By: Aicha Etrew1

Aicha Etrew is a Next Generation Intern with the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)


Table of Content Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Objectives of the workshop…………………………………………………………….. 3 The workshop methodology……………………………………………………………. 4 Training content………………………………………………………………………... 4 Opening sessions……………………………………………………………………….. 4 Opening Remarks……………………………………………………………………… 4 Trainings Sessions ……………………………………………………………………. 8 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………... 21 Appendix: ………………………………………………………………………………. 22   Workshop Agenda……………………………………………………………… 22 Lists of Participants’……………………………………………………………. 23


INTRODUCTION The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) with the support of the International Women’s Programme of the Open Society Institute (IWP-OSI), organized a four (4) day training in Policy Engagement and Advocacy Training Workshop. The workshop was specifically designed to respond to the policy influencing and advocacy gaps identified amidst women’s groups and networks in Liberia. Since the commencement of WACSI in 2007, the institute has been committed to championing the course of strengthening the governance and development of CSAs across West African through regular individual capacity development and institutional strengthening training programmes. The four day workshop which was held from the 1st - 4th of February, 2011 in Monrovia Liberia attracted 20 women from different women groups, networks and organization in Liberia. WORKSHOP GOAL The overarching goal of the workshop was to build the advocacy capacity of women groups and organizations in Liberia, and deepen their knowledge and skills in planning and conducting effective policy engagement, influencing and advocacy. The workshop was structured around three thematic areas: understanding the context of policy advocacy and writing; structuring developing a coherent policy paper; and developing a targeted Advocacy Planning Framework. OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP The objectives of the policy engagement and advocacy trainings are to:  To enhance women’s knowledge in public policy networks and processes in Liberia;  To enhance women’s ability to write and use evidence-based policy papers (and briefs);  To build women’s insight into the process of planning an effective policy advocacy campaign;  To increase women’s understanding of the policy environment in Liberia and potential entry points;  To provide the platform women to form advocacy networks and build alliances; and  To examine and document the unique policy advocacy experiences and challenges of women in Liberia. WORKSHOP METHODOLOGY The workshop employed various active participatory approaches to facilitate adultlearning including:  A learner-centered, interactive environment; Learning by doing;  Pair and small group work to facilitate peer interaction; and


Role of participants as informed and responsible adult learners and the role of the trainer as facilitator.

TRAINING CONTENTS The training workshop comprises of three main sessions which has been sub-divided into several sessions, spreading through to the fourth day.  Understanding the context of Policy Advocacy and writing  Structuring and developing a coherent Policy paper  Developing a targeted Advocacy Planning Framework (this will form the major part of the concluding part of the syllabus in the proposed second phase.)

Group picture including participants, trainers and WACSI staff at the training

OPENING SESSION The workshop commenced with an opening address by the Policy Advocacy officer, WACSI, Ms. Omolara Balogun. Ms. Balogun welcomed participants, the invited guests and the facilitators to the training workshop. She was appreciative of them taking time off their busy schedule to be at the workshop and contribute to making the outcome a success. She introduced the guests as well as the facilitators to the participants’.


Ms. Balogun started her speech by reiterating the vision of WACSI i.e. to strengthen the role of civil society in West Africa to support, contribute and promote democracy, good governance and development across the sub-region, She said, WACSI realized the need and importance to build the capacities of CSOs by providing them with the requisite technical and institutional skills and tools to strengthen their organizations and individual capacity, as well as contribute to the ultimate objective of promoting stronger democratic institutions and enhance development across West Africa. In sum, Ms. Balogun stated that the Policy Engagement and Advocacy training project is a special initiative of WACSI, OSIWA, LGI-OSI designed in 2009 to augment the skills of CSOs working on policy related issues. Similar training has been tailored to respond to the policy influencing efforts of Liberian women, specifically, those who have been involved in practical and or academic policy advocacy issues. It is high time Liberian women specifically consider restructuring and re-strategising their mode of engaging policy makers and other states institutions in order to suit and appropriate respond to the current trend and produce fruitful results. Ms. Balogun indicated. She added that, the training was supported by the International Women Institution of Open Society Institute (IWP – OSI) based in New York. The training also target to respond to the low participation of women from across West Africa in the overall implementation of the training in 2010. Finally, Ms. Balogun said, the training is comprehensive and thus will be delivered in two phases; the first will be for a period of 4days and the second phase which scheduled for April would complement the first and fully set the stage for participants to successfully advance their cause in advocacy. OPENING REMARKS Executive Director, WACSI - Ms. Nana Asantewa Afadzinu The Executive Director of WACSI Ms. Nana Asantewa Afadzinu welcomed participants’ to the workshop and was appreciative of the participants’ making time to be a part of the training. She indicated that the workshop targeted women purposefully because since the conception of the programme in 2008, it has been observed that the participation of women who partook actively in the workshops was considerably low when compared to their male counterpart. Specifically, the Executive Director mentioned that only 36% of women participated in the 10 workshop organized in 2010 with over 160 participants on board. WACSI thus thought it was importance to provide women with equal opportunity to enhance their advocacy skills and have access to similar training, techniques, information, strategies as did their male counterpart. Moreover, empowering Liberia women with more sophisticated advocacy skills was a decision to boost and add-on their advocacy skill which had proved significantly successful as evident in the role and the current status of women in highest decision making echelon in the country.


