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Policy Advocacy and Engagement Training Narrative Report - Abuja Nigeria 1 (Feb 2010)

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  • 8/3/2019 Policy Advocacy and Engagement Training Narrative Report - Abuja Nigeria 1 (Feb 2010)







    22ND 26TH FEBRUARY 2010.







  • 8/3/2019 Policy Advocacy and Engagement Training Narrative Report - Abuja Nigeria 1 (Feb 2010)




    The Policy Engagement and Advocacy Training workshop targeted 30 Civil Society Actors in Nigeria. The

    workshop which was the 2nd

    in the workshop series (the first was held in Ghana in December 2009)

    drew 30 civil society actors in Nigeria to brainstorm on best practices to engage relevant stakeholders

    in ensuring an effective policy process in Nigeria and beyond.

    Four trainers and two Resource persons facilitated the 5 day workshop which started from 22nd

    to 26th

    February 2010 at Denis Hotel, Abuja. Nigeria. Most of the participants were actors within NGOs, CBOs,

    FBOs, Womens groups and Youth networks who are deeply involved in policy advocacy , analysis, and

    engagement, and are conversant with the dynamics of West African policy and political environment

    and have relevant knowledge or experience in the area of policy/applied or academic research.

    The programme started on Sunday 21st February 2010 with an informal meeting of the participants

    with the trainers and organizers in order to acquaint themselves as well as provide a platform for early

    networking among participants.

    The event was flagged off by 8.00am on Monday 22nd

    February 2010 in Ihiala Hall, Denis Hotel with the

    Registration of participants and Opening Ceremony.

    The closing ceremony took place by 3.30pm on Friday 26th

    February, 2010 and attracted partners and

    policy advocates across Nigeria.


    The advent of democratic governance in the region has generated high expectations about the role and

    capacity of CSOs to strengthen governance and foster democratic deepening. Nigerian Civil society

    actors are actively involved in policy processes but interestingly, few of them have relevant knowledge

    and expertise in policy engagement. Also, with increased democratization, reductions in conflict, and

    advances in information and communication technologies, it is imperative to build the policy

    influencing capacity of CSOs in Nigeria to bridge the identified gaps and prepare civil actors for

    effective engagement in policy process across the country and beyond.


    As part of its mandate of strengthening policy advocacy initiatives, the West Africa Civil Society

    Institute (WACSI) in collaboration with the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative of

    the Open Society Institute (LGI-OSI) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) organized

    a 5-days Training workshop in Policy Engagement and Advocacy in Abuja, Nigeria. The 5 day training

    aimed to develop the capacity of civil society actors in Nigeria and help them to hold their government


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    The overarching goal of the workshop was to build the advocacy capacity of participants and deepen

    their knowledge and skills in policy engagement/influence and advocacy, and share best strategies and

    approaches for required policy influencing in all stages of policy process in West Africa. The training

    also served as the final phase of the WACSI/OSIWA/LGI-OSI Training of Trainers (ToT) certificationprocess in Policy Advocacy which commenced in December 2009.


    The objectives of the policy engagement and advocacy trainings were to:

    To enhance CSO knowledge of public policy networks and processes; To increase CSO understanding of the policy environment in West Africa and potential entry


    To enhance CSOs ability to write and use evidence-based and targeted policy papers; To build insight into the process of planning an effective policy advocacy campaign; and To provide the platform for civil society actors across the region to form advocacy networks and

    build alliances.


    The training focused on three major themes:

    Understanding the context of Policy Advocacy and writing Structuring and developing a coherent Policy paper Developing a targeted Advocacy Planning Framework


    FEBRUARY 2010

    The programme started by 8.00am with registration and introduction of participants.

    The Opening Speech was given by Ms. Omolara T. Balogun the Policy Advocacy officer, WACSI,

    Ghana who congratulated participants and gave a brief historical background of WACSI and the

    execution of her mandate. She also gave a brief background to the conception of the policy advocacy

    project and its implementation thus far.

    Acting Country Director of OSIWA-Nigeria Mr. Oladayo Olaide in his address commended WACSI for

    the initiative and for the obvious gender balance demonstrated in the selected number of participant

    for the training. He congratulated and enjoined participants to stay active in the training all through.

