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

Academic Program

Instructor: Marius Dragomir

Course descriptionSkills for Impact (SFI) Program, Elective module

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. The course will draw on examples of advocacy campaigns limited to the media policy area, but the set of rules on how to strategize and plan advocacy campaigns emerging from these experiences has applicability in a broad array of policy areas. 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 exercises.

Selected reading

Freedman, Des; Obar A. Jonathan; Martens, Cheryl & McChesney W., Robert (eds.), Strategies for Media Reform

Learning outcomes

Through analysis of experiences in designing and leading advocacy work, students will learn how to strategize and plan advocacy campaigns that achieve 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
  • Design fact-based advocacy campaigns
  • Create methodologies to estimate and measure the impact that advocacy campaigns achieves
  • Design research that supports targeted advocacy projects
  • Create methodologies to analyze and identify the key influencers in the policy making process