Ms. Afadzinu, added that the training is totally different from other trainings that she had observed or taking part in. that is, it does not only add value but also give a more realistic and practical approach at advancing an advocacy cause. She said,”…aspects in which I partook a couple of years ago are totally different from the usual Policy Advocacy trainings that I have attended in the past…”. Ms. Afadzinu indicated that it was important for WACSI to run a training programme exclusively for women in advocacy considering low number of women who have made effort to participate in this particular training in the past.. Liberia was the preferred option firstly, because of the passion we have for the country, being a post-conflict environment in dare need of rapid development. She noted further, that women organizations in Liberia are known to have been engaged in policy issues before the end of the 14years war in 2004. Their effort cannot be overemphasized in the process that saw the election of the first woman president in Africa. Secondly, Liberia happens to be one of the countries where the IWP has network of partners and grantees, hence their willingness to support the capacity building project for Liberia women, finally, OSIWA presence in Liberia and its engagements with CSOs and governmental bodies made it also irrevocable to hold the training in Liberia.

(L-R) Mr. Joe Pemagbi OSIWA-Liberia, Country coordinator and Ms. Nana Afadzinu WACSI, Executive Director


Country Coordinator, OSIWA-Liberia- Mr. Joe Pemagbi Mr. Pemagbi welcomed colleagues from WACSI and participants’. He reiterated that, the trainings would be a promising and interesting one. Mr. Pemagbi said he went through similar training conducted by LGI in Dakar, he observed that certain skills needed to be sharpened by CSOs in order to deepen CSAs engagement with government officials (legislature) and institutions. Mr. Pemagbi gave a brief background of WACSI-OSIWA/OSI relation. He stated that, OSI was founded by George Soros, and had been in Liberia for a decade predominantly involved in major policies issues in the country while OSIWA-Liberia is focused on the educational sector of the country since the Liberia programme was launched by OSIWA. Besides education development issues, OSIWA-Liberia also support and engage with other sectors including the Local Government sector, the governance commission, peacebuilding commissions etc.

Ms. Maggie Brew-Ward, Trainer, giving her opening remarks

FACILITAORS AND PARTICIPANTS Ms. Balogun presented the facilitators to the participants, who introduced themselves to the participants indicating their best wishes for a successful and insightful training. Session One: Interactive Pictorial Identification Facilitators commenced the training with an ice-breaking exercise. Each participant was given a post-it to write her most preferred name to be addressed with throughout the duration of the workshop. This was followed by an instruction to get a plain paper, divide


into four (4) square boxes. Participants were asked to draw in each of the box four (4) most important things in their lives. Afterwards, participants were asked to meet as many people as possible to guess right the drawn images on their papers. The exercise was to stimulate interaction among participants’ and set the stage for good relationships and networking among them. Participants’ Expectations Participants’ were tasked to outline their individual expectations from the workshop and discuss as a group. In this exercise, participants were required to list five (5) expectations for the workshop and share with their co-participants to come-up with a list some of the expectations highlighted included: The box below highlight participants’ expectations for the workshop:
EXPECTATIONS Gain a better understanding of writing public policy and advocacy papers; Understand the process of policy writing and advocacy; Gain insights into the nature of constructing persuasive advocacy messages; Build insights into the advocacy and policy development and results; Learn how to strategically approach advocacy planning campaign; Learn how to positively engage governments and other stakeholders in the policy process; Develop the skills and knowledge to advocate for rights of women and children at all levels; acquire skills to prepare a simple advocacy and policy document for the education of women at the local levels; Learn the most effective way to engage and influence policy makers to get desired change; Acquire skills and knowledge on how to structure the two main types of policy papers (policy study and policy brief); and Understand how policy papers could serve as effective advocacy materials.

