achieve?

What did I do to achieve that change?

What was the result?

2) Obtain a sampling of responses from the floor to give participants a sense that
effecting change is something all of us can do. Write them on the board.

3) Randomly divide participants into small groups to share professional/organizational

experiences of effecting change. Refer to the guide questions in the next page.

4) Ask each group to write their responses on flip chart paper and report to the big group.

5) Synthesize the responses and expound on the meaning of advocacy (Refer to lecture
topics in Chapter 2).

Guide Questions

1) What changes did you want to happen? (change objective)

2) What did you do to achieve that objective? (strategies)

3) What was the result?

4) What factors helped / did not help in achieving your objective?

III. Advocacy and Community Development


Most Cambodians working in non-government organizations (NGOs) are familiar with

community development (CD) work. As such, comparing CD with advocacy is an
appropriate way to introduce the concept to this particular type of participants. It starts
off on a point of reference that they can easily understand.

Option 1

1) Give a lecture on Regular CD and Advocacy (Refer to the Community Development and
Advocacy in Chapter 2, pages 9-15).

2) Illustrate your point by drawing the contrast between CD and Advocacy (Refer to page

Option 2

1) Divide the participants into small groups. Group them either by organization or mix
them randomly.

2) Ask them to discuss the guide questions below, write their responses on flip chart
paper, and report to the big group.

3) Synthesize their responses and give a lecture on Regular CD and Advocacy (Refer to
the Community Development and Advocacy in Chapter 2, pages 9-15).

Guide Questions

1) What specific problems is your organization addressing?

2) What actions have you taken to address these problems?

IV. The Context in Which We Are Working


This approach enables participants to take a broad societal perspective and to situate
their work within this context. This activity is also appropriate for Cambodians working
in NGOs or government ministries.

1) Divide the participants into small groups. They can either be grouped by organization
or randomly mixed.

2) Ask them to discuss the guide questions below, write their responses on flip chart
paper, and report to the big group.

3) Synthesize their responses with emphasis on the broad context in which they are

4) Give a lecture on Regular CD and Advocacy (Refer to the Community Development and
Advocacy in Chapter 2, pages 9-15).

Guide Questions

1) Describe the socio-cultural, economic, and political environment in their

country. Provide relevant historical information.

2) What specific problems is your organization addressing?

3) What actions have you taken to address these problems?

V. “Tao P’sar!” – a Game of Socio-Political and Economic Analysis

While this can be an introductory activity to advocacy, this session can be a rich
source of insights into development issues in general and problems currently affecting
society. This activity simulates the power dynamics among different social classes
and enables participants to experience the workings of an inequitable society.

Materials Needed

Commodity cards, about the size of playing cards, containing pictures and captions of
the following:

Bananas Chicken
Vegetables Pork
Fish Beef

You will need hard paper for this, hard paper (e.g., cardboard, old folders) to keep the
cards upright.

The number of commodity cards will depend on the number of participants:

Bananas – three times the number of participants
Vegetables – two times the number of participants
Fish – exactly the number of participants
Chicken – one-fourth the number of participants
Pork – one-eight the number of participants
Beef – ten to 15 cards

Put these items randomly into letter envelopes.


1) Before starting the game, distribute envelopes with commodity cards among the
participants. Make sure that these envelopes are distributed to participants in random

2) Ask the participants to open their envelopes and examine the commodity cards that
they have received. Each commodity card will be worth a certain number of points:

Bananas – 5 points
Vegetables – 10 points
Fish – 15 points
Chicken – 25 points
Pork – 35 points
Beef – 75 points

Ask each participant to compute the number of points they received based on the
commodity cards they have in the envelope. In addition, if a participant receives three
or more of the same kind of card, s/he should add the following points:

3 of a kind – plus 5 points

4 of a kind – plus 10 points
5 of a kind – plus 15 points
6 of a kind – plus 25 points

On the board, list the names of participants and the number of points that they have
received. Arrange them according to the number of points received and divide them
into three smaller groups. The top 3 to 5 participants should belong to the first sub-
group – Neak Tikrong (City Dweller). The next 5 to 8 participants will comprise the
second sub-group – Neak Chunobot (Rural Resident). The remaining participants will
form the third sub-group – Neak Srok Leu (Highlander). These sub-groups should be
seated separately at different corners of the workshop room.

3) Once the three groups are formed, announce that the aim of the game is to
accumulate the highest possible number of points. There will be trading sessions
when each participant can get a chance to accumulate more points. These sessions
will be conducted under the following rules:

a) Each trading session will be held for only 3 to 5 minutes. Trading session
begins when the facilitator yells “Tao P’sar!” (“Let’s go to the market”)
b) Each participant should keep his/her trading cards secret and should not
disclose the contents to other participants.
c) If a participant wishes to trade, s/he announces what type of cards s/he is
willing to trade in exchange for certain types of cards.
d) Once a participant has found another person willing to trade, they should lock
their arms together to signify that they would exchange cards.

e) If a participant is unwilling to trade, s/he can signify this by folding his/her
f) Once the facilitator has announced that time has ended, all participants
should stop all trading under the threat of confiscation of cards.

4) At the end of each trading session, compute the changes in the number of points of
each participant, and redistribute them to the different sub-groups. After each session,
three beef cards should be distributed to the Neak Tikrong as a ‘reward’ for good
performance. Two or three additional trading sessions can be held, with recalculations
of the number of points of each participant after each session.

5) After one or two sessions, announce to the group that the Neak Tikrong can now add,
remove, or modify any trading rule that they wish.

6) Let the Neak Tikrong lead one or two sessions with new rules and then end the game.

Guide Questions

1) How did you feel during the game?

2) What are your insights regarding the following:

Initial distribution of commodity cards

Trading rules and actual trading of cards
Distribution of participants among sub-groups
Decision-making during the game

3) What similarities can you find between the game and Cambodian
society regarding the following:

Distribution of goods and services

Distribution of the population along socio-economic classes
Decision making in the country


Lecture Topics
Basic Information for the Participants
These brief lecture topics are meant to build on the experiences of participants and
complement their existing knowledge and understanding.

Definitions of Advocacy

In the past, the word "advocate" referred to a person who pleads on behalf of another,
especially a lawyer who represents a client in court. Advocacy was narrowly used in
the legal arena. Advocates as we know it today used to be called activists, people
who take or support vigorous action for a political cause. However, the meaning of
advocacy has evolved and broadened to include activism and other forms of political

The following are some definitions of advocacy:

Advocacy is the process of influencing decision-making (Oxfam America).

Advocacy is working with other people and organizations to make a

difference (CEDPA, 1995).

Advocacy consists of actions designed to draw a community’s

attention to an issue and to direct policy makers to a solution. It
consists of legal and political activities that influence the shape and
practice of laws. Advocacy initiatives require organization, strategic
thinking, information, communication, outreach, and mobilization
(Human Rights Manual by Marge Schuler).

Advocacy is putting a problem on the agenda, providing a solution to

that problem and building support for action on both the problem
and solution (An Introduction to Advocacy, Training Guide by Ritu R. Sharma, Academy for
Education Development, 1997).

Advocacy involves different strategies aimed at influencing decision-

making at the local, provincial, national, and international levels.

Khmer Definition of Advocacy

On May 19, 1998, members of the NGO Forum on Cambodia met and discussed the
appropriate Khmer translation of the English word, "advocacy."

Below are excerpts from that meeting.

There is no single word in Khmer that fully explains the meaning of the English word
“advocacy.” It is often translated simply as koem-tror (“support”), and this can give the
wrong impression as to the purpose of the NGO Forum and create confusion. So we
should discuss together which word would be more suitable. There are five
translations that are sometimes used:
1. kaa chor-chaa nung tor-waa karcrcar nig tv:a
meaning “negotiation and protest”
2. kaa koem-tror mete karKa¿RTmti
meaning “supporting an idea”
3. kaa teq-terng mete karTak;Tajmti
meaning “drawing attention to an idea”
4. kaa tor-soo mete kartsÚ‘mti
meaning “struggling for an idea”
5. kaapie mete karBarmti
meaning “defending an idea”
There are various definitions of advocacy. Advocacy entails various strategies for
influencing grassroots, provincial, national, and international levels. Advocacy is
action taken to draw attention to ideas about certain issues in order to influence
decision-makers or law- makers to come up with appropriate solutions. Advocacy is
to speak out in public to support something or want something or to support a cause
by joining a movement.
A long discussion followed. When we do advocacy, first, we help the community
brainstorm and come up with an idea. Then we take the idea, support it, struggle for
it, and defend it. However, the word “advocacy” also means to raise concern. The
words koem-tror mete, terng mete, tor-soo mete, and kaapie mete all express the
meaning of advocacy to some degree. Each word has its basis. It is like the word
“gender.” We need to use a long sentence in Khmer to explain the meaning, but we
nevertheless understand the word. During the French time, we took many French
words; now we take many English words. But we should decide which Khmer word
to use consistently. So we choose to use kaa tor-soo mete. When we struggle for an
idea, we naturally support it, draw attention to it, and defend it as well. This word
encompasses all.

Advocacy versus Lobbying

Advocacy and lobbying are sometimes used interchangeably. Lobbying, however, is

a more specific form of advocacy. Lobbying is the practice of attempting to influence
legislation. Advocacy is a broad term that refers to the practice of influencing decision-

In the United States, lobbying is performed by agents called lobbyists. These

lobbyists belong to a particular interested group, known as the lobby. The lobbyist may
request votes either for or against pending legislation.

The term lobbying is derived from the way in which these agents formerly confronted
legislators in the lobby or hallways directly outside a legislative chamber. They stayed
in the lobby of the legislature as they waited for the targeted legislators. They also
waited in the lobby of hotels where the lawmakers stayed.

Community Development and Advocacy

Ideally, advocacy is an integral part of community development (CD) work because

people empowerment and total human development are the ultimate goals of CD.
However, CD as generally practiced in Cambodia at present, often does not include
advocacy. This situation, however, is changing as more and more local NGOs realize
their crucial role in advocacy.

