Establishing and Moving an Advocacy Agenda

AACP Advocacy Coalitions
AACP Advocacy Programming
Establishing an Advocacy Agenda
Writing an Issue Brief
Framing an Advocacy Case Study

Establishing and Moving an Advocacy Agenda 

In a few steps you can become an effective advocate. The framework below helps you establish a concise, evidence-based message to share with others that articulates the importance of the issue to you and its relevance to others. Keeping your advocacy evidence-based helps build trust between you and others that may or may not currently share your viewpoint on the issue. Make sure to build trust by asking others what they know of the issue, what their concerns are regarding the issue and what information they might need to move them toward support of the issue for which you are advocating. Trust is important for the initiation, development and maintenance of the relationships that are essential for building support for the issue for which you are advocating. Rare is the advocate that can make an impact alone. Consensus building takes time, but the impact of a coalition of like-minded individuals is the basis of American society and government.

To become an effective advocate, ask yourself (and others of like mind) and respond to the following: 

  1. What is important to you?
  2. Define what is important in the context of a current public policy issue.
  3. How do you demonstrate that importance?
  4. List the actions you employ or activities in which you engage in that demonstrate the importance of that issue to you.
  5. List any organizational policy that supports or is relevant to the issue.
  6. List any current law or regulatory framework that authorizes or supports the issue.
  7. List any current law or regulatory framework that could be amended to authorize or support the issue.
  8. What evidence supports your interests?
  9. List the current evidence-base that supports your actions or activities or suggests that these actions or activities lead to a given outcome.
  10. List the evidence-base used to establish the laws or regulatory framework listed above.
  11. How do you apply your evidence to influence other individuals, organizations?
  12. List the individuals, organizations or other stakeholders with whom you share this evidence-base. List the individuals, organizations and other stakeholders that agree that the evidence-base you use to support your issue is valid.
  13. List the individuals, organizations and other stakeholders that disagree that the evidence-base you use to support your issue is valid.
  14. What does this individual, organization or stakeholder know about the issue?
  15. List the reasons the individual, organization or stakeholder disagrees.
  16. What critical analysis can you provide to overcome their disagreement or lead the individual, organization or stakeholder toward your conclusion of validity?

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