Skills for Impact - Advocacy: Strategizing, Planning and Measuring Impact

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Course Open to: 
Students on-site
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Course Description: 

Skills for Impact (SFI) Program, Mandatory Elective for MPA

Governments and politicians have been gaining increasing influence over who owns, operates, and regulates the media. Monopolistic, corrupt, or non-transparent practices constantly mar the media policy making process. Moreover, media policies are hardly keeping up with the fast changes and advancements in technology.

In this climate, progressive policies are needed to protect freedom of expression. To help build such policies, experts and think-tanks have to take a fresh approach to advocacy, focusing on facts, targets, and impact indicators. Part of this effort is a detailed analysis of the policy establishment, including institutions that propose, draft and approve laws and policies, and key influencers in these institutions as well as players outside the establishment who directly or indirectly shape the decision making process.

This course provides students the basis for planning fact-based advocacy work in the policy field. Drawing on his 25-year experience in advocacy campaigns related to the media policy area, the instructor created a course based on a set of rules on how to strategize and plan advocacy with applicability in a broad array of policy fields. Although the instructor’s experience in advocacy has been gained in the media policy field, the class has been designed to fit any policy field.

Class sessions will consist of lectures on how to structure and plan advocacy work as well as analysis of examples of advocacy projects and hands-on exercise

Learning Outcomes: 

Through analysis of experiences in designing and leading advocacy work, students will learn how to strategize and plan advocacy that achieves the highest impact possible in certain political and economic contexts.

Upon course completion, students will be able to:

• Think strategically about how to set goals and targets in advocacy 1

• Design fact-based advocacy plans

• Create methodologies to estimate and measure the impact that advocacy achieves

• Design research that supports targeted advocacy projects

• Create methodologies to analyze and identify the key influencers in the policy making proces


Students registered for this course are expected to attend classes and participate in the exercises that will be organized in breakout groups.

Students will be required to write an advocacy strategy based on the knowledge gathered during the course.The strategy will be based on a template that will be given by the instructor. Students will be free to choose any country or policy topic. A month or so before the class, the students, in cooperation with the instructor, will approach external organizations, inviting them to be included as a case study in the class.

Course evaluation:

  • Quality of advocacy strategy (the course final assignment):
  • 70% Class presentations: 20%
  • Class participation: 10%