The comparative table below shows the similarity (Point No. 1) and differences between
a regular community development project and advocacy (Points Nos. 2 and 3):


1. Work for change 1. Work for change
2. Beneficiaries 2. Advocacy targets

3. Characteristics of beneficiaries: 3. Characteristics of advocacy targets:

Usually has less power, authority, Usually has more power, authority,
influence, or resources than the CD influence, or resources than the ones
implementers. Beneficiaries are often doing advocacy. S/He can decide on the
grassroots communities or vulnerable issue advocates are working on.
groups. Advocacy targets are often from the
government/state because they assume
positions of authority and policy-making.

In doing a regular CD project, there is no need to appeal or make demands from

somebody who is usually higher and in a position to decide on our cause.

Advocacy targets are the ones in a position to decide on the cause, goal, or objective
that advocates are working on. They are often from the government/state.

The following illustration makes the distinction between regular CD and advocacy


CD Worker


Anybody can be an advocate -- whether one is an NGO worker, villager, or even from
the government/state -- as long as s/he has a cause.

NGOs can advocate on their causes. They can also advocate on behalf of the
grassroots or in partnership with the grassroots.


Grassroots NGO

The grassroots, however, can advocate on their own behalf. They can prove to be a
potent force if they are organized.




Whether an issue or problem can be addressed through a regular community

development approach or advocacy will depend upon our change objective. If the
change objective is achievable within our means and does not require appealing or
making demands from relevant decision-makers, probably a regular CD approach will
suffice. On the other hand, if the change objective necessitates influencing someone
who can decide on the outcome, advocacy is probably the correct approach.


Work for Change Beneficiaries Characteristics
of Beneficiaries
1. Problem/Issue: The village lacks water Villagers Villagers are poor
especially during the dry season. and lack
Objective: To put in a well that will benefit
the entire community.
2.. Problem/Issue: Women in the commu- Poor, illiterate, These women
nity, especially widows and divorcees, and jobless are among the
cannot find other sources of livelihood be- women in the most vulnerable
cause they lack education and skills community. in the community
because they are
Objective: To provide the women with poor and
skills in functional literacy, numeracy, and powerless.

3. Problem/Issue: Villagers are suffering Sick villagers These villagers
from various health problems. cannot afford to
buy medicines
Objective: To address the problem of when they get
health in the community by regularly sick.
sending a mobile team of health practitio-
ners or by giving people training on health
and sanitation.
4. Problem/Issue: Farmers’ low agri- Poor farmers These poor
cultural productivity. farmers do not
have the re-
Objective: To increase the agricultural sources (i.e.,
outputs of farmers through the provision knowledge or
of training, inputs such as fertilizers and skills) to increase
pesticides, and infrastructure. their agricultural



Work for Change Advocacy Characteristics
Targets of Advocacy
1. Problem/Issue: The village lacks water Village chief or Village chief has
but the village chief claims personal own- Commune chief more authority
ership of the community well donated by than the villagers.
an international NGO.
Commune chief
Objective: For the village chief to stop has more
claiming personal ownership of the com- authority than the
munal well and share it with the commu- village chief.
2. Problem/Issue: Incidence of domestic Husbands who Husbands are
violence (i.e., wife and child battering) is beat their wives often physically
high in Phum Viay K’niya. and children, and economically
village chief or stronger than
Objective: To eliminate or decrease inci- police authorities. their victims are.
dence of domestic violence.
Village chief has
the power,
authority, and
influence to settle
conflicts and
impose order in
the community.

Police authorities
have the power,
authority, and
influence to en-
force the law
against domestic

3. Problem/Issue: Villagers suffer from Ministry of Health Ministry of Health
various health problems. and/or National has the authority
Assembly to propose draft
Objective: To address the problem of legislation on
health in the community by setting up setting up health
health clinics and services all over the clinics and
country. services all over
the country.

Assembly has the
power and
authority to pass
legislation on
4. Problem/Issue: Farmers’ low agricul- Ministry of Agri- Ministries of Agri-
tural productivity. culture, Ministry culture and Min-
of Environment, istry of Environ-
Objective: To increase the agricultural and/or National ment have the
outputs of farmers through the provision Assembly authority to pro-
of training, inputs such as fertilizers and pose draft legisla-
pesticides, and infrastructure. tion to increase
agricultural pro-

National Assem-
bly has the power
and authority to
pass legislation to
increase agricul-
tural productivity.
5. Problem/Issue: The Draft NGO Law re- National Assem- National Assem-
stricts the freedom and autonomy of bly or Ministry of bly has the power
Cambodian NGOs. Interior and authority to
pass laws.
Objective: Non-passage of the restrictive
NGO Draft Law or passage of another law Ministry of Interior
that will preserve the freedom from inter- can propose a
ference and autonomy of Cambodian draft law.



Take note that in Example Numbers 3 and 4 in the Regular CD and Advocacy Tables,
the problems/issues are exactly the same. However, the differences lie in the level of
action. In the Regular CD examples, objectives and actions to be taken are at the
local level; while in the Advocacy examples, they are at the national level.

Some problems/issues can be addressed either through a regular CD approach or

through advocacy. Others require only a regular CD approach; while some
problems/issues can only be effectively addressed through advocacy particularly when
the required action is at the national level.

Advocacy Approaches

Contrary to what many people think, advocacy is not always against the government
or policy makers. There is actually a wide range of advocacy approaches – from the
confrontational to the diplomatic (see illustration below).

Confrontation Negotiation Persuasion / Diplomacy

Oppose Compromise Support / Collaborate

One's repertoire of advocacy actions is shaped by the context in which one is


In repressive political environments, advocacy initiatives are severely limited. The

risks are great and the consequences can be fatal. Advocates – or activists – can
suffer from harassment and intimidation, bodily harm, and even death.

In democratic environments, advocates have a larger space in which to initiate action.

Nevertheless, advocacy still poses some risks but the consequences are often not

Factors that Make Advocacy Possible

The meaning and practice of advocacy differs from country to country and from one
historical context to another.

Two factors make advocacy possible. They also shape the kind of advocacy actions
that can be taken in a particular country:

1) Democratic Space - refers to an These two factors mutually reinforce

arena in the political and social each other:
environment in which basic human Democratic space can bring about the
rights can be exercised. emergence of a vibrant Civil Society.
Civil society, on the other hand, can
2) Civil Society - can be defined as
widen democratic space.
the massive array of self-governing The converse, however, is also true.
private organizations, not dedicated If Civil Society is not vigilant,
to distributing profits to shareholders democratic space can shrink. Or a
or directors, but pursuing public small democratic space can prevent
purposes outside the formal Civil Society from flourishing
apparatus of the state.

Suggested approach

Prior to your lecture, ask participants if advocacy was practiced in Cambodia during
the different political regimes (i.e., Sangkum Reas Niyum, Khmer Republic, Democratic
Kampuchea, People's Republic of Kampuchea, State of Cambodia, UNTAC, Kingdom of Cambodia).
Then ask them if Civil Society existed or if there were local NGOs during those
different regimes.

Elements of Advocacy

Oxfam UK and Ireland have had many years of doing advocacy as part of their
mandate to work for social justice by working against poverty.

Below are excerpts from the booklet, Advocacy Works! Lessons Learned by Oxfam
UK and Ireland by Dianna Melrose:

1. Clear Aims, SMART Objectives

One of our major problems is that we try and work hard on far too many issues at
the same time. This dissipates our energy and we are less effective simply
because we are trying to do too much. The danger is that we skimp on our
analysis because we lack resources to do solid research into how the micro links
with the macro.

We need to identify clear aims and SMART objectives that are Specific,
Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound. Goals that are too ambitious
are dispiriting and disempowering because you never really feel you are getting

2. Research

After selecting and specifying the issue, we need to do very systematic research
into the issue, existing policies, and come up with policy change proposals.

We must also research the decision-making process that the government,

international finance institutions and multilateral agencies go through and identify
the key actors who can actually make a difference. We need to know which
ministry or department in the government we should lobby, and which individuals in
these ministries or departments we should talk to. Make a list of all these advocacy
targets in institutions, in government, in multilateral agencies.

3. Coalitions

Coalitions and networks can be vital to maximizing impact as lobbyists.

These can be issue-specific or formed around particular advocacy targets -- for

example, the Asian Development Bank -- or influencing opportunities such as the

These networks work best where groups are able to come together to plan a longer
term proactive strategy, agree on common advocacy positions, and on a clear
division of labor.

4. Effective Media Strategy

The media is critical to successful advocacy. Effective media work is essential

because politicians and even international organizations and multilateral agencies
like the UN and the World Bank are very receptive of what the media has to say.
Through selective use of various media, an issue that is not an issue at the moment
can become a political debate.

Duration of Advocacy

In some organizations, advocacy is integrated in their work. For instance, Jesuit

Service Cambodia is a member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
(ICBL). It is at the forefront of the mine ban campaign in Cambodia and is also
actively lobbying at the international level in collaboration with like-minded
organizations. It is advocating on a sustained manner through the conduct of various
campaigns. Guiding its actions is its long-term agenda -- a total ban of landmines in all

In other organizations, advocacy is done only as a response to an issue or problem.

For instance, members of the NGO Forum's Women Working Group and Civil Society
Working initiated the writing of a statement on violence against women and impunity of
murderers to the Prime Minister (See page 20). This was made in response to the
increasing incidence of homicides victimizing women and the lack of law enforcement
ensuring public safety and security. Advocacy in this case was done as a one-shot

Ingredients of Successful Campaigning

It is best for advocates who are keen in pursuing a sustained campaign to be

proactive – to act upon anticipated events rather than be overtaken by it; to seize
opportunities when they arise instead of simply reacting.