    Mr. Eion Young (LGI-OSI representative and Course Director) gave an overview of the LGI-OSI

    programmes in Budapest and beyond. He said in his speech that the organization focuses mainly on

    Governance Reforms and democracy through decentralization process. It also focuses on effective

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    communication of policy ideas and research to improve governance. According to Mr. Young, LGI is

    currently working on an Advocacy Manual and conducts trainings in Advocacy in Eastern Europe,

    former Soviet Union and Africa. In collaboration with OSIWA, it runs a Research Fellowship


    Ms. Lisa Quinn (another representative and Course Director for LGI-OSI) gave insight into the

    intensity of the TOT programme which will last for a period of 6 months. According to Ms. Quinn, the

    programme started in October 2009 and has 10 possible trainers selected across West Africa to

    participate in the ToT. She said the on-going training marked the final phase of the 6 months ToT for

    the training and also serves as the certification of the trainers-candidate to be qualified as full fledged

    Policy Advocacy trainers for West African Actors. Four of the ten trainer-candidate will go through the

    certification opportunity in Abuja, another set of four in Monrovia and the last two in Dakar, Senegal.

    She wished the participants a fun-filled and productive training.

    Introduction of Trainer Candidates: The four trainers introduced themselves:

    Mr. Mohammed Alhassan (Ghana), Ms. Margaret Brew-Ward (Ghana), Revd. Kaine Nwashili (Nigeria)

    and Paul Nyulaku Bemshima (Nigeria).

    In her Vote of Thanks, Ms. Balogun thanked the tripartite for supporting the projector in one capacity

    or the other. Specifically, she expressed her appreciation to OSIWA and LGI-OSI for funding the project

    since the pilot phase that held in October, 2008; the OSIWA office in Abuja, Nigeria for supporting the

    preparation/logistic stages of the project; Finally she recognised the effort and assistant of Mr. Peter

    Ocheikwu from OSIWA-Nigeria and also welcomed the two rapporteurs: Ms.Nkiruka Nnaemego and

    Mr. Tope Soremi


    The participants were divided into two groups of 15 each. This report gives account of Group One

    located in Ihiala hall.

    Trainers: Mr. Kaine Nwashili and Mr. Alhassan Mohammed

    Resource persons/Observer: Lisa Quinn and Eion Young

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    DAY ONE: 22ND

    FEBRUARY 2010

    Session One: The session started by 9.30am with an activity by participants who were asked to draw

    the four most important things in their lives.

    Climate Setting: Participants set the following ground rules

    Phones on Vibration

    Respect Opinions

    Minimize Side Talks

    Time Management

    A chief whip (Mr. Joseph Izigbinini) was selected after participants agreed to adopt the Pandora Box

    system to punish defaulters.

    Expectations from the Workshop:

    Participants were asked to write down three expectations and two fears. They shared their experiences

    as a group.

    Summary of participants

    Expectations and fears as indicated by the participants are as follow:


    Acquisition of new skills and techniques

    Networking among participants

    Gain technical expertise

    Ability to write persuasive policy briefs and papers that have an impact on policy and decision


    Sharpen policy formulation in line with existing global standards

    Ability to identify issues and the right policy method of tackling same to achieve a workable



    Sustaining the network after the workshop

    Insufficient time to cover the syllabus

    Content of training may not sufficiently meet the needs of some participants

    Challenges in the implementation of skills acquired

    How to localize the content/context to meet needs

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    Technical Session: Developing effective strategies and communication tools for policy advocacy:

    Context of Advocacy Papers;

    Structure of Policy papers;

    Advocacy Plan using Advocacy Planning Framework (APF)


    Practical and learning centered;

    Targets needs of workshop participants;

    Learning by doing approach;

    Analysis of sample policy papers, research case studies and advocacy tools;

    Participants experience in policy analysis and advocacy

    Breakout Session 1: Participants were divided into groups and asked to get a moderator and a

    rapporteur to discuss their previous experience of writing and/or policy-oriented reports; and the

    challenges of policy advocacy and policy paper writing they face in their work.

