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GHAI Releases New Digital Tools for Advocacy Campaign Planning

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) is pleased to share a new set of digital tools to help users plan and analyze their advocacy campaigns. In our collaboration with advocates around the world, we’ve seen firsthand how important it is to integrate processes to plan, assess and objectively evaluate progress into advocacy campaigns. We also know that doing it well requires the investment of limited time and resources. These tools were designed to address that challenge.

We developed these tools to help our local partners systematically plan and analyze their public health advocacy campaigns. We are now making a limited version of the tools freely available on our website to support other organizations advocating for policy change in their countries.

With COVID-19 limiting in-person meetings, virtual planning tools are more important than ever. We hope these digital tools are useful in your advocacy campaigns, and we invite your feedback.

About the tools

Advocacy is often reactive. It requires advocates to adjust their strategies when the political environment changes around them. While those changes are inevitable, GHAI has found that systematic planning can prepare advocates to adapt and maintain control of their strategy and message.

We’ve distilled some of the lessons we’ve learned from working with local advocates in dozens of countries into a set of simple tools that guide advocates to define essential components of their advocacy campaigns – and document that information to improve coordination. Through these tools, advocates can conduct political mapping, plan strategies and activities, develop a media plan, prepare for policy implementation, and more.

How to use these tools

The suite consists of six digital tools designed to help advocates plan their policy change campaigns, assess the campaigns’ strengths, weaknesses, and gaps, anticipate and address barriers, and evaluate progress. They are meant to be used in a collaborative environment – with team members, coalition members, and other stakeholders involved in the campaign. Making sure the right people are involved is just as important as the plans being developed. To get the most out of the tools, they should be used to foster debate and discussion within your team, improve collaboration, and document your next steps.

These tools were developed to help advocates unpack and dissect six key aspects of their campaign:

  • Campaign Planning: Use this tool to improve how you plan, document, and coordinate your campaign’s strategies and activities.
  • Media Planning: Advocates often need a dedicated plan for their media advocacy strategy. Use this tool to clarify your target audience, goals, messengers, channels, and strategy.
  • Political Mapping: Political mapping is the cornerstone of an advocacy strategy. This tool helps advocates map each step of their campaign as well as identify and analyze the decision makers, key influencers and external stakeholders that will be involved.
  • Campaign Risk Assessment: A comprehensive, systematic analysis of the challenges facing your campaign can help you plan around them, as well as anticipate what additional problems may arise. Use this tool to assess the current and future threats to your campaign so you can overcome them.
  • Implementation Planning: After a hard-fought battle to pass a new law or strengthen an existing one, advocates need to quickly pivot to a new phase of the campaign – to effectively implement the law. Implementation campaigns often come with their own unique set of challenges and opportunities.  Use this tool to better understand what you need to know to plan your policy implementation campaign.
  • Campaign Evaluation: Monitoring and evaluation should be simple and practical, and designed to help you make strategic adjustments that get you closer to achieving your policy objective. Use this tool to evaluate the progress of your campaign, determine what’s working and what’s not, and overcome the barriers to success.

These tools are currently being tested by our partners in different parts of the world. We are pleased to share this beta version more widely, and welcome your assessment of the tools as we continue to refine them. Please email us at tools@advocacyincubator.org with any questions or feedback.

Digital Advocacy Tools