This section will guide you through the steps involved in researching the context that you will work in, and in developing your policy advocacy goals and activities. By the end of this section, you would have understood the process that prepares you to create a policy advocacy plan.
In the start-up section of the toolkit, the steps to conduct a legal analysis and field analysis were explained. This was intended to enable you to better understand the general legal and political context that you work in. The Policy Advocacy Planning section, will guide you through further background research within the specific context of conducting policy advocacy.
Firstly, the section will guide you to understand where your issue is situated within the wider sequence of policy advocacy. It will also provide guiding questions to help you identify the central problem and key influencing actors that you may target to facilitate systematic change.
After identifying the central problem, this section will guide you to develop long-term and interim policy advocacy goals, and assist you in evaluating the risk of your advocacy goals and actions. Finally, all of the steps above are intended to prepare you to create a policy advocacy plan – a plan that enables you to align your actions with your goals.
When creating your advocacy plan, your decisions should be informed by a thorough understanding of the existing advocacy strategies and stakeholders available. Therefore, this section should be read in conjunction with the sections Policy Advocacy Strategies and Applying Strategies to Common Stakeholders. In addition, as planning is an integral part of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process, the Policy Advocacy Planning section should be read alongside the Policy Advocacy Monitoring and Evaluation section. As you create your policy advocacy plan, it is important to design your advocacy activities in a way that enables you to monitor and evaluate the impact of your advocacy.