          

In the second exercise, participants were given the opportunity to outline their questions and concerns as a group. The stated concerns were unanimously discussed. These include:  negotiating for a more convenient time to start the workshop;  Providing a hot drink in the morning, since participant were non-resident at the training venue.  How to organize a step-down training for women in the rural Workshop Goal (Phase 1) The overall goal of the workshop is to equip women’s network and groups in Liberia with the requisite skills, knowledge and resources to design policy relevant papers, and build strategic insight into developing an effective advocacy campaign and engagement.


Workshop Outline: The workshop was divided into three (3) major pronged sessions. These are:  Understanding the context of policy advocacy and writing: i.e. understanding the nature of Liberia public policy processes and strategies to engage all stakeholders concerned in public policy making in Liberia;  How to develop a coherent policy paper: i.e. to gain understanding in the different types of communication tools available to pursue a successful advocacy campaign. This session focused on the important and effectiveness of a policy paper in influencing policy process. It highlighted requisite structure of an advocacy paper, types of papers, how to write a compelling paper, and be adopted as an advocacy and communication tool and a ‘call to action’ for decision makers. Develop targeted advocacy plan using the advocacy planning framework: this session seeks to put participants through how to design and use the APF for all advocacy engagement. This session will be duly covered in the second phase of the training, though participants would be introduced to it at the first phase.

Ms. Carole Osego, Senior programme Manager of IWP-OSI speaking on the importance of capacity building for Liberian women

The facilitator inquired from the participants whether the objectives were different from the expectations outlined which received a positive feedback from participants meaning they were at par. The 4day workshop (Phase one) seeks to cover first two (2) themes of the syllabus, i.e. 1) Understanding the context of Policy Advocacy and writing 2) Structuring and


developing a coherent Policy paper, while the last theme - Developing a targeted Advocacy Planning Framework (APF), including; 1) Lobbying and negotiation skills, the role of Media, 2) Monitoring and Evaluation of Advocacy processes and 3) Reporting and Documenting an advocacy process will be covered in the Phase two of the training scheduled for April, 2011.

Methodology  Practical and learning-centered;  Targets needs of workshop participants’;  Learning by doing approach

Pictorial presentation of a policy Network, participants expectations and workshop guidelines

ACTIVITY 1 To kick start the workshop, the participants were divided into five (5) different groups to read a passage which define “public policy” from the workbook, and outline the key words learnt from the passage. The Facilitators briefed the participants on the contents of an advocacy paper, explaining in detail, the essence of presenting a good advocacy paper in order to attract the concern of the reader (legislators, policy makers), emphasizing on the need to be relevant on issues in order to attract the attention of the policy maker, that is, the package and content (message). Facilitators used practical exercise and internally generated case studies from participants to communicate the messages to the participants to get their understanding on the subject. Questions were allowed from participants and which the facilitators provided answers to and further clarified the points constructed.


The facilitator expatiated on the need to select an appropriate advocate (representative/spokesperson) who could represent the voices of the people. This is to support and give the advocacy message the legitimacy it required. This was followed by an experience sharing session, where participants were given the opportunity to share their past advocacy experiences and ideas. Participants raised substantive arguments and made relevant contributions to the session. The facilitator acknowledged that “…advocacy work is a process which needs perseverance and in persevering there is need to revise strategies to be in tune with the current trend of the issue under discourse…” Thus, it is essential for advocates to be abreast with their environment so as to communicate the right messages to influence policy decisions or the policy making/formulation process.

Fig 4: Participants in a group-working session

In the second exercise - Participants’ were asked to individually identify the different components of an “effective policy paper” and discuss their individual outcomes within the existing groups. To present the outcome of the group exercise, facilitators requested that each group adopt a group name. The five groups came up with:  Group 1 - GAWK,  Group 2 - CANZ,  Group 3 - Bull’s,  Group 4 - Women in Action and  Group 5 - Prudently Balanced Women.


Each group presented their work, while members of the other groups were allowed to criticize the presentation and significant contributions. A snapshot of the group presentations on the characteristics of a Policy Paper is captured below: Characteristics of a Policy Paper “GAWK Group” 1      Accurate Persuasive Comprehensive Catchy/ interesting Consistent

“CAWZ” Group 2      Presentations and introduction Topic/subject Background/historytargeted audience Realistic goals and objective Recommendations

“Bull’s” Group 3      State the subject matter Be concise, brief and factual Be convincing and persuasive Must be understandable Have targeted beneficiaries

“Women in Action” Group 4      Precise- straight to the point Analytical Persuasive Appealing Resourceful

    

Prudently Balanced Women “Group 5” Original- must be factual, compelling, convincing and persuasive Coherent analysis of problem Gripping- catchy opening lines, attractive packaging Excellent command of subject matter Realistic/practical- must be doable and feasible

After the presentations the facilitator, elaborated further, encouraging participants’ to persevere, be persisting. That is keep pushing forth 100, 200, 300 times and more till the need is met. By doing this the advocate must bear in mind the dissemination information, hence the need to be precise, accurate and straight to the point to attract the attention of the policy maker. An average policy maker does not have the time to go through bulky and complicated documents.
“This is because policy makers are always under pressure and have little or no time to go through bulky and complicated documents. Another way to attract the policy makers’ attention is to present a policy paper with original content”.


