Module 11: Advocacy: Next steps and action planning - section 1

In this document:

The purpose of advocacy

Activity: Large group discussion supported by slide presentation with small group work
Section Time: Approximately 45 minutes

This activity enables people to discuss their understanding of advocacy and identify any ways they have previously fulfilled or contributed to an advocacy role themselves. The aim here is to reinforce people’s view of advocacy as something they can do, as opposed to being the responsibility of others

This is not an advocacy training programme and the Slides from 11.2 through to Slide 11.7 are just to provide a quick review of advocacy and its varying models. You should aim to cover these in 15-20 minutes.

Show Slide 11.2 (What is advocacy?) :

To facilitate discussion:

Allow the participants to offer their own undirected ideas first, then show the WHO quotation in Slide 11.3 (Advocacy) and discuss any ways that this extends or adds to the points already raised:

Supporting content:

Advocacy “may be taken by and/or on behalf of individuals and groups to create living conditions which are conducive to health and the achievement of healthy lifestyles. Advocacy is one of the three major strategies for health promotion and can take many forms including the use of the mass media and multi-media, direct political lobbying, and community mobilization through, for example, coalitions of interest around defined issues. Health professionals have a major responsibility to act as advocates for health at all levels in society.”

The Ottawa Charter identifies three basic strategies for health promotion. These are:

  • Advocacy for health to create the essential conditions for health indicated above;
  • Enabling all people to achieve their full health potential; and,
  • Mediating between the different interests in society in the pursuit of health.

Use Slides 11.4 (Purpose of advocacy), 11.5 (Advocacy and enabling), 11.6 (Advocacy and empowerment) and 11.7 (Main models of independent advocacy) to extend the discussion about advocacy according to the needs and experiences of the participants:

Show Slide 11.8 (Group work) :

To facilitate the activity:

  • Divide the participants into groups of about three people
  • Within the groups, people should compare any experiences they have had of advocacy. What was achieved? How was it achieved? What lessons were learned?
  • Be prepared to focus on quite small changes that people may overlook.
  • Your aim is to validate things people have already done and encourage everyone to see themselves as someone who can help make changes.
  • Aim to take about 30 minutes or so.
  • Bring people back into the large group and use feedback to highlight as many contrasting examples as possible.
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