Practical Workshop on Advocacy Planning

How to Be a Successful Advocate

A Hands-On Workshop on Advocacy: Strategy, Planning and Measuring Impact

Date: November 28-29, 2018

Venue: Budapest, Hungary

Inspired by his work with dozens of organizations around the globe, including NGOs, donor organizations, media outlets and think tanks, Marius Dragomir has collected in the past 15 years a large database of advocacy tools and strategies, which is an invaluable body of knowledge for groups and organizations doing or planning to do advocacy work.

Using this trove of information and the lessons he learned through his experience in designing, planning and running advocacy work, Dragomir has created a new, fully comprehensive advocacy methodology, which is heavily anchored in data and information and highly focused on results.

Two elements distinguishes it from other approaches.

First, organizations doing advocacy often fail to properly study their targets, usually policymakers and other decision-making people and institutions. Thoroughly researching the policymaking process (including both people and institutions) should be integral part of the advocacy planning process. Lack of detailed accounts about the people and institutions that the advocates are trying to change or use in changing laws and policies is the cause of failed advocacy in nearly 90% of the cases documented by Dragomir.

Second, inflexibility often diminishes the chances of success in advocacy. On the one hand, it is important for advocates to be consistent in their communication and plans. But very often, especially when everything indicates that a certain advocacy effort goes down the pan, volte-faces are needed. Completely changing plans and tactics helps advocates to pragmatically refocus on more realistic paths to achieve success. To be able to make such decisions during an advocacy campaign, especially complex ones in politically and socially difficult environments, a feasible impact measurement framework has to be embedded in the advocacy plan, to inform advocates at every step they make about the impact they have.

The workshop

The workshop “How to Be a Successful Advocate” provides the basis for planning fact-based advocacy work in the policy field. Over the course of two days, the workshop will introduce:

  1. The key steps in designing an advocacy strategy
  2. The main elements of an advocacy implementation plan
  3. The components of the logic model used to build impact measurement frameworks

The workshop will include practical exercises on a few case studies proposed by the participants.

Who’s this for?

Upon workshop completion, participants will be able to:

  • Design an advocacy strategy and create an advocacy implementation plan
  • Create methodologies, adjustable to local contexts, to build impact measurement instruments for advocacy projects
  • Design research modules designed to be embedded in advocacy projects (including methods to identify and profile key influencers in the policymaking process)

The workshop is mostly suited for NGOs and civil society groups involved in advocacy, donor organizations that fund advocates and advocacy campaigns, and think tanks. CMDS offers post-workshop, longer-term follow-up assistance with specific advocacy projects.


Marius Dragomir is the Director of the Center for Media, Data and Society. He previously worked for the Open Society Foundations (OSF) for over a decade. Since 2007, he has managed the research and policy portfolio of the Program on Independent Journalism (PIJ), formerly the Network Media Program (NMP), in London. He has also been one of the main editors for PIJ's flagship research and advocacy project, Mapping Digital Media, which covered 56 countries worldwide, and he was the main writer and editor of OSF’s Television Across Europe, a comparative study of broadcast policies in 20 European countries.

Marius has spent the past decade in the media research field, specializing in media and communication regulation, digital media, governing structures of public service media and broadcasting, spectrum management, and ownership regulation. He has authored expert studies and articles on journalism and media policies that have been published and translated in more than 60 countries.

He started his career as a journalist some 25 years ago in his native Romania where he worked for several local dailies, radio, and TV stations. Since 1999, he has been working for English-language media. Last year, with a group of journalists and researchers, he co-founded, a community of experts in media policy covering trends in regulation, business, and politics that influence journalism.


The workshop takes place in Budapest, the dazzling capital of Hungary. The city is famous for its beauty, its baths and spas that locals and tourists equally relish, its offer of amazing restaurants, bars and cafes, and its special atmosphere and charm.

The workshop venue is at Central European University (CEU), located in the heart of Budapest, within steps of the Basilica, the Parliament and the Danube in an award-winning, smart, sustainable building.

Tuition fee: 700 EUR + VAT

The fee does not include accommodation, travel and meals.

Apply by November 15, 2018 by sending an email to 
For more information about the workshop please contact Eva Bognar at