Some participants cited examples of the advocacy work they are engaged including the challenges they face and how they struggle to break through the limitations. A case study:
A participant shared her experience with the group members; In her community where she manages the youth constituency, many young girls of about 8 to 10 years old sees the street as homes and the only source of livelihood. This has been an increasing problem in the community in the past years. She stated that all effort to get the young girls off the street has been futile and at the moment she is about to give up, because she does not know of any other strategy to adopt to achieve her desired goals for the lives of the young girls. However, the 4-day training has revitalized her desired goal and she is ready to re-engage her objectives through a more structured advocacy plan. She intend to write a coherent policy brief on the situation to serve as a communication tool and a “call to action” to the immediate local government authorities and other relevant stakeholders on the need to address the problem including – the provision of alternative livelihood for their girls, re-awareness on the girl-child education, provision of skilled-centers to train the girls, amongst others.

The facilitator together with some of the participants advised that she does not give up on them and that she should keep doing, even if she gets one girl to turn out right, she would be the example/testimony to other girls. Furthermore, the facilitator illustrated the process of advocating for the passage of Domestic Violence Bill in Ghana. She emphasized the different roles played by the various women’s groups involved, with the most senior amongst them targeting and engaging the high profile stakeholders, and lobbying the influential people at the echelon of decision-making. While the female lawyers involved in the process embarked on critical analysis of the legal implications of some of the clauses in the produced documents. The essence of this division of duties was to achieve the overall objective of getting the bill passed. The level of commitment and dedication helped in facilitating the process faster than expected, without any compromise between and amongst the women a consensus was reached and the bill was successfully passed, the facilitator submitted


Ms Vivian Vatikeh, participant, shares her advocacy experience with other participants during the training

Contextual Factors: Framing Any Policy Project. In this session, participants’ were tasked to read 6 six definitions of policy advocacy from the work book and underlie the key words in the definition. This exercise was intended to give participants’ an idea of the meaning of policy advocacy. After identifying the key words in the definitions, they were to match the steps in the policy-making process with their appropriate definition as indicated in the workbook given to them. With this backdrop, the facilitator inquired from the participants’ whether they could establish a link between a policy paper and public policy. As a test on their ability to establish the linkage, participants’ were asked to chose a phrase to define public policy. The participants’ outlined a number of phrases and in consensus agreed on one that is “Authoritative government action” as the appropriate phrase to define public policy. “…the work of the advocate in relation to government action will be to evaluate and or influence government action to effect a change…” said the facilitator. “Governments’ actions can be influenced with an effective policy paper. Practical day-day policy decisions/ process were cited by the facilitators to get the participants to have a better understanding of the subject under discussion and also to appreciate the need to present an evidence based arguments in order to influence public policy. Here also, participants’ shared their experiences and ideas.


The facilitator emphasized on using “strong arguments” to influence policy in order to convince your constituent, target audience and policy makers of knowing the issues, environment and subject areas. This also earns the advocate the necessary credibility to pursue the agenda. Facilitators buttressed that, the purpose of a public policy is to solve practical social problems, and that decision makers are always under pressure from different quarters/factors that might influence the decision making process. Some of the challenges that confront decision makers includes – individual interest (pursuit of actualization (negative or positive), institutional interest, public interest, which often consider last in decision making). When these interests are in harmony, it is easy to make decisions, however, when at variance, decision making gets cumbersome and more stringent to establish. At this point, facilitator used local case studies which all participants are familiar with (i.e. the advocacy around the recently passed Freedom of Information Bill) to enhance participants’ understanding of the key policy concepts and processes, and as well get acquitted with the technical process to engage public institutions..

Group presentation: Prudently-balanced Women – (Group 5) presents the outcome of their group work to others

Exercise 3: Networking and communication Participants were given roles to play as a member of an existing state structure. The characters includes: Students, Student Representative, Council of Chancellors of Tertiary Institutions, Parents, Journalist and Minister of Education. Facilitators engaged participants’ in the networking and communication exercise. Each participant was giving a


role to play and was to identify whom they intend to contact in addressing their concerns to be connected to.
The purpose of the exercise was to practicalize the unusual method of communication, engagement and networking amongst civil society actors and policy makers.

