Advocacy

Advocacy

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Encyclopedia
Advocacy is a political process
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 by an individual or a large group
Advocacy group
Advocacy groups use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion and/or policy; they have played and continue to play an important part in the development of political and social systems...

 which normally aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an asset of interest. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or poll or the 'filing of friend of the court briefs'. Lobbying
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 (often by lobby groups) is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics.

Forms of advocacy


There are several forms of advocacy, which each represent a different approach in the way change is brought into society. One of the most popular forms is social justice advocacy.

Although it is true, the initial definition does not encompass the notions of power relations, people’s participation and a vision of a just society as promoted by social justice advocates. For them, advocacy represents the series of actions taken and issues highlighted to change the “what is” into a “what should be”, considering that this “what should be” is a more decent and a more just society (ib., 2001.) Those actions, which vary with the political, economic and social environment in which they are conducted, have several points in common (ib., 2001.) They:
  • Question the way policy is administered
  • Participate in the agenda setting as they raise significant issues
  • Target political systems “because those systems are not responding to people’s needs”
  • Are inclusive and engaging
  • Propose policy solutions
  • Open up space for public argumentation.


Some of the other forms of advocacy include:
  • Budget advocacy: Budget advocacy is another aspect of advocacy that ensures proactive engagement of Civil Society Organizations with the government budget to make the government more accountable to the people and promote transparency. Budget advocacy also enables citizens and social action groups to compel the government to be more alert to the needs and aspirations of people in general and the deprived sections of the community.
  • Bureaucratic advocacy: people considered “experts” have more chance to succeed at presenting their issues to decision-makers. They use bureaucratic advocacy to influence the agenda, however at a slower pace.
  • Health advocacy:
    Health Advocacy
    Health advocacy encompasses direct service to the individual or family as well as activities that promote health and access to health care in communities and the larger public. Advocates support and promote the rights of the patient in the health care arena, help build capacity to improve...

     Health advocacy supports and promotes patient's health care rights as well as enhance community health and policy initiatives that focus on the availability, safety and quality of care.
  • Ideological advocacy: in this approach, groups fight, sometimes during protests, to advance their ideas in the decision-making circles.
  • Interest-group advocacy: lobbying is the main tool used by interests groups doing mass advocacy. It is a form of action that does not always succeed at influencing political decision-makers as it requires resources and organisation to be effective.
  • Legislative advocacy: legislative advocacy is the “reliance on the state or federal legislative process” as part of a strategy to create change.(Loue, Lloyd and O’Shea, 2003)
  • Mass advocacy: is any type of action taken by large groups (petitions, demonstrations, etc.)
  • Media advocacy: is “the strategic use of the mass media as a resource to advance a social or public policy initiative” (Jernigan and Wright, 1996.) In Canada for example, the Manitoba Public Insurance campaigns illustrate how media advocacy was used to fight alcohol and tobacco-related health issues. We can also consider the role of health advocacy and the media in “the enactment of municipal smoking bylaws in Canada between 1970 and 1995.” (Asbridge, 2004)


Different contexts in which advocacy is used:
  • In a legal/law context: An 'advocate' is the title of a specific person who is authorized/appointed (in some way) to speak on behalf of a person in a legal process. See advocate
    Advocate
    An advocate is a term for a professional lawyer used in several different legal systems. These include Scotland, South Africa, India, Scandinavian jurisdictions, Israel, and the British Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man...

    .
  • In a political context: An 'advocacy group' is an organized collection of people who seek to influence political decisions and policy, without seeking election to public office. See Advocacy group
    Advocacy group
    Advocacy groups use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion and/or policy; they have played and continue to play an important part in the development of political and social systems...

     and Lobbying
    Lobbying
    Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

    .
  • In a social care context: Both terms (and more specific ones such as 'independent advocacy') are used in the UK in the context of a network of interconnected organisations and projects which seek to benefit people who are in difficulty (primarily in the context of disability and mental health).
  • In the context of inclusion: Citizen Advocacy organisations (citizen advocacy programmes) seek to cause benefit by reconnecting people who have become isolated. Their practice was defined in two key documents: CAPE, and Learning from Citizen Advocacy Programs. See Citizen Advocacy organisations
    Citizen Advocacy organisations
    Citizen Advocacy organisations seek to cause benefit by reconnecting people who have become isolated from the ordinary community. Their practice was defined in two key documents: CAPE, in 1980 and Learning From Citizen Advocacy Programs in 1987...

    .

Transnational advocacy


Advocates and advocacy groups represent a wide range of categories and support several issues as listed on WorldAdvocacy.com. The Advocacy Institute, a US-based global organization, is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of political, social, and economic justice advocates to influence and change public policy.

The phenomenon of globalization draws a special attention to advocacy beyond countries’ borders. The core existence of networks such as World Advocacy or the Advocacy Institute demonstrates the increasing importance of transnational advocacy and international advocacy. Transnational advocacy networks are more likely to emerge around issues where external influence is necessary to ease the communication between internal groups and their own government. Groups of advocates willing to further their mission also tend to promote networks and to meet with their internal counterparts to exchange ideas.

See also

  • Advocate
    Advocate
    An advocate is a term for a professional lawyer used in several different legal systems. These include Scotland, South Africa, India, Scandinavian jurisdictions, Israel, and the British Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man...

  • Budget advocacy
  • Health advocacy
    Health Advocacy
    Health advocacy encompasses direct service to the individual or family as well as activities that promote health and access to health care in communities and the larger public. Advocates support and promote the rights of the patient in the health care arena, help build capacity to improve...

  • Lobbying
    Lobbying
    Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

  • Public Library Advocacy
    Public Library Advocacy
    Public library advocacy is support given to a public library for its financial and philosophical goals or needs. Most often this takes the form of monetary or material donations or campaigning to the institutions which oversee the library...


Further reading

  • Asbridge, M. 2004. Public place restrictions on smoking in Canada: assessing the role of the state, media, science and public health advocacy. Social science & medicine 58(1):13-24.
  • Cohen, D., R. de la Vega, G. Watson. 2001. Advocacy for social justice. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press
    Kumarian Press
    Kumarian Press is an independent academic publishing company established in 1977 in West Hartford, CT by Krishna Kumari Sondhi and Ian Mayo-Smith. The company was named after the founders . The company began publishing titles on management for training programs in international development, some of...

  • Jerningan, D. H. and P. Wright. 1996. Media advocacy: lessons from community experiences. Journal of Public Health Policy Vol.17, No.3: 306-330.
  • Keck, M. E. and K. Sikkink. 1998. Activists beyond borders: advocacy networks in international politics. Baltimore, MD: Cornell University Press
    Cornell University Press
    The Cornell University Press, established in 1869 but inactive from 1884 to 1930, was the first university publishing enterprise in the United States.A division of Cornell University, it is housed in Sage House, the former residence of Henry William Sage....

    .
  • Loue, S., L. S. Lloyd, D. J. O’shea. 2003. Community health advocacy. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
  • Young, L. And J. Everitt. 2004. Advocacy groups. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press
    University of British Columbia Press
    The University of British Columbia Press is a university press that is part of the University of British Columbia. It was established in 1971.-External links:*...


• 'Those Who Suffer Much, Know Much' 5th 2010 edition, Cris Kerr, Advocate for the value of Patient Testimony http://www.ldnresearchtrustfiles.co.uk/docs/2010.pdf

External links