Certificate in Strategic Advocacy and Management for Social Change (11 days)


This certificate course consists of the following modules:

Each of the above modules can also be taken individually, leading to a course certificate per module.

Course overview

Click here to download the course leaflet (PDF format)

Successfully leading and managing an organisation involves making and implementing strategic decisions concerning how to maintain your organisation’s direction whilst continuously improving performance and impact in a changing environment. Today, leaders and managers require a wide and diverse range of competencies to successfully motivate, drive and facilitate strategic development and change in an organisation.

This Certificate focuses on the strategic management of non-profit organisations seeking social change and is of particular relevance to those involved in advocacy as well as capacity building. It provides you with core knowledge, practical skills and tools to support you in the strategic advocacy and management of your organisation.

This certificate course comprises three independent but mutually reinforcing modules:

  1. Strategic Analysis & Decision-Making (3 days)

Leaders and managers are responsible for shaping the future of their organisations and guiding how they will contribute to the changes they envision in the world.

This course is designed to challenge you to think and act strategically in the non-profit environment. It places emphasis on your development as a strategist and focuses on how you can create powerful, relevant and focused strategy that contributes to the realisation of your organisation’s vision.

A starting point for the successful development of a strategy is a deep understanding and knowledge of both an organisation’s own internal environment and also the external environment in which it operates. This course provides you with a practical overview of what is involved in, and different approaches to, analysing the environment as the foundations upon which an organisation can: i) think creatively and strategically about its possible future directions; ii) generate options and expand its potential choices; and iii) identify mandate driven criteria upon which to base its decision-making.

  1. Strategic Advocacy for Social Change (4 days)

The primary mandate of the majority of non-profit organisations is to contribute towards achieving positive social change. Such changes are widely recognised as the result of shifts in the behavior, relationships, actions and activities of individuals, groups and institutions in society. Advocacy is the means through which organisations individually or collectively seek to effect such change. Effective advocacy provides non-profit organisations with the opportunity to inform, influence and shape public policy and decision-making, institutional practices and public opinion, as the foundations of sustainable social change. However, the full potential of an organisation’s advocacy work is not often realized. Achieving strong advocacy outcomes requires a deep understanding of how change is brought about at different levels within society.

This course provides you with a practical introduction to effective advocacy, its conceptual underpinnings and real-world applications. It examines the various types and approaches to advocacy that are available to bring about behavior change in different audiences and contexts. This course focuses on advocacy as a cyclical multi-stakeholder process requiring strategic design and management to achieve its goals. It highlights how alternative advocacy interventions can be effectively employed to influence actors in different ways as part of multidimensional advocacy strategies.

Finally, this course addresses some of the potential opportunities, challenges and pitfalls associated with designing and implementing effective advocacy interventions.

  1. Outcome Mapping (4 days)

Non-profit organisations are increasingly expected to provide evidence of the impact of their work and its lasting contribution to positive social change. However, such change is rarely the result of the discernable actions of a single organisation and rarely follows a simple linear cause and effect model of change. Rather, social change is the result of a culmination of multiple influences, including unique contextual factors, specific events, as well as the actions of a diverse range of actors.

Developed in the non-profit sector, Outcome Mapping is an approach to planning, monitoring and evaluation that recognises that social change is fundamentally the result of changes in the behavior of individuals, groups and institutions in society, and as such is the result of messy and complex processes. Outcome Mapping focuses on the specific contributions an organisation’s work makes to changes in the behaviour, relationships, actions and activities of individuals, groups and institutions. Outcome Mapping is of particular relevance and value to organisations seeking to bring about social change and engaged in advocacy or capacity building activities.

This course provides you with a practical introduction to Outcome Mapping, its conceptual basis and practical application. It offers you a powerful tool with which to define in clear and explicit terms the outcomes you are seeking to achieve as your organisation’s contribution to a wider social impact. This course focuses on how Outcome Mapping can help you to clarify: i) whose behaviour your organisation is seeking to influence; ii) in what way; iii) for what reason; and iv) how. This course also highlights how Outcome Mapping can encourage organisational learning and performance improvements through its approach to monitoring and evaluation.

Finally, this course addresses some of the potential challenges associated with using Outcome Mapping and provides recommendations and insights for how to get the very best out of its use.

Who should attend

Leaders and managers of non-profit organisations responsible or involved in the advocacy and management of an organisation, in particular:

  • Executive Directors
  • Senior Managers
  • Programme and Project Directors, Managers, and Coordinators
  • Consultants
  • Board Members

How you and your organisation will benefit – Learning Objectives

After this course, you will be able to:

1. Strategic Management, Thinking & Decision-Making

  • Identify the main strategic opportunities and challenges facing NPOs
  • Explain the concept of strategy, its multiple definitions and their relevance to NPOs
  • Describe the differences between strategy, strategic planning and strategic management
  • Present the strategic management cycle and understand its relevance to NPOs and the challenges associated with such an approach
  • Explain the importance of strategic thinking, create conditions that are conducive to strategic thought and minimize those that are not
  • Describe what is involved in the strategic analysis of an organisation’s internal and external environment
  • Identify and use some of the different tools and approaches available for internal and external strategic analysis and assess which are of most relevance in a given situation
  • Explain the different types of strategic options and choices available to NPOs.
  • Understand how to generate and appraise strategic options, as a basis for strategic decision-making
  • Guide and facilitate strategic individual and group decision-making which supports and benefits from organisational learning

2. Strategy Advocacy for Social Change

  • Explain the relevance of advocacy to bringing about positive social change
  • Describe the conceptual underpinnings and real-world applications of effective advocacy
  • Identify different types and approaches to advocacy and how each can be applied in different contexts
  • Assess the relevance (power and influence) of different stakeholders to the process of advocating for social change
  • Design, map and implement multidimensional advocacy strategies and individual interventions
  • Enhance your advocacy with evidence-based research and analysis as well as effective political communication
  • Incorporate effective advocacy into your organisation’s existing programmes and initiatives
  • Assess how specific networking or partnership building opportunities can contribute to achieving your organisation’s advocacy goals

3. Outcome Mapping

  • Explain the importance of changes in the behavior of individuals, groups and institutions to achieving positive social chang.
  • Describe the main concepts, key terms and phases in Outcome Mapping
  • Use Outcome Mapping as an approach to organisational, programme and project planning
  • Plan, manage and guide organisational, programme and project planning processes using Outcome Mapping tools and approaches
  • Use Outcome Mapping’s performance monitoring and evaluation systems to enhance an organisation’s learning from experience.
  • Assess the potential utility of Outcome Mapping for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of an organisation’s work
  • Integrate the relevant dimensions of Outcome Mapping into an organisation’s existing planning, monitoring and evaluation practices
  • Translate Outcome Mapping terminology into your organisation’s existing language

Course approach

Emphasis is placed on “action learning” and each module features presentations, structured learning experiences, facilitated discussions, individual and group activities.

Interested in having this course conducted tailor-made for your organisation? Please contact us.