TRAINING ON “STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION FOR ADVOCACY AND ACTIVISM”
Strategic communication and advocacy are an important aspect of our organization’s work. However, the NGO representatives has had limited opportunities to be trained on those topics and use their gained knowledge and skills in their daily work. During our interviews with the NGO staff and board members and activists, many have expressed the need to have a clearer understanding of what advocacy is and how strategic communication might support the work of our NGO.
Thus, from January 19 to 23, 2022, the “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO organized a 5-day training on strategic communication, advocacy and activism for the NGO’s 12 staff and board members and 8 transgender activists and volunteers involved in the NGO work. This training was delivered to support participants’ understanding of advocacy, with a focus on the importance of communication, as well as providing practical assistance on how to actually undertake advocacy work. During the training, the following topics were discussed:
- Basic elements of communication and its impact.
- Communication process and types of communication.
- Principles of effective communication.
- Communication barriers for transgender people.
- Creating rapport, building trust, establishing credibility and building an impact on the target audience through communication skills.
- Communication etiquette and ways of becoming a great communicator and creating a positive first impression and good image of the trans community.
- Advocacy: What is advocacy, steps for planning an advocacy campaign: identifying the issue, planning, mobilizing and evaluation.
- Issue analysis: triangle analysis and mapping (identify barriers and solutions in each of categories: content, structure and culture).
- Defining the issue: conduct research on trans rights violation cases and carry out outreach work to determine priorities and opportunities.
- Strategies, tactics and tools: what are the strategies we want to use? What tactics and other advocacy tools support those strategies?
- Networks, community mobilization and advocacy: introduction to the purpose, benefits of networking and why it might be useful for advocacy work.
- Developing an advocacy plan: overview of components: goals; stakeholder analysis; message and messengers; delivery tool; resources; risks, threats and gaps; timeline and action plan; and evaluation.
- Communication: messaging and working with the media and decision makers; communicating with a wider audience. Developing ‘winning words’, and targeted messages.
Throughout the course of the training, the participants received skills to influence people and institutions in power to create an environment which protects the Trans LGBIQ community’s rights, health and welfare, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized ones in the Republic of Armenia.
At the end of the training, the participants have:
- built a broader understanding of the concept of communication and advocacy and the contribution they can make to achieve our organization’s goals and objectives;
- become able to recognize the elements and importance of planning for advocacy and communication work;
- enhanced their capacity to effectively identify advocacy issues, document them and engage the suitable audience in their work to promote human rights protection in Armenia;
- explored the diversity of participatory activities, methodologies and approaches that combine effective advocacy and communications efforts;
- developed communication skills (in order to advocate) and understood the use and role of media and face-to-face communication for their work and shared goals.
It is important to mention that the training was made possible with the financial support of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
January 28, 2022 / Armenia, Yerevan