Successful campaigning by an organization, however, is a product of four important

ingredients. The book, Managing Without Profit by Mike Hudson, enumerate these
ingredients. Below are excerpts:

1. Leadership

Successful campaigns depend on individuals who passionately believe in the cause

and can argue the case for change, both within the organization and externally to
the press and media. Campaigning organizations need people who can present a
cogent case and can simultaneously champion the cause and sound eminently

2. Creative skills

Campaigning also depends on people with creative skills to mount campaigns that
capture the public imagination. It needs the skills that are found in advertising and
public relations agencies. These people have to have the ability to think in images
and to create new ways of communicating complex messages to the public. Only
when the messages are clear can the organization build a strong constituency of
people who support the cause both politically and financially.

3. Political acumen

This activity (i.e. campaigning) depends on having the political acumen to identify
campaigns that can be fought and won. Campaigning organizations need
managers who can make judgements about changes that are achievable and who
can then galvanize people into action around that change. Campaigns with
unrealistic goals soon lose steam. Greenpeace has short-term objectives and calls
them ‘small wins’ – the essential steps in the political process that lead to desired
long-term changes.

4. Management

These organizations also require management. Fired up by the day-to-day tensions

of running campaigns, people often put insufficient energy into looking after the
organization themselves. They do not run on idealism alone. Responsibilities need
to be divided and individuals made accountable. Teams need to work both in and
across the line-management structure. People need to be managed. Campaign
managers must work within budgets and have the information they need to control
costs. Fundraisers need to be able to compare the cost-effectiveness of different
fundraising methods. In short, tight management practices are needed to enable
people to do the all-important campaigning work.


Prepared by the Women Working Group and Civil Society Working Group
of the NGO Forum on Cambodia


Samdech HUN SEN Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia

We, the member organisations of the NGO Forum on Cambodia,

• Having considered the widespread concern for the present high level of violence and murder in Cambodian society;
• Having considered the many and increasing number of violent acts against and murder of women in the provinces and in Phnom Penh (see
attached list);
• Having known that, in many circumstances, suspects have not been taken to court and offenders have not been punished for their crimes,
contrary to the Cambodian people's expectation that true justice must be done in Cambodia;
• Having known that all people, especially women, are very concerned about the security and safety of their families, spouses and children as
well as their own safety;
• Having understood that progress and a peaceful life depends on social security, non-violence and absence of abuses of personal rights to
• Having known of specific cases where clearly identified suspects go free despite the presence of witnesses;
• Having seen that the victims include both poor and rich, unknown and famous, proving that no one is safe from violence, thereby increasing
the fear of all women and their families;
• Having understood that these violent actions ruin the reputation and dignity of Cambodia and seriously damage the interests of the country,
including especially the name of the Royal Government of Cambodia;

We, the member organisations of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, humbly request that Samdech use your authority to achieve speedy and effective
action from the relevant ministries and institutions to achieve the following:

1. To effectively strengthen enforcement of the existing laws;

2. To strengthen the capacity, public conscience and morality of authorities at different levels, in order to achieve safety and security, and to
increase the confidence and peace of mind of the people;
3. To increase activities to protect public security;
4. To ensure that concerned ministries promptly investigate homicides, including all those mentioned on the attached list, in order to find and
bring the offenders to trial in accordance with the law, so that people can see that justice is being done and not simply delayed until people

We trust in the ability of Samdech to solve these problems, so that we and all Cambodian people can feel safer and have no concerns about public
security and personal safety, as well as to protect the honour of the Royal Government of Cambodia and development of the country as a whole.

We would like to wish Samdech and Lok-Chum-Tiev longevity so as to lead Cambodia towards peace and development.

Prepared in Phnom Penh, on Wednesday, 1 September 1999

Koy Veth Khoun Bunny

Convenor Convenor
Women Working Group Civil Society Working Group

Approved by:

Russell Peterson
NGO Forum on Cambodia

Advocacy Process and Strategy Development

A sustained advocacy campaign can be seen as a circle or spiral that includes several
interrelated and often overlapping stages. The Institute for Development Research
envisions this process to include the following:

1) Visioning
2) Macro Analysis, and Problem Selection and Analysis
3) Problem Definition and Issue Framing
4) Goal-Setting
5) Identification and Analysis of Advocacy Stakeholders and Targets
6) Development of Strategies, Tactics, and Timeline
7) Implementation of those Strategies and Tactics
8) Evaluation of Impact
9) Application of Evaluation Lessons for Future Advocacy Efforts

These nine stages are presented in the illustration below:

Evaluation of
Societal Vision Advocacy Impact
vis-a-vis Changes in
- Policy
- Civil Society
- Democracy
Application of
Advocacy Lessons

Macro Analysis
Implementation of
Problem Analysis Strategies
and and Tactics

Problem Development of Strategies,

Definition and Tactics and Timeline
Issue Framing

- Long-term Identification and
(transformational goals) Analysis of Stakeholders
- Immediate and Targets
- Short-term - Opportunities and Threats
- Power Analysis

Advocacy Process and Strategy Development

Below are excerpts from the Advocacy Sourcebook prepared by the Institute for
Development Research. They describe some of the steps in the advocacy process.


This is the process of establishing one’s ideal vision of the world. Effective
advocacy campaigns rest on an organization’s clear understanding of what they
want their society to be. This vision can assist groups in selecting problems and
issues that will help lead to transformational change and to set longer-term
advocacy goals building towards that change.

Analysis of Macro Social Context

After establishing a long-term vision of the ideal society, advocacy groups find it
important to ground themselves in the current social context in which they will be
operating. This allows organizations to assess the macro forces and power
relations that will be affecting their advocacy efforts. There are a variety of ways to
do this type of assessment.

Problem Selection and Analysis

People get involved in advocacy because they, or others whose concerns they
share, are facing problems that they think can be resolved or ameliorated by the
actions or decisions of governments or other powerful institutions like multinational
corporations and multilateral development banks. In order to design effective
advocacy strategies, it is important to have a way to link or choose among these
competing problems, analyze them, and decide which are most appropriate for
advocacy (Refer to section on Problem Selection and Analysis, Chapter 4, pages 48-52).

Problem Definition and Issue Framing

Well-conceived definitions and descriptions help groups present their concerns to a

wider audience more effectively. Clear definitions are also crucial for designing
strong and appropriate advocacy strategies and for keeping efforts well focused.

Different people concerned about a problem often will have different explanations
as to its causes and solutions. Some may not even recognize it or want to give it
legitimacy as a problem. Since there will be multiple explanations about the
problem’s causes and multiple ideas about its solutions, your argument and
position need to be well thought out, documented and articulated to counter
opposing positions. In cases where the problem is relatively invisible, your
argument needs to help make the problem a legitimate concern capable of being
placed on the public agenda.

Goal Setting

While framing the issue, groups can set overall goals and specific objectives for
their advocacy effort. Advocacy groups should be able to incorporate their long-
term visions for a better society with the more narrow policy goals that they hope to
achieve within a shorter time frame.

Power Analysis of Advocacy Stakeholders

In developing strategies, we need a process to identify and analyze the relative

power of the different individuals and groups who are concerned about our specific
problem and the related policy solution being proposed to address it. This analysis,
along with clear goal setting, provides the basis for designing strategies and their
accompanying tactics and activities.

Development of Strategy, Activities and Tactics

Tactics are often defined as steps for carrying out your overall strategy – the
specific things that you and your allies can do to put pressure on your targets.
Sometimes people refer to tactics as activities.

To develop effective strategies, we need to design specific activities or tactics that

will be aimed at influencing our different advocacy targets – 1) the decision makers
and power holders who have the ability to grant us what we want, and 2) those who
have power to influence the decision makers. As part of this design process, we
also need to assess tactics that each member organization or constituency can
best use to make its power felt and reach its advocacy goals. In the case of
opposition targets, tactics need to be selected that will diminish the opponent’s
ability to prevent the group from achieving its objectives. As part of strategy
development, groups also need to identify appropriate tactics and activities that will
involve, strengthen, and mobilize their constituents and allies so their power and
energy can grow and be sustained.

The next logical step after visioning, analysis, and planning is to implement the
advocacy plan. Afterwards do an evaluation after the period of implementation to
determine what worked and what did not work. The evaluation can be made on three
levels – impact on policy, civil society, and democracy (Refer to Measures of Policy Success
in Chapter 3, pages 26-27). From the evaluation, lessons drawn from the advocacy
experience can be used to improve future advocacy efforts.


Special Topics
Some Tools and Skills
Whether you are involved in a sustained campaign or a one-shot advocacy activity,
the tools and skills presented in this chapter may be useful or even necessary.

Policy Advocacy

It is the direct advocacy of a single policy or a group of related policies

considered valuable by individuals or groups embracing a cause. The
policy can be a piece of legislation or a decree.

Policy advocacy can influence the direction of policy reform in Cambodian


When you are doing policy advocacy, it is important that your advocated policy has the
following contents:

Policy Goals
What are your policy goals?
How important is each policy goal?

Policy Mechanism
How do you plan to achieve each policy goal?

Policy Indicator
How can you measure success in achieving each policy goal?

Political analysis is necessary for successful reform

It can help organizations understand the politics of reform, manage the process of
reform, identify problems and opportunities, organize political information, design
effective strategies, and improve political sense.

What are the characteristics of the Cambodian policy environment?

Political Mapping

A technique for identifying the different political players in a given issue.

Help groups design effective advocacy strategies.
Help groups manage the politics of policy reform.

In an advocacy campaign, the political map will indicate threats and opportunities,
strategic areas, and areas to avoid in the political terrain.

Six steps in political mapping

1) Policy consequences

What are the implications and possible consequences of the policy agenda?
Who are the losers and winners?
What is the size or extent of the consequences?
How important are the consequences to those who will be affected?

2) Position map

Who are the key players (individuals and institutions)?

Key players are those who have the authority or power to make decisions on the concerned
policy agenda. They have the direct power to provide advocates with what they want. As
such, they are usually the advocacy targets. Look at the example below.

What is the position of the players in relation to the policy agenda?

Positions can either be to agree with the policy agenda, disagree, or to be undecided.

What is the strength of their position?