After the exercise the facilitators elaborated on the exercise, citing the advocacy process of the Domestic Violence Act (Ghana). The facilitator stressed that, normally in the CSO setup networking deals with likeminded organizations and in some cases the private sector is left out. Drawing from the exercise, it would be observed that different organizations were represented including the private, with each having differing interest on the issue at stake. What should be of essence in networking is the common which all the actors must work towards the facilitator indicated. It was also pointed out in relation to the exercise and policy papers, that in a situation where there are differing interests all aiming at a common goal, the policy maker would decide on the most appealing and realistic policy paper. The facilitators recapped the day’s lessons and brought the first day of the programme to a close. Day Two (Day 2) Participants’ were engaged in a recap exercise to gauge the level of knowledge acquired in the previous day. Participants were asked to pick 4 different colours of cards and write four (4) new words or phrases learnt from the previous day and submit. The gathered cards was shared into 5 groups and given to each group to play as a “Card Game”. In this game, the player (also a participant) is to explain the “word or phrase” in the chosen card with another words, sentence(s) or descriptions (body language) but consciously avoid using or repeating the “exact word” on the card. Then, other members of the group are to try and guess the word on the card correctly, while the person who gets the highest number of words correctly wins the card. The exercise (game) exposed the areas where participants were clear and unclear, thus giving the facilitators the opportunity to clarify some key concepts and strategies. Following the card game, participants were required to relate the lesson learnt in the previous session to the current economic status of the country by identifying:     organizations and institutions involved in the decision making process; means of communication in the country i.e.: media, fact sheets, drama etc. the interests/values of the organizations involved in the decision making process; the overall goal/objective


In an attempt to explain the purpose and importance of a policy paper, participants were tasked to read a passage in the workbook (pg. 15) and identify the purpose of a policy paper. The following key words were identified:  Comprehensive and persuasive;  Justifying;  Target audience;  Call to action;  Recommendations;  Decision making tool; To ensure and enhance the understanding level of participants’ on the purpose of a policy paper, the facilitator engaged participants’ in a discussion geared toward clarifying what is meant by being “persuasive” and “comprehensive“. To achieve this, local case studies were adopted to buttress the explanations given. The learner-centered approach was helpful in facilitating this session. Participants shared their experiences in writing policy report, and sought to know if the written papers were persuasive or comprehensive enough. Facilitators responded to each of the writing samples and case studies provided. Participants were taken through the ideal and systematic steps of writing a compelling paper individually. Furthermore, participants were called to share their past experiences in influencing and engaging governments and its diverse agencies and institutions. Majority of the participants being senior/key civil actors, human right/women activists and advocates brought on board series of engagement experiences which enriched the discussion. Topical women issues were discussed in-depth with deep analysis of the stakeholders, environment, timing, inhibiting factors among other. Clarifications of some steps were enquired from the trainers, these include: how to negotiation, strategic lobbying skills etc. Strategic Communication Model for Advocacy: This session introduced participants’ to the strategic communication tools aimed at influencing decision makers to act. The facilitator stated that, “in writing policy papers, the contents of the paper must not only present information about the situation but the information presented must be persuasive”. Participants’ asked questions relating to strategic communication, that is, how advocates can adopt strategic communication approaches. A participant cited an example of the challenges encountered when the Treasury bill was to be passed, in Liberia.


A cross section of participants at the training

Facilitators emphasized that, communication in advocacy is to inform, persuade and move decision makers into action. Though it is not guaranteed that all communication will achieve the desired change (advocacy goal), hence, the necessity to repeat the statement as many times should not be overemphasized. Participants deliberated on the importance of perseverance and commitment towards an advocacy process. It was reaffirmed that, “…the process of reinstating an advocacy message many times over, often demonstrate seriousness, convinces and enforce pressure on the target stakeholders…”. trainer In a comment, a participant shared the challenges encountered by Liberian CSOs in advocating for the passage of various Bills into laws. She said there are many bills that have gone through the rigorous due process without success. She inquired of another alternative means to influence such a decision making process and ensure that the objective is achieved. The facilitator recapped the lesson on the decision making process, specifically, the need to identify and understand the interest of decision makers in order to know the different angles to influence (alternative to influencing). In the process of communicating what is important is the packaging of the information/paper that is, making it clear, simple, and compelling. Different tools are used


