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Current Issues in NGO Lobbying And Advocacy

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Current Issues in NGO Lobbying And Advocacy

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Current Issues in NGO Lobbying And Advocacy

  1. 1. Presentation by D. Tola Winjobi (PhD) Principal Coordinator, CAFSO-WRAG for Development National Coordinator, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development
  2. 2. Civil Society Typology: (i) Professional Associations (ii) Labour/Trade Unions (iii) Youth Groups (iv) Women’s Groups (v) Student Groups (vi) Human Rights Groups (vii) Pro-democracy Groups
  3. 3. Civil Society Typology (Contd.) (viii) Diaspora Groups (ix) Business Groups (x) Towns’ Unions (xi) CDAs/CDC/Landlords-Landladies’ Association (xii) Faith Based Groups (FBGs/FBOs) (xiii) CBOs (xiv) NGOs
  4. 4. Concept of Advocacy The word ‘advocacy’ takes its roots from the Latin ‘ad vocare’ meaning to speak for someone. One can be called upon to speak for or plead on behalf of someone so as to bring about a change in status quo. Advocacy is not new to the legal profession where it is used as speaking on behalf of a person before another person as in a court of law. Hence, an advocate is a person who speaks on behalf of another. However, advocacy goes beyond ‘speaking on behalf of’; it has wider use in development work suggesting not only speaking for but also speaking with the people as we shall see later.
  5. 5. Advocacy Concept (contd.) A further advocacy step that can be taken in speaking for or with people is in proposing or recommending something or someone for better options. In other words, it is not enough to speak about an issue but it is also necessary to propose suggestions so as to make necessary change possible. From the foregoing, it is possible to have a lay man definition of advocacy as speaking for or acting for or defending someone or something before someone else, and then proposing, promoting, and suggesting something to the person who is the target of change.
  6. 6. Definition Tear Fund defines advocacy as ‘speaking with, and on behalf of, the poor, to address the underlying causes of poverty by influencing the decisions of governments, companies, groups, and individuals whose policies or actions affect the poor’ (Tear Fund 1999).
  7. 7. Definition (cncld) Technically, advocacy implies identifying a cause, believing in it, mobilizing and influencing others to support it so as to change the policy or programme that is negatively affecting that cause. This is in line with International Plan Parenthood Federation’s (1995) definition that advocacy is the act of supporting a cause or an issue while an advocacy campaign is a set of targeted actions in support of a cause or an issue.
  8. 8. KINDS OF ADVOCACY The following are common kinds of advocacy; though the list is not exhaustive: Feminist advocacy: focuses campaigning solely on women’s identity and ideology. Gender advocacy: believes in equity of resources between male and female, young or old. Media advocacy deals with strategy of achieving advocacy goal through the use of media both print and electronic.
  9. 9. Advocacy Kinds contd. Sectoral advocacy: while focusing on campaigning for a reform and a change in policies it targets the specific sector of the economy such as health, water, agriculture, education, land and housing etc. both in public and private sectors. Economic advocacy: focuses attention on economic issues affecting the nation such debt cancellation, reform, due process, pro-poor budgeting, extractive industries etc. Social Service advocacy: this is related to both economic advocacy and sectoral advocacy as the main focus here is campaigning for social welfare of the people
  10. 10. Advocacy Kinds contd. Policy advocacy: may be targeted towards the executive or the legislative arms of government, works towards changing the existing programme of actions or set of principles and policies or enacting a new one for the benefit of all especially the common man. Legislative advocacy: is sometimes used interchangeably with policy advocacy which may emanate from the executive arm of government, focuses on working with and using only the parliament to effect a change in policy or enact a new one.
  11. 11. Lobbying Lobbying is a term wrongly used interchangeably by some people for advocacy; whereas it a tool for advocacy. “Lobbying”, derived from the word “lobby”, is a tool used in advocacy by the pressure group that tries to influence a politician on a particular issue. Lobbying involves two or more people. It is building of alliances in order to exert pressure on decision-makers and accomplish expected results; it can sway decision-making in a favorable way for the best interest of the community; and it also plays a major role for organizations striving to influence government policies towards their interests.
  12. 12. Lobbying Strategy Different kinds of lobbying strategy that are often be used by non-state actors and individuals are: Lobbying a decision-making body: Initiating a bill for legislation could emanate from the executive arm of government, and this is called the executive bill. The legislators that are responsible for making laws could also initiate a bill. At whatever level the bill is initiated lobbying might be necessary in order to fast-track the bill into law or make the executive accede to it.
  13. 13. FUNCTIONS OF LEGISLATORS Lobbying could take place within the legislature among the lawmakers themselves or within a particular committee or between one committee and the other while members of the public could also lobby the legislators in their surgeries or in the house of parliament. This strategy calls for five different functions of the members of parliament that can be used by pressure groups: Contribute to improving a bill in committee Question decision-makers Liaise with the executive on behalf of his constituency Make suggestions Assist the executives Remind authorities
  14. 14. Lobbying Approaches Direct lobbying: This is an approach built on personal communication between the lobbyists and the lobbied. Personal communication subsumes: presentation, contact, meetings, letters, informal conversation, telephone conversation and so on. It involves getting one’s position across to the decision-makers without an intermediary. The techniques used in direct lobbying are: Oral presentation; A letter to a VIP; Informational meeting; Approach to support committees and; Contact with Clubs, Associations or Foundations etc.