    Tea break: 10.30am - 11am

    Session 2: The Session started with the Plenary Session


    Group 1 - Engaging the Police and LegalSystem in Drafting Bills

    - Ignorance of the police

    Group 2 - Research Reports aimed atinfluencing policy

    - Lack of Capacity to write Policy Papers;- Unwillingness to engage with Civil society actors on such


    - Ignorance of issues and inaccurate information on policyissues by Civil Society actors

    Group 3 - Translate research reports intopolicy briefs/writing;

    - Use of policy think-tank group;- Build capacities of audience

    - Poor access to policy makers;- Availability of Policy briefs and need for access to simpler

    policy briefs;

    - Disconnect between federal and state legislators;- Lack of commitment by policy makers

    Group 4 - Platform/Talking Point toengage policy makers

    - Some policy makers do not read much and are thereforenot fully grounded;

    - Discontinuity in the legislative assembly

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    Activity 1: Drafting an Effective Policy Paper

    Breakout Session 2: Participants were asked to discuss five basic characteristics of an Effective Policy


    Group Name Contents of an Effective Policy paper

    The Change Agents Must be clear to all; makes advocacy campaigns unanimous; provides strong links between the past and the present; builds confidence on advocates; builds capacity of CSOs

    The Advocates Targeted to a particular issue; Provides a workable method of addressing the identified issue; written in simple communication methods; be pro-active and futuristic; designed in a way that is implementable and acceptable at all levels

    The Visionaries Coherent, organized and clear message that emphasize the major issues; takes cognizance of the context within which the policy issue is developed and a

    good understanding of the target audience;

    draws on in-depth research, credible/verifiable data and information; action-oriented; acceptable format and attractive layout (structure)

    AJEE Vanguard Based on qualitative and accurate data (well research); content must be in clear and unambiguous language (to enhance understanding

    by policy makers);

    content must address a specific issue (to aid proper implementation); must be derived from broad based consultation and participation of stakeholders; must be time sensitive to the policy development process

    Activity 2: Defining Public Policy

    Participants were asked to read the 6 definitions of Public Policy (see page 10 of the Workbook) and

    underline words from the definitions that they think are central to explaining Public Policy.

    The following words were chosen by participants:


    Cause of action

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    Political decisions

    Achieve societal goalsInterrelated decisions

    Demand for change

    Key perspectives from the definitions of Public Policy:

    Authoritative government action

    Problem-solution relationship

    Addressing specific problems to achieve societal goals (i.e. outcome-oriented)

    A framework that guides decision-making

    A course of action or strategy (goals, decisions and means of achieving)

    Political (value-driven)

    The next activity commenced after lunch break

    Activity 3: The session started with a Role Play by participants on Policy Initi ative Transfer of

    tertiary schools to private owners. Participants were to argue for or against based on

    the role. Participants agreed that the role play depicted the present crises situation in

    Nigeria in terms of policy and decision making processes.

    Activity 4: Participants were asked to consider the education policy network (the people who are

    commonly involved in trying to influence the education issue) in their context as well as

    brainstorm what they associate with the aspects of the policy network: goal/objective of

    the network, types of organizations, interests/values, and means of communicating.

    Group Policy



    Means of






    What network

    members seeks

    to achieve when


    The Change


    NUJ,NAWOJ, MDAs Media, Letters

    and Memo, IEC


    CSOs, Media,



    Achieve a vibrant


    system in Nigeria




    Students Union,

    NANS, Faith Based


    Town Criers, IEC

    Strategy used in

    local languages,

    The Liberals, the


    and the

    Transformation of




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    Traditional Rulers,



    Strikes Conservatives



    Women groups,

    School Owners,

    PTA, Banks,

    Education focused



    Fora, Town Hall


    Advocacy Visits

    and Lobbying,



    Rallies, Policy








    Influence decisions

    and protect

    interests, gain

    visibility, induce

    policy change, pre-

    empt a course of

    action to guide

    decision making




    Trade Unions: NLC,


    SAANU, National

    Commission for

    Polytechnics and

    Colleges of

    Education; Ministry

    of Education,

    National Assembly,

    Social Media

    Protests, Non-



    Students, Faith

    Based Groups,





    Achieve set



    information to

    government as

    well as engage

    policy makers


    Activity 5: Purpose of the Policy Paper

    Participants were asked to read the description of the purpose of the policy (page 15 of the workbook)

    and underline the words that they think is most suitable or key to defining the purpose as well as

    discuss their choice with their group.

    Group Name Choice Key Words on the Purpose of the Policy Paper

    The Change Agents Justifying, Recommendations

    The Advocates act as a decision making tool, problem-solution application

    The Visionaries Comprehensive and Persuasive

    AJEE Vanguard Call to Action, Target Audience

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    Activity 6: Policy Papers used in the Policy Community

    Participants were asked to review the differences between the two main types of policy papers (policy

    briefs and policy study) and discuss with their groups.