in communicating/influencing decisions however, this session focuses on the use of a policy paper, the facilitator noted. A participant inquired whether in communicating, you need to move from one stage to another and to keep on changing levels. In response, the facilitator stated that, this approach is not a step by step approach rather in presenting/communication; the strategy must be applied to all the stages including the striking features (graphical forms) in communicating information to move decision makers to act. Adding human interest stories (emphasizes on striking fact that is, facts/truths not false). The stories must be analytical. However, one has to be conscious of the ethical implications of the stories/pictorial images. Types of policy papers The facilitator discussed the types of policy papers that are used in advocacy, It was stated that the focus of the workshop is to expose participants’ to the two main types of policy papers and discuss at length their structural elements, how and when to use either of them. Trainers continued that, facts to support policy briefs should not necessarily be primary but secondary sources could be used said the facilitator. A distinction was made between by the facilitator, using substantive examples to buttress the primary and secondary data distinction as well as to ease the understanding of the participants’.

Commissioner Pearl Brown Bull, participant seek for concept clarification from the facilitators

In order to ensure that participants understand the subject, which is considered to highly essential part of the workshop, participants were provided extra time for discussion and


questioning. Some participants shared their experiences as a way of providing clarification on the essence of presenting factual /evidence-based policy papers to avoid legal implications, unfounded fact and miscommunication. In the following session, the facilitators took the participants’ through structuring and developing a coherent policy paper. Common structural elements of a policy study- Pg. 21 of the work book outlined the contents of the policy study. The main components of essence to the workshop are the introduction, problem description, policy options and conclusion and recommendations. Below is a tabular representation of the structural elements of a policy study. Participants’ were thus grouped into four to analyze the components by outlining the contents of each of the components. Each group was given a component to analyze. The facilitators instructed the participants to use both the guide and work book to complete the exercise, given further assistance on the relevant pages to aid in completing the exercise. To ensure full and active participation on the part of the participants’ in the group exercise as well as providing the right guidelines to the groups, the facilitators supervised each groups work by moving from one group to the other to inspect their work and watch the level of participation by members of the group and the pace of the discussions. Table 1.0 Structural Elements of a Policy Briefs and a Policy Study Policy Brief Policy Study
         Title Table of content Abstract/Executive Summary Introduction Problem description Policy options Appendices Bibliography Endnotes      Title Introduction Problem Description Policy options Conclusion and Recommendations

Following the lunch break the various groups took turns to present their work to the rest of the class, and gave detailed explanations to the points raised by the group. As a usual expectation, participants’ critiqued each other’s presentations and made substantive contribution to the presentations. In fact, in the presentations and discussions the participants exhibited professionalism and brought to fore their level of understanding and engagement in advocacy work. This was evident in the practical local examples cited by them. The facilitators elaborated further on the presentations of the group, simplifying some of the points raised to the understanding of all the participants’. Below are the group presentations on the contents of a policy paper:


Participants paying undivided attention as the trainer take them through the mini-lecture on the difference between “Policy study” and “Policy Brief”


Groups Introduction

Purpose Prepares readers by setting the scene of the context policy problem and study, so they can understand what follows.

What’s Included  Context of the policy problem  Definition of the policy problem  Statement of intent  Methodology and limitations of the study  Road map of the paper

Other Advice  What is the problem?  How does it affect society?  Who are the stakeholders, directly or indirectly involved in the problem?  What are the components of the problem?  What adjectives will you use to describe the problem or controversies?  What are the key questions associated with the problem?  Coherent- linking all elements of the problem description  Argumentation- must include a claim, support and warrant  Paragraphing- must be adequately divided in to paragraphs; paragraphs should be coherently developed with each logical unit of argument in a separate paragraph  Use sources- should include sources that are authoritative to support argument; as evidence to support argument; reference source data, follow required citations  Constructing the policy option: texts and argumentation.  A more writer driven focus in the argument.  State the limitation of your chosen option, writer’s voice and use of sources.  Coherent argumentation, paragraphing

Problem Description Group

 To present an argument that is urgent/ problem exists.  It identifies, defines and elaborates the nature of the problem focused on.  It convinces the reader that the issue in focus requires government action.

Policy Options

 Background of the problem: history of the problem, that is, causes, groups affected, legal, political, economic and social part of the problem; policies implemented in the past/outcomes.  Problem within its current policy environment: current status of the problem- current legal, social, economic and political context, and impacts of the problem. Groups affected, current policy being implemented to address the problem, the successes and failures of the current approach. Presents an argument for  The framework of analysis the preferred policy  Evaluation of policy alternatives alternative based on the  What to do and not to do evaluation.