  15. 15. Lobbying Approaches (cntd.) Indirect Lobbying: This strategy aims at achieving the same result as in direct lobbying but with the help of an intermediary but one is more efficient than the other. A n issue might be on increasing budgetary allocation to education to 26 percent, for instance. A group of two or three “unskilled” lobbyists might decide to approach a lawyer to draft such a bill on their behalf for the benefit of the community and submit it to the House of Representatives through the Speaker’s Office or the Clerk of the House. The Speaker might assign this bill to the appropriate committee to handle it and for subsequent presentations (readings).
  16. 16. Lobbying Approaches (Cntd.) Lobbying community leaders: The community leaders are like gatekeepers without whose authority it might be difficult gaining accessing to the communities. The community leaders hold special privileged positions in the community whose prestige comes from tradition, religion and the entire philosophy of the socio-cultural system. To influence the community leaders on issues dealing with tradition, one should know how to develop arguments drawing from their own references since they are keepers of tradition in their own right. For instance, one needs tact and wisdom to convince the traditional leaders the need to support the legislative campaign on the harmful effect of the female genital mutilation or
  17. 17. Lobbying Approaches (cncld) Lobbying aimed at public opinion: The best methods of lobbying are often those that are discreet as described above. Some of the time, those methods do not succeed because of the “unskillful” manner lobbying is handled by the personalities involved or because of lack of understanding or the ulterior motive of the authorities concerned. However, when it is clear that the latter factor overbears the former, then public opinions should be resorted to in order to influence the decision-makers.
  18. 18. Campaign Strategies Strategies: includes media campaign, mass protest, mass mobilization, propaganda, letter writing, petition, strike action, stakeholder lobbying etc. A combination of these methods were used in Nigeria to garner support for and pressure the National Assembly to pass the Freedom of Information Bill.
  19. 19. Civil Society’s Role Complementary role to government’s (projects implementation and service delivery). Engagement with other stakeholders (private sector, donor) Early monitoring and structured evaluation of the policy and programs (SDGs, anti-corruption crusade, service delivery). Public policy influencer/lobbyist: constitutional & electoral reform, health (C&MH, HIV/AIDS), agric, education, child’s rights, gender equality etc. Ombudsmanship (advocacy) and whistle blowing role (in collaboration with anti-corruption agencies like EFCC & ICPC). Citizens’ empowerment (voice-giving, information, training, livelihoods). Holding stakeholders accountable to SDGs (GPsDDvPCs)
  20. 20. THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA Media work is a very important method of advocacy; the media work has the chance to influence the image of the government because most governments care about their image. Because the media is the maker and shaper of images, their role is then very important in making advocacy successful. There are three types of media: Print media ( news paper, journals, magazine etc) Electronic media ( television and radio) Social media (twitters, facebook, netlog, whatsapp etc) ?????
  21. 21. KEY ROLE OF THE MEDIA The media can play a key role in: Building awareness and changing public opinion on issues Generating action from its audience/whipping up sentiments Putting direct pressure on government by placing it in the spotlight Protecting and enhancing reputation (gvt., promoters, masses Investigating and exposing issues Influencing government policy, both directly and through its power to influence and mobilize opinions.
  22. 22. Five Key Elements of a Message Content is only one part of a message. Other non- verbal factors such as who delivers the message, where a meeting takes place or the timing of the message can be as, or more important than the content alone. In addition, sometimes what is not said delivers a louder message than what is said.
  23. 23. 1. Content/Ideas Content/Ideas: What ideas do you want to convey? What arguments will you use to persuade your audience? Following are the “Wh” Elements of Message Content:  What you want to achieve;  Why you to want to achieve it (the positive result of taking action and/or the negative consequence of inaction);  How you propose to achieve it;  What action you want the audience to take.
  24. 24. KEY ELEMENTS (CONTD) 2. Language: What words will you choose to get your message across clearly and effectively? Are there words you should or should not use? 3. Source/Messenger: Who will the audience respond to and find credible? 4. Format: Which way(s) will you deliver your message for maximum impact? e.g., a meeting, letter, brochure, or radio ad? 5.Time and Place: When is the best time to deliver the message? Is there a place to deliver your message that will enhance its credibility or give it more political impact?
  25. 25. QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION “There seems to be a frosty relationship between the media and civil society”, Discuss this in relation to your work mentioning specific thematic area and success and failure with the traditional media, and suggest enhancing the relationship.
  26. 26. Thank you D. Tola Winjobi (PhD) Principal Coordinator, CAFSO-WRAG for Development National Coordinator, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development +234 803 0618 326 tolawinjobi58@yahoo.com
  27. 27. CONTACT D. Tola Winjobi (Ph.D) • Principal Coordinator, CAFSO-WRAG for Development; • National Coordinator, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development; • Executive Member, Emerging Scholars and Practitioners in Migration Issues Network, Canada • African Coordinator, CPDE Migrants and Diaspora Sector • Fellow, Center on Democracy Development and the Rule of Law, Stanford University, California, USA * Fellow, ELLA Learning Alliance, Fundar Center for Research and Analysis, Mexico Maria Ebun Foundation Building, Atanda Estate, Alaaka, Off Ajibola Adekemi Drive, Off Klm 5 New Ife Road, Adegbayi Area, Box 15060, Agodi Post Office, Ibadan tolawinjobi58@yahoo.com; cafsowinco58@yahoo.co.uk

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