Strength of position can be given a numerical value. For instance, a range of 1 to 5 points
can be used – with 1 as the weakest and 5 as the strongest.
1 2 3 4 5
Very Weak Weak Moderate Strong Very Strong

Example: Issue – Prosecution of illegal loggers

Key Players Agree Undecided Disagree

King Norodom Sihanouk 5
Prime Minister Hun Sen 5
National Assembly President Norodom Ranariddh 4
Senate Chairman Chea Sim 4
Minister of Environment Mok Mareth 5
RCAF Commander 5
World Bank 5
Asia Development Bank 5
Provincial Governor 4
Minister of Interior 3
TOTAL 34 8 4

Even if the relative power or influence of each of the key players varies, the total number of
points per column will indicate if the policy agenda being advocated has a chance of

What are the bases of influence and power of the key players?

3) Stakeholder Analysis

What are the objectives, interests, and motivations of the identified key players or
Stakeholders are parties who have a stake or interest in the outcome of an advocacy effort.
Sometimes the terms “stakeholders” and “key players” are used interchangeably.
However, stakeholders would generally encompass a broader scope of people and groups.

How do the stakeholders prioritize their objectives?

Provides two important kinds of information:

Identification of a common ground or basis of unity.
Clear directions in alliance and coalition- building.

4) Policy Networks Analysis

What is the process and system of policy formulation?

What government institutions are involved in the process of policy formulation?
What is the nature of their interrelationships?
What are the “critical paths” in the process that present “points of intervention” or
“windows of opportunity”?

When doing policy networks analysis, take note of the following:

Influence, cooperation or conflict
Intensity and formality of the relationship
Form of influence

5) Transitions Assessment

What are the transitions in the implementing organizations?

What are the transitions in the inter-organizational environment?
What are the transitions in the political environment?
What are the “windows of opportunity”?

6) Strategies for Change - targets to alter the balance of power

There are many definitions of the term “strategy.” The Institute for Development Research
defines it as an action plan designed to influence public policies, programs, behaviors, and

Positive: efforts/actions to strengthen one’s position and allies.

Negative: efforts/actions to block or weaken the power of opposing organizations.
Symbolic: efforts/actions to change perception of social realities of the major
players and audiences involved in the issue.

Measures of Policy Success

Success in policy work is often defined very narrowly and is focused on one set of
short-term goals: winning legislative or policy victories. Long-term measures to
sustain these gains – such as strengthening and consolidating grassroots
organizations – tend to get excluded or lost in the rush of everyday demands that such
advocacy efforts generate.

Policy success needs to be viewed as multi-dimensional. Success involves wining
advantages on three levels: policy, civil society, and democracy. The book Policy
Influence, NGO Experiences explains these three different levels of success.

Excerpts from the book are presented in the box below and in pages 28 to 30:

Different levels of success

1. Policy gains – refer to legislative and policy victories or achievement of

favorable policy or legislative change.

To undertake successful formal policy initiatives, NGOs and people’s organizations

(POs) should work in different policy arenas and target a variety of players for
advocacy and influence.

The government arena involves such players and targets as the executive,
legislature/parliament, judiciary, government ministries and agencies, local officials,
and in some cases, even the police or military.

The arena outside government involves such actors as NGOs, POs, influential
citizens or powerbrokers, church authorities, the public at large, the media, business
and academia. The international arena involves another set of players such as
international NGOs and federation of POs, donor, governments, and world bodies
such as the UN, World Bank and IMF, as well as multinational business interests.

2. Civil society gains – refer to the strengthening, consolidation, and expansion

of the scope, function, accountability, and effectiveness of NGOs and other
organizations representing and supporting the poor.

When groups do not succeed in getting desired legislation passed or policies

changed, their advocacy efforts may still help consolidate or strengthen NGOs and
grassroots institutions, and establish important new links between groups or by
raising levels of awareness about issues.

However, some research on US NGOs indicate that as groups professionalize and

specialize more on policy work and depend on experts, there is a danger of losing
touch with grassroots concerns – a situation which may actually result in lower levels
of participation and a weakening of civil institutions representing the poor.

3. Political and democratic gains – refer to increasing the legitimacy and political
space in which NGOs and other civil society organizations can operate and
function, as well as improving the attitudes and behaviors of powerbrokers and
elites, especially of government, regarding NGOs and grassroots groups. It
involves expanding the ability of groups to gain and exercise power so they can
hold government accountable and influence the norms and practices of the state.

Factors for Success in Policy Advocacy

In order to evaluate policy campaigns fully both on the basis of their short- and long-
term accomplishments, success needs to be measured by gains achieved across
three different dimensions – policy, civil society, and democracy.

In the book Policy Influence, NGO Experiences, five cases in the Philippines were
studied. These cases touched on various issues that concerned the urban poor,
fisherfolk, peasants, logging, and ancestral domain. From their experiences in policy
advocacy, it was found that factors that help determined success varied according to
the outcome – whether high policy gains, high civil society gains, or high democracy

Presented in the table below are factors for success according to different outcomes
and dimensions:


HIGH Speedy agile decision-making process
POLICY Willingness and ability to negotiate
GAINS Change perception of state
Alliances with power elites and other sectors
Coalition, structure, full time secretariat with professional
HIGH Grassroots empowerment goal
CIVIL Campaign as organizational tool
SOCIETY Popular education component
GAINS Formal structures for accountability and decision-making
Narrow and comprehensive policy goals
HIGH Political context
GAINS Changed perception of state
Alliances with power elites and other sectors
Multiple advocacy targets
Willingness and ability to negotiate
Narrow and comprehensive policy goals

Lessons from Philippine NGO Experiences

The lessons and success factors presented in the table on above and in the next page
are derived from a particular moment in Filipino history. As such, they may not be
directly applicable to different political and social contexts. However, these insights
can be useful in raising important questions and issues for other NGOs and grassroots
organizations working on policy influence inside and outside the Philippines.

Learning about these experiences can challenge advocates to understand their own
work in new ways and stimulate the development of even more effective campaigns
and policy-related activities.

1. Nature and Structure of Coalition
The composition and structure of coalitions shape what a campaign is able to
Coordinating body with A coordinating body with professional
professional expertise and staff expertise and staff exclusively dedicated
exclusively dedicated to to the campaign enables a coalition to
campaign. plan, coordinate, and operate effectively.
Speedy, clear decision-making
Formal democratic structures of
coalition decision-making and
2. Framing the Issue
The nature and definition of the policy issue chosen by a group affects the process
and outcomes of an influence campaign
Taps urgent grassroots Policy issues framed compellingly in ways
concerns. that tap urgent concerns generate strong
grassroots constituency support.

Defined in terms of both narrow Issues framed in ways that combine

and comprehensive policy goals. narrow objectives with more
transformational goals provide
opportunities for winning modest but
strategic policy gains while creating the
space and vision necessary for avoiding
co-optation, for educating constituencies,
and building toward long-term
fundamental change.
3. Strategies and Tactics
Building allies and getting Building allies among influential policy
sponsorship makers and power brokers and getting
- Government their support and sponsorship provides
- Other power brokers groups with strength for gaining policy
- Other sectors influence and organizational legitimacy.
- Multiple advocacy targets

Strategy to counter opposition A concrete effective strategy aimed at

opposition players can counter their
potential impact on a campaign.

Willingness and strategy for The willingness and capacity of groups to

negotiation negotiate with government and to accept
the validity of incremental reform affects
their ability to obtain policy gains and
political legitimacy.

NGOs can strengthen civil society and good government through institutional and
coalitional efforts to influence economic and social development policies.

Direct NGO policy work can affect civil society and government accountability by:

Educating citizens on important civic issues and ways to access the political
Building a stronger institutional base of civil society.
Providing mechanisms for participation and policy change especially for
disenfranchised sectors.

Transformational Goals

Groups seeking transformational objectives – basic changes in power relations – need

an overall strategic vision that shapes and guides both long-term policy goals and
short-term local actions. Since success in the policy or legislative arena is invariably
partial and always filled with loopholes, winning sweeping comprehensive reforms or
major shifts in power is highly unlikely.

Accepting the legitimacy of achieving partial success, groups need to identify and
pursue strategic short-term goals that build toward long-term structural change. When
designing an effective long-term policy program, NGOs and grassroots organizations
also need to be willing to make trade-offs and strategic decisions on when to
maximize different gains.

Political and Social Context

A country’s political and social context shapes the attitudes and influences the
strategies of NGOs and grassroots organizations, and affects the kinds of success
they are able to achieve. The strategies and campaigns developed in one context
may vary considerably from those developed in another.

Running Effective Meetings


1) Ask participants to answer the Evaluate a Meeting checklist (see page 32).

2) Get their average score. The range of individual scores will indicate if most of them
are attending effective meetings or not.

3) Ask them to do the following:

Identify three disturbing experiences in attending meetings.

Come up with a definition of an effective meeting (The definition below can

be used as reference).

4) Present the two types of meetings.

5) Discuss the steps in planning a meeting:

Do we need to meet?

Developing an agenda

Selecting participants

Choosing a meeting time

Arranging facilities

6) Discuss and role play the process of conducting a meeting.

7) Summarize the session and present the necessary steps to an effective meeting (see
page 38).

Definition of an Effective Meeting

An effective meeting is one that achieves its objectives in a minimum amount of time to
the satisfaction of participants.

Types of Meetings

1) Task-Oriented Meetings are aimed toward achieving specific work objectives.

These kinds of meetings are for:

Information: To give advice, update, or sell when a decision is already made
Decision-making: To set goals and solve problems

2) Interpersonal (Maintenance) Meetings are aimed toward maintaining and

increasing healthy relationships among members of the group so that they
may achieve their tasks effectively and efficiently.