Recommend ations

to fulfill the role of the  Synthesis of major findings; policy paper as a decision-  Set of policy recommendation/alternatives making tool to influence  Concluding remarks decision-makers

Layout and format  Synthesis- highlights the main points from the problem description and policy options elements  Set of recommendation- outline measure proposed to solve the problem  Complete and close the paper.

(L-R) WACSI Ex. Director, Ms. Nana Afadzinu, WACSI Advocacy officer, Ms. Omolara Balogun, and IWP-OSI Senior Prg. Officer, Ms. Carole Osego at the training

Group 4 Presentation session


Day three (Day 3) On the third day of the workshop, an exercise aimed at recapitulating the previous day’s lessons was introduced. Divided into two groups, each group was made to select a representative to be on the “hot seat”, a position that was subject to change expect with the consensus that the group wanted to maintain the same representative. In this activity, the facilitator writes a word/phrase which is not seen by the representative in the hot seat only, then, the group members were to describe the written word/phrase using other words without mentioning the exact written word to provide clues to their representative the chance to guess the words/phrase. The representative who guesses the written word correctly wins a point for her group, the activity ended in a tie, and the groups resolved to maintain a win-win and lose-lose record. Furthermore, the facilitators distributed different colours of cards to the participants, with each person getting the opportunity to choose her preferred colour. The facilitators grouped the participants based on the colours they chose, thus people with the same colours were put in the same group. Participants were then instructed to present the last group presentations of the previous day, ensuring that the presenter comes from a different group rather than the one she is presenting. This activity served as a refresher for the participants and also revealed how much the participants have imbibed the training so far. The exercise also showcased participants’ level of appreciation and willingness to participate in the group activities and exercises. Finally all group representatives presented the works of another group excellently and the facilitators were amazed with the outcome of the activity. Furthermore, an exercise to give participants’ practical feel of advocacy work and policy paper writing was embarked upon. Here, participants were tasked to write the conclusion and recommendations of a policy paper which centres in Domestic Violence Against Liberia women. Each participant assumed the task with all seriousness putting into practice all techniques acquired in the past 3 days. At the end of the exercise, the participants’ presented the written conclusions and recommendations. Collectively they used the contents of what they have learnt to analyze the presentations, outlining the missing points and key points as well. Participants were again tasked to match the policy making steps outlined on page 12 of the work book with their definitions. They were to do this exercise individually, and then compare their answers with their partners and finally compare and reach consensus as a group.


Policy Making Cycle
1. Problem Definition/ Agenda Setting

6. Evaluation

2. Constructing the Policy Alternatives/ Policy Formulation

5. Policy Implementation and Monitoring

3.Choice of Solution/ Selection of Preferred Policy Option

4. Policy Design

Figure 3.1 The Policy Cycle

Participants were required to compare their answers from the last exercise into the policy cycle. Discussions ensued among the participants’ in relation to practical policy making process particular to the Liberian economy. Facilitator acknowledged the diagrammatical representation of the policy making cycle is an ideal situation is different from the reality often seen in policy making. Thus, the diagram gives “what should be” rather than “what it is”. A better approach to ease participants’ pace of understanding was illustrated in an example which also seeks to buttress the statement given an ideal policy process. Afterwards, participants’ were asked to identify a familiar policy issue and track the processes followed using the policy making cycle. Specifically, participants were asked to identify which of the ideal stages were ignored and at what stage did each one of them engaged the process etc. This exercise took place within the groups. Finally, each group was required to present the outcomes of their analysis. Following the presentations, an activity which basically aims to re-energise the group was conducted. In the following session, facilitators directed the participants’ to page 24 of the work book, here participants’ were required to discuss the content of a policy brief and a policy study. They were tasked to complete activity A in the workbook. Copies of a sample brief and a sample study was distributed to the participants’ to analyze as a test

of their understanding of the concept of “a brief” and “a study”. This exercise was carried out with close supervision from the facilitators. Day Four (Day 4) The final day of the 1st phase of the training commenced with an activity to recap the previous day’s work, after which participants’ resumed into the previous day’s groupings to continue with their group works. With the supervision of the facilitators, participants’ discussed their work in groups and ensured that they were on track with all instruction to conduct the activity correctly. The task was to analyze the contents of policy brief and study using the “Guinean Policy Brief” and “the Lithuanian Policy study”. The facilitator engaged with the various groups, provided clarifications where necessary and ensured that each group was on course. Facilitators discussed further with the groups and responded adequately to clarifications and justified the outcomes of the various groups in relation to their presentation. This was done to determine the level at which the participants’ understood the lesson on Policy brief and study and how much they appreciated it. INTRODUCTION TO THE ADVOCACY PLANNING FRAMEWORK (APF) In the next session, the facilitators introduced participants’ to the Advocacy Planning Framework. Participants’ were engaged in a discussion to outline the various terminologies that could be used to describe advocacy or associated with advocacy. In response, the following terms were highlighted by the participants’:           Represent Lobby Policy Appeal Intercede Demonstrate Persuading Activism campaigning Advising Dissemination

