Optimising Advocacy (5 days)

How to effectively mobilise for change


Click here to download the course leaflet with the detailed programme (PDF format).

Effective Advocacy is the cornerstone of sustainable change and provides organisations with the opportunity to inform, influence and shape public policy and decision-making, institutional practices and public opinion. Designed for practitioners working in humanitarian and development contexts, as well as for those working in governmental or non-governmental organisations, this course offers hands-on skills enhancing the participants’ capacity to bring about real change.

This course provides you with a practical introduction to Advocacy, its conceptual underpinnings and real-world applications. It showcases how evidence-based research adds crucial value to institutional and social change processes. It highlights how alternative Advocacy interventions can be effectively employed; it also addresses some of the potential challenges and pitfalls associated with designing and implementing Advocacy interventions.

Achieving strong Advocacy results requires a deep understanding of how change is brought about at different levels within society. We will discuss the process of assessing needs and doing research for Advocacy purposes. This includes planning effective strategies for collecting, analysing, and disseminating data for under-resourced or disadvantaged communities on a local, national and international stage.

Balancing theory and practice, the course provides the chance to develop, refine and sharpen your own ideas with the support of the expert facilitator and your fellow participants. You will formulate project proposals which will benefit yourself, your organisation and the people your efforts will be impacting on. A number of field visits and exposure to expert visiting lecturers further enhances the learning and understanding processes in this diverse subject area.

Moreover, participants will develop a SMART project proposal that could enhance their organisation’s capacity to do evidence-based Advocacy. Individual projects are then presented to “donor” panels (which include the trainer and associates) that provide participants with professional and constructive feedback for how to design a project that best serves their organisation’s needs and aims.

This unique course, especially designed for the NGO Management School in Geneva, Switzerland is the result of many years of professionals’ collaboration in field-based projects examining the interaction between action research and Advocacy.

Training Methodology

A participant-oriented methodology is applied to this course featuring structured learning experiences, facilitated self-learning, discussions and group work. Your own individual project is in the foreground and each participant will be able to take away their own project proposal framework.


This training course is designed for those who already have some experience in Advocacy-related work. It has been designed in particular for:

  • Humanitarian and Development Practitioners
  • Project and Program Managers
  • Policy and Decision Makers (Field and HQ)
  • Communications Professionals
  • Researchers
  • Heads of Missions and Field Coordinators
  • External Relations Personnel

Learning Outcomes

Following this course, participants will have a firm understanding of the concept of Advocacy and its relevance for programmatic and operational planning. More specifically, participants will:

  • Be able to formulate the relevance and added value effective Advocacy can bring to their organisation and its mandate
  • Identify different types and approaches to Advocacy and how each can be applied in different contexts
  • Assess the relevance of different stakeholders to the process of advocating for change
  • Enhance their Advocacy with evidence-based research and analysis as well as effective communication
  • Map, design and implement multidimensional Advocacy strategies and individual interventions
  • Develop Advocacy-related project proposals
  • Assess how specific network or partnership opportunities can contribute to achieving your organisation’s Advocacy goals
  • Incorporate effective Advocacy into your organisation’s existing programs and initiatives
  • Have the ability to engage new techniques to showcase research findings.
  • Identify improved leveraging of international resources for local capacity building

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