Instructions: Consider the typical meeting you attend whether at work, in the community, etc. Compare
your meeting to the following characteristics of an effective meeting. Check those statements that apply
to meetings you normally conduct or attend:

1. An agenda is prepared prior to the meeting.

2. Meeting participants have an opportunity to contribute to the agenda.
3. Advance notice of meeting time and place is provided to those invited.
4. Meeting facilities are comfortable and adequate for the number of participants.
5. The meeting begins on time.
6. The meeting has a scheduled ending time.
7. The use of time is monitored throughout the meeting.
8. Everyone has an opportunity to present his or her point of view.
9. Participants listen attentively to each other.
10. There are summaries as the meeting progresses.
11. No one tends to dominate the discussion.
12. Everyone has a voice in decisions made at the meeting.
13. The meeting typically ends with a summary of accomplishments.
14. Participants periodically evaluate the meeting.
15. People can be depended upon to carry out any action agreed upon during the meeting.
16. A memorandum of discussion or minutes of the meeting is provided to each participant
following the meeting.
17. The facilitator or meeting leader follows up with participants on action agreed upon during the
18. The appropriate and necessary people can be counted on to attend each meeting.
19. The decision process used is appropriate for the size of the group.
20. When used, audiovisual equipment is in good working condition and does not detract from the
Number of Statements Checked ____ x 5 = ____ Meeting Score

A score of 80 or more indicates that you attend or conduct a high percentage of quality meetings
A score below 60 suggests that work is required to improve the quality of meetings you attend or conduct.

Planning the meetings

1) The first thing that you need to do when you are thinking of calling for a meeting is to
ask if it is needed.

Do we need to meet? What are the usual reasons for meetings?

Give participants the Checklists to Determine if a Meeting is Required (see box below). If
most of the answers to the questions are “yes,” probably a meeting is necessary.

Sometimes, however, a memo, email message, bulletin board posting, or phone call is
a better means of disseminating information.



Consideration YES NO

Is time of the essence? ____ ____

Is the group geographically dispersed? ____ ____
Does the size of the group make a meeting feasible, say 10 to 100? ____ ____
Is it imperative that everyone fully understands the information? ____ ____
Is the information being presented needed later as reference ____ ____


Consideration YES NO

Is the knowledge required for any problem solving dispersed among ____ ____
several people?

Is the commitment of several people required for successful ____ ____

implementation of the results?
____ ____
Can the synergy of group interaction contribute to a quality decision?

Are there likely to be conflicting points of view which need to be ____ ____
Are there questions of fairness that need to be resolved? ____ ____

2) Developing an agenda: An agenda is a list of things to be done.

Ask two or three participants to write a sample agenda on the board. Let the others
comment on the samples.

Things that should be included in the agenda:

Items to be discussed listed in proper sequence
Beginning and ending time
Time of scheduled breaks, if any

3) Selecting participants: When selecting participants, the best guideline is to have the
smallest number of appropriate people.

A feasible way of selecting participants is to consider the type of meeting:

Information meeting: Select the attendees who need to know the information.
Problem solving meeting: Choose participants who have knowledge to contribute,
authority over the area affected by the decision, and commitment to carry out
Maintenance meeting: Invite all members of the group.

In general, the following characteristics should be considered when selecting


Knowledge of subject area involved in problem

Commitment to solving the problem

Time to participate

Diversity of view point



4) Choosing a meeting time: Should be acceptable to all.

5) Arranging facilities: The required facilities, equipment, and documents should be

prepared before the meeting.

Conducting Meetings

1) Ask participants to evaluate themselves as meeting leader/facilitator and participant

(Use the checklists on pages 36 and 37).

2) Get their average score as meeting leaders/facilitators and participants. Their scores
will indicate their present level of effectiveness as meeting leaders/facilitators and

3) Get participants to discuss briefly the question,

What is the meeting leader/facilitator’s role?

A meeting leader/facilitator’s role is to focus the energy and attention of participants and
keep them moving towards the meeting’s objectives.

Three major components of a meeting:

Content: The information, knowledge, experience, opinions, ideas, myths, attitudes

and expectations that participants bring to the meeting.

Interaction: The way participants work together while processing the meeting’s
content. Includes feelings, attitudes, and expectations that bear on cooperation,
listening, participation, trust, and openness.

Structure: The way in which both information and participants are organized to
achieve the meeting’s purpose.

4) Ask participants to role play an actual meeting. Do it in several rounds to give each
one a chance to be a meeting leader/facilitator. Secretly ask some people to play
“problem personalities” to add to the dynamics of the role play. Give feedback to the
participants after each round. Generate suggestions on how to make meetings more


5) Give a brief input on the steps in structuring decision-making meetings (see box below):

Structuring Decision-making Meetings

1. Study/discuss/analyze the situation.

2. Define the problem.
3. Set objectives.
4. State imperatives and desirables.
5. Generate alternatives.
6. Establish evaluation criteria.
7. Evaluate alternatives.
8. Choose among alternatives.


Instructions: On a scale of 1 to 5, rate yourself as a meeting leader/facilitator. Be honest.

0 = Never; 1 = Seldom; 2 = Sometimes; 3 = Frequently, 4 = Most of the Time; 5 = Always.

1. Do I have clear objectives for the meeting? ____

2. Do I carefully select the invited participants? ____
3. Do I prepare an agenda and distribute it in advance of the meeting? ____
4. Do I arrive early enough to check the arrangements? ____
5. Do I start the meeting promptly regardless of who is present? ____
6. Do I follow the agenda? ____
7. Do I manage time and conclude the meeting as scheduled? ____
8. Do I encourage everyone to participate? ____
9. Do I help in the resolution of conflict? ____
10. Do I maintain proper control of the discussion? ____
11. Do I summarize accomplishment at the end of the meeting and clarify ____
any action to be taken?
12. Do I prepare and distribute an agenda or minutes of the meeting? ____
13. Do I request evaluative feedback from participants? ____
14. Do I take agreed upon action? ____
15. Do I follow up on action to be taken by others? ____

TOTAL ____

A score of 60 or more that you are an effective meeting leader/facilitator.

A score of 45 and below suggests that you need to work harder to be
more effective as a meeting leader/facilitator.


Instructions: On a scale of 1 to 5, rate yourself as a meeting participant. Be honest.

0 = Never; 1 = Seldom; 2 = Sometimes; 3 = Frequently, 4 = Most of the Time; 5 = Always.

1. Do I, as a rule, know the purpose of the meetings I attend? ____

2. Do I have a clear understanding of my role in meetings I attended? ____
3. Do I confirm my attendance in advance of the meeting? ____
4. Do I complete required tasks such as looking up information or ____
studying proposals?
5. Do I arrive at meetings before they are scheduled to begin? ____
6. Do I refrain from engaging in side conversations while the meeting ____
is in progress?
7. Do I keep possible interruptions away, such as non-emergency telephone ____
calls, while in the meeting?
8. Do I ask questions when I am not sure about something? ____
9. Do I, as a rule, open my mind to the ideas of others, even if these come ____
from those who are different from my gender, social status, position, etc.?
10. Do I listen well? ____
11. Do I actively participate in discussions when there is something ____
worthwhile to contribute?
12. Do I help others stay on the subject? ____
13. Do I take agreed upon action after the meeting? ____
14. Do I contribute to improving meetings by giving feedback to the ____
people who conduct them either by a note, phone call, or a visit?
15. After the meeting, do I inform the concerned people who did not attend ____
about what was discussed and the outcome?
TOTAL ____

A score of 60 or more that you are an effective meeting participant.

A score of 45 and below suggests that you need to work harder to be
more effective as a meeting participant.

Necessary Steps to an Effective Meeting

The tables below present a summary of steps essential in running effective meetings:

Before the Meeting

Leader / Facilitator Participant

1. Define objective. 1. Block time on schedule.
2. Select participants. 2. Confirm attendance.
3. Make preliminary contact with 3. Define your role.
participants to confirm availability. 4. Determine what is needed from you in the
4. Schedule meeting room and arrange for meeting.
equipment and refreshment. 5. Suggest other participants.
5. Prepare agenda. 6. Know the objective.
6. Prepare the necessary reference materials. 7. Know when and where to meet.
7. Invite participants and distribute agenda. 8. Do any required task.
8. Touch base with non-participants.
9. Make final check of meeting room.

During the Meeting

Leader / Facilitator Participant

1. Start promptly. 1. Listen and participate.
2. Solicit additions to the agenda. 2. Be open-minded/receptive.
3. Follow the agenda. 3. Stay on the agenda and subject.
4. Manage the use of time. 4. Limit or avoid side conversations and
5. Elicit participation. distractions.
6. Limit/control discussion. 5. When necessary, ask questions to assure
7. Help resolve conflict. understanding.
8. Clarify action to be taken. 6. Take notes on your action items.
9. Summarize results.

After the Meeting

Leader / Facilitator Participant

1. Make sure that room is restored and 1. Evaluate the meeting & give feedback to
equipment is returned. meeting leader.
2. Evaluate effectiveness as meeting leader. 2. Review the minutes of the meeting.
3. (Optional) Send out meeting evaluation. 3. Brief others as appropriate.
4. Distribute minutes of meeting. 4. Take any action agreed upon.
5. Take any action agreed upon. 5. Follow up on action items.
6. Follow up on action items.

Using Media for Advocacy

Media refers to all means of mass communication, with wide reach and influence. As
such, it can be a powerful tool for advocacy. Its different forms are illustrated below:

Media Broadcast Radio


Print Newspaper

Cyberspace Email

Broadcast and print are traditional forms of media while cyberspace is a new realm of
electronic communication. Each of these forms would have varying audiences and
different scope of influence and reach.

Establishing Effective Relations with Media

Since media can be a powerful tool for advocacy, it is important that advocates
establish effective relations with media practitioners such as journalists and reporters.

The Urban Land Reform-Task Force, a coalition of urban poor groups in the
Philippines, gives some pointers in their advocacy manual, Pagsulong. Below are
some translated excerpts:

When writing a letter to the editor, or to a particular reporter, make sure that
you have the addressee’s correct name and spelling, position or title.

Be formal in your writing.

The sender should put his/her name, organization, address, telephone, fax,
and email address or any number where s/he can be contacted immediately.

Inform the newspaper, television or radio station if there are events or issues
related to your concerns that are worth reporting. If there is a need to issue a
statement, have it ready.

