Sustainable Development Webinar Series: Influencing Decision Makers


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This webinar explains the basics of lobbying and how youth can make an impact on Rio+20 and sustainable development with effective lobbying tips.

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Sustainable Development Webinar Series: Influencing Decision Makers

  1. 1. INFLUENCING DECISION MAKERS Part 1: Lobbying & Building Youth Movements for ChangeTweet with us !!#MGCYRiowebs@earthcharter@UNCSD_MGCY@EOTOWorld UN CSD Major Group of Children and Youth in collaboration with Earth Charter International and EOTO World
  2. 2. Welcome to part 2 of the Capacity Building toolkit! Part 1: A basic guide to LOBBYING  WHAT is Lobbying?  WHO: 4 levels of Decision makers  Deciding WHAT to lobby on  HOW : contacting decision makers  Top Tips for lobbying face-to face  Youth lobbying at national and international level for Rio+20  In action: The campaign for Official Youth Delegates at UN CSD.
  3. 3. Objectives of this session• Be familiar with the ‘levels’ of decision makers and ways to get their attention• Learn some basic do’s and dont’s of lobbying• Be able to start planning to lobby a decision maker WATCH the webinar : influencing-decision-makers
  4. 4. Advocacy vs Lobbying
  5. 5. WHAT is lobbying? “Advocacy” involves influencing attitudes or opinions on a specific issue or cause.  By advocating we ideally want to make long-term progress on the issue.. E.g. eradicating global poverty. “Lobbying” is slightly different..  It usually involves asking for a specific ACTION (or decision) to be taken at a particular time.  We ‘lobby’ governments or their representatives.
  6. 6. Levels of decision makers...i.e. the people with responsibility (or jurisdiction) over the thing you want to change... Decision makers usually work at one of these 4 levels:
  7. 7. STEP 1: Decide WHAT youwant to change and WHY it matters to you(th)
  8. 8. Choosing an issue Ask yourself: “Why do I care about this issue??” Write or draw a few notes about the issue and why it matters to you, your group or young people in your country...  If this problem were solved, who would it help? How?  Does it affect your daily life?  Do you care because it affects others?  Does it matter because it affects the environment?
  9. 9. Getting on their radar Decision makers often focus on the “Big Picture”... Issues that affect everyone are likely to be priorities. E.g.Health Education the Economy (Money) Peace and Security This doesn’t mean they wont care about anything else, it does mean you should try to link your issue to one of the priority areas. Doing a bit of research on your chosen decision maker(s) before attempting to ‘lobby’ them will also help !
  10. 10. Step 2:Find out WHO the decision Makers Are !
  11. 11. WHO do you need to speak to?  Find out who is in charge of decisions on this specific issue if you can. You could try: Using the internet to look up their name/position Looking through a local directory Locating the offices of decision makers and ask in person or writing a letter.. When thinking about WHO to contact, try to think back to the levels of decision makers and who has the biggest influence.  Is this issue one that must be decided by a president? or is the town mayor responsible?
  12. 12. Step 3: Decide HOW to make contact
  13. 13. Letters & Emails Write a letter or email (1 page is enough). Keep to a few short paragraphs - Check out for examples.. The few paragraphs in your letter should include: a. Who you are b. What is the issue you are writing about c. What would you like them to do about this? (a specific action). d. How taking action would be beneficial for young people/your country/ the world! e. Why it is important to you as a young person/citizen/community group/organisation..
  14. 14. Petitions A petition is a statement which asks a decision maker to do something, and includes the names/addresses of many people who support the proposal. Send a petition (make sure you sign, get other people to sign up too!). Be as creative as possible!  You want them to remember your petition before all others!  How about a piece of art?  A postcard from the future..?  or a message in a bottle..? Doing some research on your chosen decision maker(s) before attempting to ‘lobby them’ will also help !
  15. 15. Public Events Hold an event in your community and invite decision makers to attend! Community-led events are a great way to involve elected decision makers and get them to engage with local people... Building a positive relationship. The event could have a theme, like a “teatime for change” or a dramatic/music performance... Make it fun and creative!