    Group Main points of difference between Policy Study and Policy Brief

    The Change Agents Policy Briefs are usually not more than 10 pages

    The Advocates Size

    The Visionaries Policy Briefs are easier to use to engage policy makers than Policy Study

    AJEE Vanguard Length of document (Policy study is sometimes very lengthy and often

    disseminated widely)

    DAY 2: Tuesday, 23rd

    February 2010

    The workshop started by 8.30am with a recap of Day 1 activities by participants.

    Participants were asked to write down four new words they learnt at Day 1. They had a game within

    their group to match the words with relevant meanings.

    Key words: identified by participants were advocacy, persuasive, decisions.

    New words: Policy Study, Policy Brief, Value Vs. Interest, Talking PointsMost Interesting words: Strikes, Policy network mapping, Advocacy Planning Framework

    Activity 7: Common Structural Elements of the Policy Study


    Table of Contents

    Abstract/Executive Summary


    Problem Description

    Policy OptionsConclusion and Recommendations




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    Participants were shared into four groups to look at the purpose of the element, the contents/main features of the element and

    other important points. The four elements are Introduction, Problem Description, Policy Options and Conclusion/Recommendations.

    References were made to the Training Guidebook.

    Group Element Purpose Contents of the Element Advice

    Group 1 Introduction - Defines the main content,- gives an overview of the paper

    which serves to maintain the

    readers interests, brings out the

    nature of the policy problem,

    - it gives the reader a clear idea ofthe direction, focus and main

    ideas developed throughout the

    body of the paper

    - Context of the policy problem,- definition of the problem,- statement of interest,- methodology and limitations

    of the study,

    - roadmap of the paper

    - is context brief and focused on theproblem,

    - communication of nature and urgencyof the problem, - clearly state purpose,

    - introduction should be clear,- introduction should be properly

    organized and clearly presented

    Group 2 Problem Description - To identify, define and elaboratethe nature of the problem focused


    - to convince the reader that theissue in focus requires

    government action,

    -provide a framework for acomprehensive policy response


    - Background of the problem,

    - problems within its current

    policy environment, -

    organized based on Topic,

    Purpose and Audience

    -Argument must be coherent,- convincing and easy to follow.- there must be clear links between and

    within all elements of your argument

    Group 3 Policy Options - Outline, evaluate and comparethe possible policy alternatives;

    - provide a convincing argumentfor the preferred policy


    -focus on reporting a decisionmade;

    - Framework of analysis, -

    Evaluation of policy alternatives

    - A more writer driven focus;

    - less prominent use of primary or

    secondary sources in the argument;

    - coherent construction of the elements

    of the argument and paragraphing

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    - build a clear and coherent link tothe conclusions and

    recommendations element of the


    Group 4 Conclusion and


    - To crystallize/synthesize majorfindings;

    - to outline the course of actiontowards problem-solving;

    - to leave a lasting impression on

    the target audience;

    - to present a clear overview of thepolicy study

    - Synthesis of the major findings;- a clear set of policy


    -practical steps needed forimplementation;

    - a final/concluding remarks

    - Clarity,

    - Practicability,

    - Persuasiveness,

    - logicality,

    - comprehensive,

    - brevity/conciseness

    The Problem tree was used to explain the relationship between the four elements and the timeline (Past, present and future).

    Activity 8: Policy Papers and Academic Papers

    Participants were asked to discuss the differences between policy papers and traditional academic papers.

    Groups Academic Papers Policy Papers Purpose Outcome

    Group 1 Evidence Based


    Issue driven Objectivity To provide general recommendation;

    call to a decisive action

    Value Driven

    Group 2 Evidence Based


    Evidence Based Subjectivity Influence policy changes for common


    Advocate and lobby

    Group 3 Evidence Based


    Specific policy designed to

    convince policy makers

    Deepen understanding of the issue in

    focus and provide policy options

    Provoke public debate about the

    issue and serve as reference

    points for policy makers,

    Group 4 Evidence Based


    Specific Policy Contribute to policy & decision making

    and advanced the course of the interest


    Policy Change

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    The session started with an Energizer where participants were asked to choose partners. A partner

    dictates some sentences while the other writes down. The couple with the right words won the game.

    Activity 3: Contextual factors framing any policy project

    Participants were asked to match the 6 steps in the policy-making process (on page 12 of theWorkbook) with their appropriate definition and put the 6 steps in the policy-making process in the

    appropriate order on the diagram (page 13 of the Workbook).