Have a list of media persons who can be contacted at short notice. Write
down their telephone numbers (resident and office) and address. Also list
down the names of news sources, experts or persons in authority,
researchers, and other important contact persons.

Be aware of what is being reported in the media. Read the newspapers, listen
to the radio, and watch the news to monitor that developments and public

Holding a Press Conference

A press conference is a meeting called to disseminate information to the media.

Advocates call for a press conference for greater impact. They also organize one if
the news cannot be publicized through a simple press release or meeting with
reporters. For instance, when the issue of toxic waste dumping in Sihanoukville was
exposed, the Basel Action Network and Greenpeace together with the NGO Forum
and Legal Aid of Cambodia organized a press conference to raise broader public
awareness of the issue and pressure concerned authorities to take action.

If there is time, send invitations one week before the press conference. In the
invitation, write the objective of the press conference, the speakers, the date, time and
place. Make follow up phone calls to confirm attendance.

If you want the issue to be reported the following day, hold the press conference
before noon or at noontime. It is not advisable to hold a press conference at night
because it could be the busiest time of newspapers.

The press conference should be held in a place that is accessible to media persons.
That place need not be expensive. It is good to include a map in the invitation.

Whether or not to serve food will depend on what is practiced.

Speakers should have sufficient knowledge about the objectives of the press
conference so s/he can answer the questions. They should practice answering
probable questions before the press conference, especially controversial or sensitive

Speakers should answer all the questions clearly. They should also be prepared to
answer other questions that may be outside the main issue.

Press release or news feature or both about the topic of the

Provide media with a
press kit, which press conference and other related information.
should contain dif-
ferent kinds of related Relevant photographs.
Brochure, annual report, newsletter, and other materials about
Usually, a press kit your organization.
contains the following
(see box on the right): (Optional) T-shirts, stickers, buttons, or other promotional

Give the media a chance to take pictures. It is better if the topic of the press
conference centers on a hot issue or an activity, for instance the presentation of
evidence, etc. Activities like these that show action would have a greater chance of
being published or broadcast on television.

Writing a Press Release

A press release is an important tool in relating to the public (See page 42). It is a short
article given to media to encourage it to join in disseminating the news. A press
release is said to be successful if it is able to relate its explicit objective with its real
objective. It not only helps journalists and editors, but it also obtains public sympathy
and media exposure for the organization and the issue it is advocating.

It is true that a press release can call attention to your organization or group and the
work that you do. However, it is also true that if the press release does not contain
any important information and only proves to be a burden to journalists or editors, it will
not be used.

You must remember that sending a press release is a way of giving information to the
media even if they have the option not to use it. A press release is a tool of public
information that advocates can use to develop basic information for the readers.
Advocates should know the right time to send a press release. It should have a
connection to current events. Advocates should be alert to the latest news that
supports their concerns so that media will readily accept their press release.

Writing style

If an event is important, write it as a news item. Make sure that the most important
information is in the first paragraph or “lead.” The questions Who? What? When?
Where? Why? and How? should be answered.

Write the press release according to the style of the reporter or of the newspaper.
Even if the press release is seldom printed in its entirety, make sure that it is written
well – clear, easy to understand, and direct to the point. If necessary, repeat key
words and information.


As much as possible, a press release should only be one page. Put [END] or [END
OF PRESS RELEASE] at the end. If it is more than two pages, write “more” or
“continued” at the bottom of the first page. In the second page, put the topic of the
press release on the top portion of the paper.


The press release should be printed on a clean and short paper, double-spaced or
single-spaced and error-free. You can also use the letterhead of your organization.

Put a title to help the writer or editor decide if they will use the press release. It will
also be helpful if the title summarizes the main point of the press release. However,
this is optional especially if you want to limit the press release to one page.

Contact Person

On the lower left-hand corner, put the name of the contact person, his/her title or
position in the organization, telephone, and address. In the example on page 42,
there are three signatories.

If you know the writer or editor, write a short note on a separate piece of paper or on a
corner of the first page.

Sending the press release

Make sure that the press release gets into the right hands. For every addressee, send
a separate press release. If you are going to fax it, identify the specific recipient to
prevent it from being thrown away. Write the name of the addressee in capital:
Attention: KHOM REAN.

Avoid sending the press release to the publisher or editor in chief even if you know
them. This by passes those who should receive it and may cause ill feelings. Send
the press release to those involved in writing or editing the news.

A press release that is personally delivered has a greater chance of being used than
one that is faxed, mailed, or delivered by a messenger. By being there personally,
the writer or editor has a chance to ask more questions or information.

Do not give a press release when the deadline is near. Give enough time for the
newspaper staff to analyze the importance of the press release.

Giving Pictures

Some pictures used in newspapers are in black and white glossy paper; others are in
color. Paste the picture on a separate sheet of paper and explain what it is showing –
put a caption.

Follow Up

It is not enough to send a press release and expect that it will be used. It will help to
call the newspaper or television station after a few hours or a day to check if the right
person received the press release. This will also give the reporter or editor to ask
further questions. But do not overdo the follow up to the point of irritating the one
answering the phone.

Monitor the newspaper, radio or television to check if they used the press release.
Thank the reporter or editor if the press release was used. Do not call the reporter or
editor if they used the press release because it shows the lack of competence to
check and monitor on your own. It is also good to record discussions on television.

Sending a press release to media does not guarantee that it will be used. That is
why some advocates issue a statement instead. (See example on page 20). A statement
is a written or verbal declaration of an idea or sentiment. To ensure that the statement
is published or broadcast in its entirety, they buy space in a newspaper or magazine,
or airtime in a radio or television program.

What Is News?

What is considered news contains the essential information and answers the
questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

It is important to know the elements of news to enable us to write

effectively for media (See box below).

Elements of News
Timeliness. Whatever is happening, what is the latest, what has changed, etc.

Proximity. Whatever the reader can identify with.

Prominence. Whoever/whatever is known, famous, newsmakers.

Dramatization. Whatever has theatrical value, concrete rather than abstract,

emotional rather than rational.

Personalization. Personalities are emphasized more than ideas. The human factor
in stories.

Titillation and Novelty. Whatever is interesting, compelling, extraordinary,

scandalous, sensational, etc.

Conventionalism. What is familiar, expected or stereotypical.

Conflict. Clash of personalities, ideas.

During “heavy” days when there are a lot of important news, those that have
national significance are put on the front page.

Writing News Items

When writing news, use the structure of an inverted triangle (see illustration on page 45).
Put the most important information up front and write less important in descending
order. Why inverted? For people in a hurry who have no time to read, they will
already have an idea about the main point of the article just be scanning the first part.
They do not need to read the whole story. Newspapers also have limited space. If a
news item needs to be cut, the important points will not be sacrificed.

Parts of a News Item

Lead. Sums up the most important elements of the news. This part should be able to
catch attention. If possible, put the essential information such as who, what, where,
when, why, and how. It is also important that this not exceed 25 to 30 words. If you
cannot put all, choose only those that can call attention.

Lead Support. Here you put the information that had not been included in the lead.
Here, more details are given.

Details. The details give color and shape to the news. The details to be included
should add more emotion to the story. Here, the other “how” of the news can be

Background. This contains the events or information related to the main news.
Events mentioned here have already happened. Usually the background is written at
the end of the article but sometimes it is included in the main news.


Lead Support



Inverted Triangle

Effective Writing for Media

Below are some guidelines on effective writing for media based on the manual,
Pagsulong prepared by the Urban Land Reform Task Force:

1) In the first paragraph, write the most important details that answer the questions, who?
what? when? where? why? and how?

Example: A thousand urban poor dwellers demonstrated in front of the Ministry of

National Defense yesterday to condemn the violent demolition of their shanties along
the railway station.

2) Start with the most important item towards the least important.

rWrong: Yesterday, the Cambodian team departed for Chiang Mai, Thailand for the
Southeast Asian Games. Prime Minister Hun Sen flew with them to give moral

Right: Prime Minister Hun Sen left yesterday for Chiang Mai, Thailand to give moral
support to the Cambodian team who will participate in the Southeast Asian Games.

The Prime Minister’s flight is more important than the Cambodian team because he
is the head of the country.

3) Do not cram all the details in the first paragraph.

Example: The NGO Statement to the Consultative Group Meeting in Tokyo, done by
three major NGO networks composed of almost two hundred local and international
organizations, raised the three issues of human resource development, poverty
alleviation and respect for rule of law because Cambodia’s problems revolved around

The paragraph above can be broken down into two or paragraphs. In a

newspaper, the shorter the paragraph, the better. However, the main idea must not
be sacrificed in cutting a paragraph short.

4) In a paragraph, write only one idea per sentence.

Example: Three major NGO networks come up with an NGO statement to the
Consultative Group Meeting in Tokyo. The statement raised the three themes that cut
across Cambodia’s major problems: human resource development, poverty
alleviation and respect for rule of law. The NGO networks comprise over four hundred
local and international organizations.

5) Write the names of the persons involved or the authority that was the source of the

Example: Two men perished in a three-hour fire yesterday in Toul Kork district.
Patrolman Khong Pouv of the police detachment in the area identified the fatalities as
Kim Sonleeng, 18 and Phit Prakat, 20, both residents of the affected district.

In news that involve many fatalities, the names are usually written at the end of the

6) Introduce the persons concerned. When introducing them, write the whole name and
title/position. If possible, explain what this person does. In the succeeding
paragraphs, the first name can be used.

Example: Striking teachers condemned H.E. Tol Lah, Minister of Education, for saying
that an agreement has been made with the teachers. These protesters denied that
negotiations have taken place, insisting that they have not even met with the Minister.
They said that H.E. Tol’s statement is a feeble attempt to make sway public sentiment
against them.

7) Explain technical terms. Avoid them if possible. Use more familiar and simpler words
to help readers understand.

