Civil society organisations are an important factor in the process of European Union integration. They represent the interests, needs and concerns of their constituencies. They empower people and organisations in the fight against poverty and in the promotion of human rights, democracy and other core values, which should support access to the European Union. CSO advocacy and lobbying activities should add value to ensure that both the general public and public authorities understand and support their cause, gaining strength and credibility.
Differences between advocacy and lobbying
The goals of advocacy and lobbying are similar, but the processes are different. Advocacy is attempting to cause political action using methods such as civil education and public campaigns influence decision-makers.
Lobbying refers to influencing the government and its leaders.
There are two types of lobbying:
- Direct lobbying;
- Grassroots lobbying.
Direct lobbying is communicating your views to a legislator or a staff member or any other government employee who may help to develop legislation. In order for this communication to be considered direct lobbying, it must refer to specific legislation and must reflect a view on such legislation.
Grassroots lobbying is trying to influence the public to express a particular view to their legislators about a specific legislative proposal. To be considered grassroots lobbying, the communication must refer to specific legislation, it must reflect a view on the legislation and must encourage the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation.
Advocacy is a broader set of activities aimed to change public opinion or to get public support.
The advocacy strategy can include activities such as:
- Articles in newspapers;
- Feature stories about how an individual or group was helped or has benefited from the organisation or action;
- Distribution of promotional materials, etc.
Manual on Advocacy and Policy Influencing for Social Change
The present Manual on Advocacy and Policy Influencing for Social Change is aimed to increase CSO advocacy skills as well as to influence public policies in order to contribute to social transformation.
TACSO also developed the guide as an online resource to accompany TACSO’s manual on, Advocacy and Policy Influencing for Social Change.
The Regional Training on Advocacy and Lobbying was held in April 2010 in Tirana, and aimed at strengthening CSO capacities in advocacy and policy influencing for social change as well as providing the participants with concrete tools and models for practical application.
Below are available videos from the training:
Watch: Policy Influencing I
Watch: A Strategic and Effective Advocacy I
Watch: A Strategic and Effective Advocacy II
Watch: A Strategic and Effective Advocacy III
Regional training on advocacy and lobbing for the Framework Partnership Agreements and Long-term grants was held in February 2016.