Advocacy according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) context is defined as the use of efforts that affect the political climate, plan and programme verdicts, as well as public opinions or social beliefs. This context also defines advocacy as financial determinations, community aid and involvement in an issue.
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This is done via a set of well-designed actions carried out through a group of dedicated individuals or corporations working in a performance. It simply entails exploring the environment, identifying the agenda, defining partners, lobbying assistance of decision makers, developing allies and constituent building.
Advocacy according to UNFPA heavily depends on mass media, group and interpersonal communications. The common targets of advocacy include policy makers, several decision makers, spiritual leaders and those managing access to substantial resources such as the media (Henderson& Pochin 106).
Advocacy was adopted as a core programme area by UNFPA in 1995 over other approaches such as social mobilization, social selling, education, health enhancement and BCC (Behavioral change communication). The advantage of UNFPA advocacy over these methods is that UNFPA advocacy brings light on ICPD precedence’s and rising concerns.
Second, UNFPA advocacy puts into consideration key issues such as gender cruelty and the girl child education. In addition, UNFPA advocacy provides a well organized framework for controlling resources to attend to ICPD priorities.
The main differences between UNFPA advocacy and IEC include the fact that while UNFPA advocacy targets people by enrolling their support for the gain of other community members, IEC targets people by enrolling them to transform their behaviors for their personal gains.
UNFPA advocacy is thus directed towards affecting the communal policy and public arena while IEC is primarily directed towards affecting conduct that is more individual. There are eight essential elements of UNFPA advocacy strategy. These include openly defined issues, well planned objectives, properly evaluated environment, recognized stakeholders, principal messages, suitably chosen intrusions and tools, execution plan and particular indicators for supervision and evaluation (Freeley & Steinberg 268).
The situation discussed for the preparation of UNFPA advocacy plan in this paper is gender issues in reproductive well being. Women are rapidly heading for full and equal involvement in all features of local and international development. Some of the key barriers to the development of female sexual and reproductive well being are their lack of authority to make decisions at all socio- efficient levels.
Assenting actions are required in this case. The preparation of an advocacy plan should, therefore, attempt to achieve equality and justness based on well balanced relationships amongst men and women. It should make it possible for women to recognize their full capabilities.
The advocacy plan should make certain the improvement of women participation to sustainable development by fully involving them in processes of decision making at all levels. Women should also take part in all areas of production, income creating activities, science, education, traditions and technology. They should actively participate as decision makers, contributors and beneficiaries (Subedi & Thapa 98).
Approaches that can be taken within an Advocacy programme include the involvement of significant leaders and chief decision makers. This work together to strengthen relationships that offer access to the other decision makers. They establish what pressures or agreements must be passed to the public. They are instruments to supply precise information. These leaders also make the public understand the official and unofficial parts of the advocacy programme. This approach is appropriate in a situation involving gender issues.
Working together with the mass media so as to generate consensus is another approach. This involves coming up with an outreach programme to keep the objectives of the programme in the brains of the media, the overall public and decision makers. This approach is appropriate in a situation involving reproductive health.
The third approach involves building companionships, networks and unions. In advocacy, figures significantly matter and establishing a network that will act like a framework and execute tasks in support of the matter is an added advantage to the process. This approach may sometimes constitute action planning. Important actions may have to be carried out to make formal the proposed network. This approach is appropriate in a situation involving population development.
The fourth approach is the development of national capabilities for advocacy. This involves visions for nations being agents of affirmative social change so that all the people in a nation have intrinsic value as partakers of a fair and inclusive society. This approach is appropriate in a situation involving gender issues.
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The last approach involves the mobilization of societies as pressure units. Practical communities are created. These share identical values. This approach generates the momentum of the actual world activities by adding the views and concerns articulated by virtual communities. It has the capability of mobilizing human resources past geographical, ritual and institutional barriers. This approach is appropriate in a situation involving reproductive health (Soonaval 802).
The tools that are available include stakeholder evaluation, persuasion practices and media. Persuasion tools involve urging, petitioning, discussions, conciliations and conflict resolutions among the people. The use of media as a tool involves the use of press meetings, fact and background slips, media packets and radio and television shows. Stakeholder evaluation as a tool involves the identification and categorization of the potential stakeholders. This is done so as to know their interests as per a particular issue.
Freeley, Austin & Steinberg, David. Argumentation and Debate: Critical Thinking for Reasoned Decision. Boston, M A: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
Henderson, Rick & Pochin, Mikright. Advocacy, justice and empowerment. Bristol: Policy Press, 2001.Print
Soonaval, Kavasha. Advocacy: Its principles and practice. Bombay: N. M. Tripathi, 1960.Print
Subedi, Ram & Thapa, Rosemary. Advocacy strategies and approaches: a training of trainer’s manual on advocacy strategies for community-based organizations in the Hindu Kush. Kathmandu: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, 2005. Print