  16. 16. Set up a Meeting  Arrange to meet with decision makers to discuss the issue  DO invite other people who support your cause .  DO let them know in advance what you would like to discuss (briefly). DON’T expect them to say yes the first may have to ask more than once.
  17. 17. MEETING DECISION MAKERS How to ‘lobby’ face-to-face
  18. 18. If you are lucky enough to meet with a decision maker, remember.. lobbying is like a conversation...
  19. 19. Say THANK YOU...Always begin by thanking the decision maker for the opportunity to share your ideas and opinions. BE ON TIME!.. Being late for a meeting isn’t a good thing, if you want to show them how much you care. Tell the truth.. Be honest and tell them how changing this would benefit other people/the environment/save money.. and why it matters to you. If you don’t know something, just say so. Be prepared...Plan to speak for no more than 5 minutes to explain your positionExpect to spend no more than 15 minutes with the decision maker.
  20. 20. Leave some information.. A short (1-2 page) briefing: who you are, who you represent, the issue you are meeting about, your request for action & why it is important.. If you are part of a larger campaign, provide some background information about it. Be Specific.. What do you want them to do??If you want them to vote on something, provide more information, answers to a question, a signature on a petition – whatever it is – make it clear, and ask if they will agree to do it. Follow up... Send a note after the meeting, thanking the decision maker for her/his time.Also, find out if he/she did what they agreed (if they said yes!) and respond with thanks..or ask them why not.
  22. 22.  Work together with others who care about this issue. Form a group...share ideas!  Contact other organisations/people who are working on this in your area.. Keep your messages short and simple .  A few key points to give them ideas on how to solve the issue. Try not to criticise what they have already done, but suggest ways to improve through specific actions! Make it personal!  Policy makers are more likely to remember letters and visits that include real people’s experiences. Briefly describe a personal experience that shows why YOU care about this issue.  How does it affect young people in the community/country?
  23. 23.  Be creative! ... You can also use art, music, photography to get your message across! How about MAKING a giant piece of art with a message in it? Or send them a video message (still keep this short!) Be Specific.. What do you want them to do?.If you want a vote, information, answers to a question, a signature on a petition – make it clear, and ask if they will agree to do it. Decision makers can show support in different ways(like writing a letter to another decision maker, signing a petition, agreeing to talk about the issue in an interview). Always give them your contact details so they can let you know when/if they have done what you have asked.
  24. 24. Youth Campaigns, Lobbying & Advocacy - online resources[UK] Christian Aid – How to Lobby This is a guide to lobbying success - how to put your case forward and make good things happen! Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) - Youth In Action Advocacy Guide [USA] This guide offers a few tricks of the trade to help make advocating for your causes a little easier. Use ideas from this guide to continue advocating for change at a local level. Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) - Advocacy Guide Supporting and encouraging young people to speak out, educate,and take action[USA] Advocates For Tips for Lobbying on sexual and reproductive health specifically.. Includes: Lobbying, Using the Media, Direct Action, Building Coalitions...  Download their Youth Advocacy Kit:
  25. 25. [UK] British Youth Council Youth Guides These guides are most relevant to the UK and Europe. How -To Guides include : Lobbying, Campaigning, Running an Organisation. centre/how-to-guides.aspxMillennium Development Goals Youth Action Guide (World Health Organisation –WHO) This action guide was created by young people, to give anyone who wants to make the world a better place everything they need to start a campaign, or link up with movements already happening in their country. It includes: information on how to plan and carry out an activity or campaign; ideas and tips for getting your friends involved; brochures, stickers and postcards to tell others about the Millennium Development Goals.  Download it here:*Other guides from Christian Aid: How to organise an event, How to speak in public, How to write a press release How to produce a leaflet From WAGGGS - Campaign and advocacy tools
  26. 26. Questions? Thoughts? Comments? The MGCY capacity building team: UN CSD Major Group of Children and Youth Website: Facebook: EARTH CHARTER INTERNATIONAL Website: Facebook: Twitter: @earthcharter EOTO WORLD Website: Facebook: Twitter: @EOTOWorld Thank you for joining us!