RESULTS International Conference 2017: Building Advocacy Training Skills to Engage your Community

22 Jul 2017

Four members of the RESULTS UK grassroots network are attending the RESULTS International Conference in Washington DC (22-25 July), our annual celebration of our advocacy mission, where members of the RESULTS family from across the world meet, re-energise ourselves, and share challenges and successes.

In this first of a series of blog posts, ​Attica Kone, a campaigner with the London RESULTS Group, shares what she learned from a session on building practical advocacy skills to engage others.

This morning I had the opportunity to participate in the workshop on Building Advocacy Training Skills to Engage your Community. I already understood that my role as a grassroots advocate is to create supporters, advocates, leaders and champions. This includes working with our MPs, assessing where they are on a scale as a ‘champion’ for international development, and move them up from being potential opponents to neutral, supporters, advocates, leaders and maybe even champions!

I learned a useful tool on how to write letters and make phone calls to elected representatives, called the ‘EPIC’ model. EPIC stands for:

Engage: Give the reason why the matter or issue you are talking about is important. You should start with your personal story – why does it matter for me?

Problem: Describe the problem including facts and figures.

Inform: Explain what has been done or is being done to improve the situation and describe the actions that need to be supported.

Call to action: Ask your representative to take action to support what is being done.

During the session, I learned some great tips on how to connect with your elected representative:

  • We must focus on building a relationship, not only passing on a message
  • We should always ask a yes or no question – will you support X?
  • We should make a plan to follow up with our representative after the meeting
  • When planning for the meeting, it is important to anticipate any objections or concerns and find potential answers, so do your research!
  • If during the meeting the MP raised any concerns, we should ask for their reasons before we can reply with more convincing arguments.

It was a very rich experience, with lots of practical activities and detailed explanations. I now feel more confident in taking actions and I even believe I have been empowered to train other people on advocacy!

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Naveed Chaudhri

Head of Campaigns

Naveed Chaudhri is the Head of Campaigns. Naveed’s passion is to help build grassroots campaigns networks to increase public support for improving the lives of people in poor communities. Previously working at Oxfam and VSO, he has long experience managing activism and campaigning programmes,...

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