Example: rigor mortis – dead

8) Limit quotes to those involved in the issue. Make sure that the quote supports the

Example 1: ''The majority of the people of Cambodia... are of the opinion that such an
incompetent and mean person should be forced from his present position,'' wrote Ieng
Thirith, the wife of former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary. She was referring
to the director of the private Documentation Centre of Cambodia, Youk Chhang, who
has spearheaded efforts to track down war-crime evidence against Khmer Rouge

Example 2: Ieng Thirith, the wife of former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary,
lambasted the director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia Youk Chhang.
Youk has spearheaded efforts to track down war crime evidence against Khmer
Rouge leaders.

The second example is shorter, direct to the point, and has more force than the first

9) Avoid using many words.

Use concrete and specific words.

There was inclement weather yesterday. – It rained hard yesterday.

She had an accident. – A truck hit her.

Use the active voice instead of the passive voice.

It was decided in parliament that demonstrations will not be allowed. (passive)

The parliament decided not to allow any more demonstrations. (active)

10) Use conjunctives to link up words, phrases or sentences.

Example: There is a law allowing women to vote but until now, it has not been


Preparing for Advocacy
Translating Knowledge and Skills into Practice
There are several things that groups or organizations can do to prepare for actual
advocacy work. An important first step is to choose the problem or issue you want to
work on.

Problem Selection and Analysis

Below is a chart containing a set of criteria adapted from the Midwest Academy, an
education and training institute working with disenfranchised and marginalized
communities in the United States. The checklist allows problems and issues to be
compared across a range of sixteen criteria that are presented as questions that are
answerable by “yes” or “no”. Those receiving higher scores or more affirmative
answers presumably will be more likely subjects of effective advocacy.

Checklist for Choosing a Problem / Issue

Will resolving the problem / Problem/Issue Problem/Issue Problem/Issue

Will the issue: 1 2 3
1. Result in a real improvement in people's lives?
2. Give people a sense of their own power?
3. Build strong and lasting organizations and alter
the relations of power?
4. Raise awareness about power relations and
democratic rights?
5. Be winnable?
6. Be widely felt?
7. Be deeply felt?
8. Be easy to communicate and understand?
9. Provide opportunities for people to learn about
and be involved in politics?
10. Have clear advocacy targets?
11. Have a clear time frame?
12. Be non-divisive among your potential
13. Build accountable leadership?
14. Be consistent with your values and vision?
15. Provide potential for raising funds?
16. Link local concerns to global issues and macro
policy context?

After problems and issues have been identified and strategies developed, this same
chart can be used to compare and help select advocacy strategies for addressing
these problems. The term strategy can be substituted for the term problem on the
chart and some of the questions modified accordingly. The subsequent checklist can
help groups do an initial analysis or assessment of the different strategies they are

Problem vs. Issue

In carrying out an analysis, it sometimes helps to make a distinction between the

terms problem and issue. Some advocacy groups define a problem as a broad
area of social concern such as hunger, health care, poverty, or pollution, while they
define an issue as one aspect of a problem. For example, if poverty is the
overarching problem, expanding access to land might be the issue a group chooses
as its advocacy focus. In this sense, they define an issue as a solution to a problem
that can be addressed by the public policy process. For instance, under overall
problems of health and the environment, national health insurance and pollution
standards would be considered issues. However, since many people use the two
terms interchangeably, it is sometimes difficult to be precise.

Another way of choosing a problem or issue for advocacy is to use the Problem
Analysis Framework below. This framework and the excerpts below and in the next
page are taken from the Advocacy Sourcebook of the Institute for Development

Problem Analysis Framework

Problems Consequences Causes Solutions

(Who benefits? Who (Change in policy,
loses?) practice, behavior, or




This framework provides a way for organizations to analyze and prioritize their
concerns. Guided by a simple chart, groups can discuss problems and their possible
causes, consequence, and solutions. Using this framework, groups can list several
major problems that their organizations and members have identified and prioritized.
They can brainstorm some of the consequences and principal causes of those
problems. They can provide ideas for solutions that would involve advocacy –

possible changes in public policies, behaviors, or programs – that could help address
the causes and solve or lessen the problem. A good problem analysis is crucial for
deciding what your advocacy focus, goals and targets will be.

The following table summarizes the analysis of some women’s groups in Brazil. They
identified domestic violence as the overall problem they wanted to address. It was an
issue they felt would contribute to their long-term vision of changing inequitable and
violent relations in the family. In their analysis, they examined a range of
consequences and then identified certain causes of domestic violence as being
susceptible to advocacy, causes that sprang from public policies, programs, or
practices or lack of them.

Example of a Problem Analysis

Problems Consequences Causes Solutions

(Who benefits? Who (Change in policy,
loses?) practice, behavior, or

Domestic Violence - Abuse of - Violent spouses - Grants to

spouses and - Machismo women's groups
children - Low self-esteem for education on
- Murder of victim - Poor economy rights
- Victims fear the - Laws not - Government job
abuser enforced training
- Children do - No protection to programs
poorly in school victims - Women's police
- Children repeat - Women are stations
pattern as afraid to report - Government-run
adults abuse to police women's
- Abusers feel - Women don't shelters
powerful know their - Stricter laws
- Etc. rights, blame punishing
themselves abusers
- Inadequate - Men's education
laws programs
- Family issues - Etc.
are viewed as
private matters
- Etc.

After careful analysis, the women’s groups concluded that the provisions in laws on
domestic violence were adequate but certain official structures and attitudes prevented
women from using the laws. They decided to focus their advocacy efforts on getting
special women’s police stations established to handle domestic abuses cases since
male police officers intimidated and denigrated most women seeking help. Because
police were key in taking women’s statements and initiating the legal process, these
women’s groups set as their goal the creation of police stations staffed entirely by
women officers to deal with abuse cases. As a result of this analysis, they concluded
that their main advocacy target would be the Secretary of Public Safety who had the
authority to establish the stations.

Web Chart

The web chart is a method of analyzing a problem by identifying its causes, the
causes of the immediate causes, and the interrelationships among the causes and

You start making a web chart by writing the main problem in the middle of a flip chart
paper and encircling it. Then you write the immediate causes around the main
problem and encircle them. Connect the immediate causes to the main problem with
arrows. The cause should point to the effect. Afterwards you proceed by writing the
causes of the immediate causes and connecting them with arrows until you exhaust all
the possible causes and effects, forming a virtual spider’s web.

Below is an example of a web chart made by the Environment Working Group of the
NGO Forum on Cambodia. Deforestation was the main problem they analyzed. They
did not put arrows in some of the connecting lines because they were unsure which
ones were the causes and which ones were the effects.

Loss of Reduced
Soil erosion biodiversity watershed

International Natural
Climate Increased disasters
market demands
change poverty/loss of
Involvement of
Population military
Anarchy –
Lack of rules
Resettlement/ Fire
Privatization of
Unjust logging concessions
practices Deforestation
Swidden Profit motive of political
Lack of land
agriculture parties (elections) War

Need foreign currency for education

Lack of rule of law Lack of awareness of

Lack of long-term forest degradation
forest management

Web Chart
Problem Tree

Doing a problem tree is another option in analyzing a problem. In this approach, the
causes and effects of the main problem are clearly delineated.

The example below is the result of the analysis of the Working Group for Weapons
Reductions (WGWR), a coalition of concerned Cambodian and international
organizations and individuals working for peace. As its name implies, the WGWR
aims to decrease the number and use of small arms and light weapons in Cambodia
and transform the desire to use own and use weapons into a commitment for non-
violent problem solving.

Armed robbery
and banditry Other criminal

Stray bullets/
Incidents with
children Intentional/

interference Tribunal
Suicide threatened

Obstacle to Rule
of Law

Under influence of
alcohol or anger Abuse of authority and
law enforcement
Guns are Harmful
Main Problem

presence of
Poverty weapons

Lack of rule
of law
Political conflict/
Lack of trust
Culture of
Desire for self-
defense/Sense of

Problem Tree

Problem Definition and Issue Framing

Once advocates identify and select an issue or problem, another level of questions
arises related to how groups defined the problem and the political solution to it.

Questions that helped one make an analysis of the problem/issue can help guide the
development of arguments. Excerpts below and in the next page are from the
Advocacy Sourcebook prepared by the Institute for Development Research:

How do you define the problem and its solution?

Who benefits and who loses from it?
What are the principal causes of the problem?
What are the political solutions that can best address the problem? Does
the problem require new or changed laws, enforcement of existing laws, or
changes in behaviors, practices or culture?
How do other important players define the problem, its causes, and solutions?
How do the opposition define the problem, its causes, and solutions?
How can you counter their arguments?
What is the scope of their power?
This definition process can assist a group in framing its issue for the public, an
important step for creating effective strategies. The way in which a group defines and
presents a problem and an issue affects their ability to garner support and ultimately to
succeed in their advocacy efforts. Policy problems framed compellingly in ways that
tap urgent concerns can generate strong grassroots constituency support. Issues that
are defined unclearly can confuse supporters as well as potential allies and lead to
failure. For example in the Philippines, a coalition of Manila-based environmental
groups concerned about the rapid depletion of forests framed their issue around the
need for a total ban on all logging operations, whether large commercial enterprises or
small community-based ventures. This alienated important local groups. Although the
coalition changes its message to a call for a total commercial log ban later, it was
never fully able to overcome the initial perception of a total ban on all logging.

Issues that are framed in the most inclusive way possible can extend the potential for
widespread support. For example, in Zimbabwe a coalition of groups representing the
disabled framed their concern around the need for the country to involve all citizens in
rebuilding and developing the nation after long years of a liberation war. Government
policies and programs needed to be inclusive of people. Disability, they emphasized,
did not mean inability. It should be noted, however, that care needs to be taken in
framing your issue not to dilute its power and appeal by softening or compromising its
message to the point where its core constituencies and supporters no longer
recognize or identify with it.

Issues can be framed in terms of achieving a) narrow policy objectives, b)

comprehensive policy goals aimed at transforming the structures and consciousness
of society, and c) they can be framed in ways that incorporate both.