The first phase of the training ended with an introduction to APF. However, participants were divided into thematic groups such as – gender advocate, good governance, and climate change amongst other and were required to draw up an advocacy plan using the APF. This was to be done in collaboration with group members. Facilitators said, the


second phase of the training will treat in detail the process involved in adopting APF as an advocacy tool. Conclusion The four day training achieved it major goal by enhancing the advocacy skills of Liberia women. The workshop equipped the participants with relevant tools for advocating and influencing policy making processes and decisions. An immediate outcome of the training was the establishment of a Women’s Policy Network by all the participants at the training. This network had the primary objective to respond in solidarity to women’s call across the country and specifically help to assist and promote all avenues opened to championing women advocacy in Liberia. Furthermore, the training enlightened participants’ knowledge in advocacy and broadened their scope and skills in planning and implementing an advocacy process. Emphasis was laid on perseverance, accuracy, originality, factual evidence, understanding of the environmental factors and appreciating the values and concerns of the target groups, detailed stakeholder analysis, genuine and credible messenger (advocate) are all important factors to be considered are relevant to any successful advocacy campaign. Finally, the workshop served the purpose for which it was organized and the participants’ testified to the impact of the workshop in the post-workshop evaluation assessment form filled. Participants acknowledged the usefulness of the workshop to building their capacities, the resourcefulness of the training materials which they qualify to be an “advocacy reference material”, and that the entire training package has practically enhance their capacity to advocate and skills to redesign their advocacy strategies. They were appreciative of the facilitators for an excellent facilitation and training.



February 1st 8:00-8:30



Executive Director WACSI, P A officer WACSI Jasper Cummeh Margaret Ward-Brew

8:30-10:30 10:30-11:00 11:00-13:00 13:00-14:30 14:30-17:00 17:00


Jasper Cummeh Margaret Ward-Brew

Jasper Cummeh Margaret Ward-Brew

DAILY SCHEDULE from February 2nd – 4th.
8:00 - 10:30 10:30-11:00 11:00 -13:00 13:00-14:30 14:30-17:00 17:00


RESOURCE PERSON Jasper Cummeh Margaret Ward-Brew Jasper Cummeh Margaret Ward-Brew Jasper Cummeh Margaret Ward-Brew


APPENDIX II LIST OF PARTICIPANTS S/N 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 NAME Amelia Cooper Amelia Quoigoah Betty F. Daniels Blanche Selma Christina M. Doe Comm. Sundaiwey E.N. Amegashie Commissioner Pearl Brown Bull Commissioner Ruby J. Morris Edna V. Jarkah Gradiah Walker Kula Fofana Lucy Page Luvenia Cole Macdilla Howard Mai E. Sayeh Rebecca N. Boakai Ruth Japper Vivian Vatikeh Winniefred Chea Younghor Johnson ORGANIZATION AWANGA ANO-Liberia UWFP Women in Peace and Security Network - AFRICA Centre for Media Studies and Peacebuilding Independent National Human Right Commission Independent National Human Right Commission Independent National Human Right Commission MARWOPNET MEWOCEDE PAYOWL CEP Forum for the Rights of Women INCHR LDI WIPNET Association of Female Lawyers (AFELL) Ganta Women Concern OYP/CBO ZODWOCA E-MAIL PHONE NUMBER 06511979 06479507 077801253 06911229 06616741 06553608 06578981 0880714883 06408119 06556290 06986609 06552066 06552293 06559186 06542353 06897455 064578981 06550687 077323383 06519265

S/N 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

NAME Jasper G. Cummeh III Margaret Brew-Ward Nana Asantewa Afadzinu Omolara Balogun Aicha Araba Etrew

FACILATORS AND WACSI REPRESENTATIVES ORGANIZATION E-MAIL Facilitator/ Ex. Dir. AGENDA Facilitator/ Prog. Officer, Gender Center Ex. Director, WACSI Advocacy Officer, WACSI Intern/Rapporteur WACSI MEDIA The Inquirer, Liberia The Punch, Liberia

PHONE NUMBER +231 06542933 +233 208 171563 +233 243 679 335 +233 243 746 790 +233 243 917 867

1 2

C. Winnie Sayway David T.Y Patterson

0880 714883 077 342060


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