Loud advocacy

Loud advocacy aims to create more of a ‘fanfare’ and involves strategies and activities that are used to try and reach a wider audience than quiet advocacy. Loud advocacy may employ media and press campaigns, lobbying and political pressure, grassroots organising, and other similar tactics. These strategies aim to raise awareness about issues and can be cost-effective considering the number of people that are reached. Types of loud advocacy are listed below:

  • Legal advocacy is a form of advocacy where lawyers or qualified advocates may engage in representing people in court or lobbying for changes in laws regarding a particular issue.
  • People-centred advocacy is where the public are encouraged to participate in supporting a particular initiative. Such advocacy work is carried out in various ways including, but not limited to, public demonstrations, rallies, leafleting, canvassing, and protests to help bring important issues to the political arena.
  • Media-advocacy gets people interested in an issue by using TV, newspapers, radio, the internet, etc. This is an important form of advocacy because media reaches a lot of people. Media advocacy does a lot to fuel public concern in a particular issue.
  • Lobbying comes from the word ‘lobby’ which refers to an entrance area or meeting place. In the case of advocacy, it refers to conversations and meetings where people get access to and seek to persuade those in power. Lobbying involves direct communication with decision-makers and others who have influence over them. Lobbying is about educating and convincing them to support and advance your agenda. The primary targets of lobbying are the people with the power to influence a policy change on your issue.
  • Alliances and coalitions are a form of advocacy where individuals, groups and individuals join together to form a stronger body promoting or advocating for a certain issue.

Activity 2.3 Case study

In the following case study can you identify examples of quiet and loud examples of advocacy undertaken by the workers?

Martha, Rahel and Aman are workers in a children’s organisation in a city suburb.

They are active in promoting children’s rights and issues in their community. Recently, the rising number of cases of physical violence against children in their community came to their attention. This inspired them to act. They started out on their own by identifying who these children were by speaking with and befriending the children and their family members when they went to school, the shop or church. Some of the children were referred to them by other children who had been victims of violence.

After they have gained their friendship and trust, Martha, Rahel and Aman started listening to these children’s stories and what they would like to happen, and they also spoke to them about their rights. In time, the workers raised the issue with community members during a community meeting. They brought the issue to their children’s organisation and argued for it to take on the issue of child physical violence as part of their flagship programs. Soon, the children’s organisation engaged in bigger activities such as distributing flyers about violence against children. They also encourage politicians in their community to pass local ordinances protecting abused and neglected children. They worked with children to present a drama about child violence during a community festival and began forming networks with other children’s organisations in neighbouring communities.

Compare your answers to those at the end of the study session.

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2.7 Advocacy with children