A coalition representing groups of Filipino fisherfolk incorporated both sets of goals

and won some important policy gains while strengthening their membership. The
coalition framed its issue in terms of the need for establishing national fishing rights to
protect community fishing grounds. Coalition members first developed their own
comprehensive fisheries code which called for basic changes in control over fishing
resources, putting that power in the hands of communities. The code was their ideal
vision of what they wanted and set the standard for the later compromises the coalition
was willing to accept in negotiations with legislators. Designing the code with
members helped them identify grassroots concerns, educate communities, and draw
on their knowledge. By framing the issue comprehensively, they set the parameters
for discussion with the government and opened negotiating room for themselves when
they later narrowed their goals. Because of its broader long-term vision, the coalition
kept members committed and got approval at the municipal level for several
community-run councils to oversee local fishing areas.

The following checklist can help advocates frame their issue:

Checklist for Issue Framing

The issue and problem --

1. are presented in clear compelling and engaging language,

Creative and amusing ways of framing issues can also serve to mobilize people.

2. reflect immediate urgent concern of members or constituents,

3. are stated in as inclusive language as possible to draw in broad support

without compromising the group's major concerns, and

4. are defined in ways that combine narrow short-term policy objectives with
more long-term transformational goals.

Goal Setting and Planning

While framing the issue, advocates can set overall goals and specific objectives for
their advocacy effort. As in issue framing, some basic questions can help clarity your
goals. These include the following:

What are the transformational goals we want to accomplish – goals aimed at

transforming the inequitable structures and power relationships of society related to
the problem or issue?

What specific actions, decisions, or changes do we want in the long-term – what

will best address the basic cause of our problem and how will we be able to
maintain our gains if successful?

On a policy or political dimension, what specific changes do we want in a

policy, law, program, or behavior?
On a civil society dimension, how do we want to strengthen NGOs and
grassroots groups as a result of our advocacy so we can sustain and expand
our gains?
On a democracy dimension, how do we plan to increase the political space,
participation, and legitimacy of civil society with our advocacy effort?

What are our intermediate goals? What constitutes victory? To what extent will the
campaign or advocacy effort: --

Win concrete improvements in people’s lives?

Alter the relations of power?
Give people a sense of their own power and confidence?
Build strong organizations that can make relations of power more equitable
and democratic?
Improve alliances between colleague organizations?
Incorporate political awareness and citizen advocacy skills?
Increase citizen/NGO access to policy making?

What short-term or partial victories can we win as steps toward our longer-term and
transformational goals?

SWOT Analysis

After setting our goals and objectives and before a comprehensive planning, it is good
to assess our own strengths and weaknesses and the environment where we are
operating. A simple tool to do this is the SWOT Analysis – acronym for Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (See illustration below).

This column refers to This column refers to

positive or favorable negative or unfavorable
factors about the factors about the
advocacy group and advocacy group and the
the environment environment

Strengths Weaknesses
This row refers to the advocacy
group or factors internal to it.

Opportunities Threats This row refers to the situation

(i.e., can be people, groups,
events, etc.) external to the
advocacy group

The SWOT Analysis Table can indicate if our group is ready for advocacy work and
also if the environment is favorable to the achievement of our goals and objectives. It
can also point out what needs to be improved in our advocacy group or modified in our

Below is the result of a SWOT Analysis of participants of a Basic Advocacy Training
Workshop in Kompong Chhnang province:

Example of a SWOT Analysis

Issue / problem to be addressed: High cost of electricity in Kompong Chhnang

Objective: To demand a decrease in the cost of electricity.

Strengths Weaknesses

- Group knows how to do research. - Does not belong to an NGO network.

- Members support advocacy - Does not have close relationship with

objective. local authorities.

- Has capability to do advocacy. - Members are afraid of the risks

- Has information about the cost of
electricity in other provinces. - Does not have enough documents
and other related information.
- Is a partner of an international NGO
that is supportive of advocacy. - Lacks logistics and funds.

Opportunities Threats

- Changes in the provincial leadership. - Does not have the support of the
local authorities and powerful people.
- There is more freedom and
democracy. - People might be hesitant to join the
advocacy effort.
- Relatively independent media.
- Pressure from other groups.
- Presence of other NGOs in the
provinces that share our sentiments.

- People want a decrease in the cost

of electricity.

Making an Initial Advocacy Plan

Making an advocacy plan, albeit a simple and tentative one, is a good way to end an
advocacy training workshop. For participants who have not experienced doing any
advocacy, the process of planning will prime them for future activities. For those
currently involved in an issue, making a plan will help focus their efforts on realistic
objectives and doable activities.

For first time advocates, a simple planning table, like the one presented on page 57,
would suffice. In this planning guide, it is possible to incorporate objectives that are
SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound (Refer to
Elements of Advocacy, Chapter 2, page 17).
Goal: Should be long-term

Objectives: Should be SMART and short-term

Activities Tasks Persons /Groups Date


The following is an initial attempt of an NGO – Krom Akphiwat Phum (KAWP) – in

Battambang province to make an advocacy plan:

Sample Advocacy Plan

Goal: For people to have their grabbed land back.

Objective: To demand the local authorities in the village and commune level and
powerful people involved to return the appropriated land to the people.

Activity 1:
Investigate cases of land grabbing affecting poor people in the province.
Analyze information gathered and make a list of names of victims.
Contact the Land Title Department about existing laws on land ownership.

Activity 2:
Meet with the victims and agree on a course of action with them.
Prepare the list of the victims, the witness, supporters, complaint, and land ownership
Choose the leaders who will negotiate or demand the return of the lands.
Collect the money for transportation and other logistical costs.

Activity 3:
Coach the victims in filing complaints and negotiating with the authorities.
The selected representatives or leaders will present their case to the district and
provincial authorities.

Activities Tasks Who When

Activity 1:
- Investigate cases of - Meet with the victims in - KAWP 1-14 June
land grabbing affecting poor the villages and communes.
people in the province.
- Analyze information - Meet and discuss with - KAWP 15-17 June
gathered and make a list of people to decide on what and victims
names of victims. they want to do.
- Contact the Land Title - Discuss and clarify - KAWP 20 June
Department about existing pertinent provisions of the and Chief of
laws on land ownership. law on land ownership and Land Titles
use. Office
Activity 2:
- Meet with the victims - Prepare the list of - Villag- 27-29 June
and agree on a course of victims, supporters, and ers and
action with them. witnesses with their cor- KAWP
responding thumbprints,
- Prepare the list of the - Prepare documents on - Villag- 29-30 June
victims, the witness, sup- land ownership and ers and
porters, complaint, and land complaint.. KAWP
ownership documents.
- Choose the leaders who - Decide on method of - Villag- 15 July
will negotiate or demand the selecting leaders or rep- ers and
return of the lands. resentatives. KAWP
- Collect the money for - Seek help from sup- - Villag- 16-31 July
transportation and other porters. ers and
logistical costs. KAWP

Activity 3:
- Coach the victims in - Contact human rights - Human 1-10 Aug
filing complaints and ne- organizations such as rights
gotiating with the authorities. Adhoc, Legal Aid of Cam- groups and
bodia, Licadho for pointers KAWP.
on how to negotiate with
authorities and pertinent
- The selected repre- - Representatives meet - Repre- 12 Aug
sentatives or leaders will the persons in charge in the sentatives
present their case to the district and provincial offices
district and provincial and the court.
- Do follow ups and wait - Go to see the targeted - Repre- 15 Aug-30
for the result. persons two or three times sentatives Sept
until some results are

A column that would specify expected outputs per activity can still be added to further
improve this initial advocacy plan. If participants are serious about doing advocacy,
they can add other details after the workshop.


Evaluating the Advocacy Workshop
Knowing What Went Right and What Went Wrong

General Questions

At the end of the workshop, ask your participants to do an evaluation so you will know
if the training objectives were achieved or if the participants’ expectations were met.
Evaluation questions need not be too detailed and complicated. They can be put in a
form that participants can easily understand and answer. Below are two options:

Option 1

Things I found HELPFUL and Things that were NOT My RECOMMENDATIONS

IMPORTANT in the workshop HELPFUL in the workshop to improve the workshop

Other comments:

Option 2


Not Helpful Recommendations Helpful

Other comments:

Detailed Questions

You can also ask more specific evaluation questions that correspond to your training
objectives. You can also ask about specific topics and the process or workshop

Below is an example of an evaluation form that Pact-Cambodia used during its

advocacy workshop:

Did the workshop help you to Yes No Not sure

(Please check answer ) :
1. Understand the basic skills of advocacy as
part of community development?
2. Identify community development issues in
which you can use advocacy skills?
3. Use knowledge and skills of advocacy in
planning and implementing your program
4. Develop your capacity and skills as a
development worker?

Take note that each of the evaluation questions above checks whether the training
objectives were achieved (See Pact Cambodia Advocacy Training Objectives on page 61).

Pact Cambodia Advocacy Training Objectives

At the end of the 4 days workshop the NGO participants will be able:
1. To understand the basic concept of advocacy as it is related to
community development and community organizing processes.
2. To learn and practice some practical and basic advocacy skills that the
NGO participants can use in their organization.
3. To identify advocacy issues in their community that have a higher
probability of success and are linked to their existing programs.
4. To appreciate the value of advocacy work in promoting common interests
in the community.

Results of the evaluation help improve the design of your future workshops. Make use
of them.

Ateneo Center for Social Policy & Public Affairs, Institute for Development Research,
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Policy Influence, NGO Experiences. Philippines: 1997.

Hudson, Mike. Managing Without Profit. Penguin Books, UK: 1995.

Institute for Development Research. Advocacy Sourcebook. Boston. 1997.

Melrose, Dianna. Advocacy Works! Lessons Learned by Oxfam U.K. and Ireland.
Oxfam: n.d.

Oxfam America. Influencing Decision-Making in the Mekong (Workshop Proceedings).

Phnom Penh: 4-6 August 1999.

Urban Land Reform Task Force. Pagsulong. Quezon City: 1996.