What can you do as citizen?

8. Effective Advocacy

In the previous activity, you reviewed a variety of tools available for EU citizens to influence the legislative process of the EU and raise awareness on anti-discrimination issues. You also learnt from the experience of civil society organisations active in approaching key stakeholders in order to achieve the institutional change needed to address the specific issues they advocate for. 

Hopefully, this course has broadened the range of opportunities you might consider in order to achieve the change you seek in society. Look at the 8 steps for effective advocacy illustrated in the infographic below.

SET YOUR OBJECTIVES AND MAP YOUR STAKEHOLDERS



Once you have defined a realistic and meaningful objective, it is crucial to map out your stakeholders. 

Mapping stakeholders is a visual exercise and analysis tool that you can use to determine which stakeholders it is most useful to approach. Mapping allows you to identify stakeholders and their relations, thus making it easier to understand the decision making process in the context where you live and act. 

The first step is to understand that there is no magic list of stakeholders. The final list will depend on your advocacy objectives, the specific situation, and/or exceptional events. Your map will evolve together with the context and stakeholders themselves. Therefore, we encourage you to use this instrument with great flexibility.

Brainstorm a list of stakeholders that have the power to influence, both negatively and positively, the decision making processes relevant to your specific objective - including those who are neutral to your cause. 

You can start with the stakeholders you are in regular contact with (if any), and then move beyond your “comfort zone”. Try to think out of the box, so that you can come up with and reach the less obvious stakeholders too.

To make your map, you are free to use the approach that you prefer. You can draw it and then take a picture that you can easily share. You can use a PowerPoint or Word document with text boxes, graphs, and arrows to better visualise the interrelation between the stakeholders and your objective. Alternatively, you can use a free mind-mapping software available online, like mindmeister and xmind.