Lobby and advocacy training Safeguarding Refugee Protection in Bulgaria

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1 Lobby and advocacy training Safeguarding Refugee Protection in Bulgaria 13 th 14 th of November 2008

2 Aim of training participants have a clear understanding of the relevance of advocacy work for their work on refugee protection; The training aims to support NGOs to plan and implement effective advocacy work.

3 Programme day Round of introductions Introduction: what is lobby/advocacy Coffee break Organisations, mandate, lobby capacity, lobby experience Lunch Analysing decision-makers, politicians, attitudes of the public, media Coffee break Major challenges in Bulgaria: what has worked and what not, instruments to be developed Feedback

4 Programme day Examples from the Dutch context: lobby plans, lobby structure of the DCR. What could work in Bulgaria? Coffee break EU lobby, files, co-decision, working as a European network. What can Bulgaria do in this context? Can lessons be learned from working as a network? Lunch Concrete examples in Bulgaria, developing common strategies Coffee break Cont Feedback

5 Lobby vs. advocacy Lobby is about influencing political decision making in the interest of a group by communicating with publics relevant to the political process of a certain issue (political decision-makers and officials, mass media, citizens and the constituents of the lobbyist). Advocacy is an umbrella term for the act of pleading in favour of a specific cause. It can include lobby.

6 Definition & objective Advocacy Advocacy is broader notion of influencing public: it includes lobby, but also other activities; Lobby Lobby is focused on influencing formal political process To get the attention of decision-makers, influence public opinion and other social sectors & to create awareness To create a win-win solution for the interests of group and the decision-makers concerning a specific issue

7 Target group & processes Advocacy Lobby Wider target: decisionmakers or corporate actors, but also the general public Unilateral Subjective view one-sided Public affair Public sector decisionmakers Mutual Objective view multiple sided Discrete affair

8 Relationship decisionmakers & legitimacy Advocacy Transfer the demands of the people Lobby Operates as an intermediary or broker, negotiates Not always a specific mandate Mandate of the constituents or clients

9 Methods & practices & knowledge decision Advocacy making Mobilising people (public events, media/press, e- mail campaigns, petitions, etc.) Lobby Using personal expertise (meetings and informal contacts with decisionmakers, field visits, research etc.) Knowledge of procedures and phases of decisionmaking are important Knowledge of procedures and phases of decisionmaking are essential

10 Roles & responsibilities, actors & information Advocacy Communicator, motivator, animator NGO s, non-profit organisations Access to information is essential Lobby Provider of information, strategic planner, motivator, initiator, negotiator NGO s, membership organisations, private companies Access to information is essential

11 Lobby Decisionmakers Informal Systematic Target are decision-makers in the public sector such as members of parliament, ministers, civil servants etc. Since lobbyist does not have decision-making power he/she tries to master the methods and means to influence the decision-maker into certain direction. Lobby is informal and in addition to formal procedures. Not a conflict model: lobbyist tries to participate in the thinking process to help formulate a better decision. Lobbyist should know the formal world of decision-making in order to know the best moment to lobby. Plan and work step by step

12 Basic conditions for lobby 1. Legitimacy: where does my organisation get its legitimacy? 2. Credibility: how does my organisation build credibility? 3. Accountability: is my organisation doing what its promised to do? 4. Power: where does the power of my organisation to change things come from?

13 Legitimacy Lobbyist speaks on behalf of a group and should verify groups interest Sources of legitimacy members of the organisation local community mission of organisation (international) donor agencies government etc.

14 Credibility Decision-makers should believe what a lobbyist claims Sources of credibility = reputation Trust Transparency Capacity to cooperate

15 Accountability Towards donors & constituency With the organisation Between organisations

16 Power To change policy you need weight and power. Sources of power Expert knowledge Public legitimacy Representation Mobilisation/ mass media

17 Positioning the lobbyist Cooperation Complementary Win-win

18 Why lobby To get from public sector what we need To be heard and recognised by decisionmakers To improve the quality of decision-making and strengthen democracy To create a win-win situation

19 When lobby Urgency Knowledge about origins Sufficient information about impact Alternatives Responsibility Cooperation Constituency & organisation

20 The role of lobby Intermediary between inside and outside Prejudices between NGO s and public sector Procedures of the organisation and government

21 Qualities of lobbyist Communicative Social Knowledge about decision-making Knowledge of elementary facts Analytical Network Open-minded Empathic

22 Role of lobby & position of the organisation Attitude: willing to cooperate with decisionmakers and other partners? Availability of lobbyist and support staff Time planning and funds Information about lobby theme Presence of clear vision

23 Ready for lobby? Resources? Understanding of wishes of constituency? Consensus on what to achieve? Relevant networks Reputation

24 Initial phase an actuality (new government, incident, public pressure); Decision makers are in the process of finding a solution; Role lobby: get things on the agenda, raise general awareness, suggestions for solutions;

25 Analysing phase Direction of policies are defined information is needed, concrete proposals are drafted; Role lobby: give information, suggestions, inform own constituency;

26 Formal decision phase formal decision will be taken step by step process will be more irreversible; Role lobby: appraisal of final decision, point out effects and support, advocacy and mobilisation rather than negotiation.

27 Implementation phase decisions will be translated into practical measures; Role lobby: co-operation or refusal to cooperate, monitoring and evaluation, suggestions for improvement.

28 Recommendations Be vigilant & well informed Contribution in tune with decision-making phase Timing Never give up: decision-making process is circular Keep your client group well-informed Media: know when to use them and be careful

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