    Participants were also asked to work with their partners to answer the following questions:

    - Why do you think this model of the policy-making process is called the policy cycle?- Does the policy cycle model reflect the approach to policymaking in your country?- Describe the development of a current policy issue using the steps of the policy cycle- Which stages of the policy cycle do policy paper writers usually target?

    Groups Policy Cycle Policy Cycle


    Development of a

    current Policy issue

    Stages targeted by

    Policy Paper writers

    Group 1 There is no end point to the

    cycle because its a revolving


    Yes, to an extent. Stages 4 - 6 Stage 4

    Group 2 Has to be religiously


    Yes Stages 1 - 4 Stage 1 - 3

    Group 3 It is a complete process;each stage informs the

    previous and next stages

    Yes Stages 1 3 Stage 3

    Group 4 Its a logical, inter-related


    Yes Stages 1 4 Stage 1 -6

    The Kidneys and the Policy Window proposed by Kingdom were used to explain the stages of the

    policy cycle targeted by policy paper writers.

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    The workshop started with a warmer- The participants were asked to write down and share 2 truths

    and 1 lie about themselves.

    Participants were made to sit in groups according to the colours of paper-sticks given for the exercise.

    The groups were divided based on the different part of a policy study they will be examining. These

    includes: Problem Group (Yellow), Options Group (Pink), and Conclusions & Recommendations Group

    (Orange). Participants were later shared into four groups to share lessons learnt.

    Recap of Day 2 activities:

    Policy cycle is not an end in itself; it is ongoing

    Policy cycle is a complete cycle, one stage leads to another

    Policy window or policy moment involves the problem description, solutions and political will

    Activity 9: Common structural elements of a Policy Study and Policy Brief

    Participants were asked to get some arguments/data on policy study and policy brief using the

    Lithuania Policy paper provided as Sample

    Political Economy

    Towards results based governance


    Performance management

    Practicable/tangible policies

    Plenary Session:

    The following observations were made by participants from the sample papers on Lithuania and

    Guinea given to them.

    - The conclusions and recommendations of the policy study are well laid out unlike the policy brief;- Problems addressed in the policy brief are comprehensive but not well captured (font-size usage)- Policy brief was a bit detailed and more direct (no preamble) when compared with the Policy study.- Policy Study gave two sides of the problem and is more of an academic exercise;- Policy study did not make any strong call for action;- Policy study was more convincing and the arguments were technically advanced with the use of


    - Policy brief was analytical and had an urgent call for action- Policy brief appeared more like a flag sheet; its target audience is- Policy study is restrictive and appeared like an academic exercise trying to inform a decision

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    - Policy brief is more appealing than the policy study because the former has a call for action whilethe latter is more of an academic exercise

    - Policy study is proactive while policy brief is reactive- Policy study focuses more on Stages 1 -4 (Problem Definition to Policy Design)-

    Policy Brief covers Stages 1 3

    Participants were also exposed to contextual factors framing any policy project.

    Ways of disseminating Policy Study and Brief:




    Print Media,

    Fact Sheets,

    Consultative fora,

    Press Conferences,


    Target Audience of Policy Study/Policy Brief:




    Military Junta,


    Opinion Leaders,



    Foreign Embassies,


    DAY 4: 25TH

    FEBRUARY 2010

    The days activities started with a recap. Participants were asked to write down three words that are

    interesting to them. They had a competition to determine their level of IQ and retention of things they

    have been taught from the first day of the training till date.

    Activity 10: Defining Advocacy: Concepts, actors and roles

    Participants were asked to use the spidergram to brainstorm words they associate with the term

    advocacy. The following words were identified by participants: Plead, campaign, argue, influence,

    change, persuade, lobby, position, convince, propose, support, action, issue, recommend, legislate,

    propagate, canvass, educate, demonstrate, communicate, policy, threaten, disobey, defend, aid,

    dissuade, conscientize, mobilize, etc.

    Participants were exposed to the key elements of advocacy and developing effective advocacy

    strategies and communication tools for policy action.

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    Participants were paired to share one sentence definition of advocacy in a policy context using three

    scenarios stated on page 29 of the Workbook. They were also asked to describe the advocacy activities

    of three Organizations on page 29 of the Workbook.

    Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa: This is a Think Tank GroupDissemination


    Capacity Building

    Research/Evidence-based work

    Think Tank work

    International Crises Group: This is a Lobbyist Group







    Coalition for Domestic Violence Legislative in Ghana (DV Coalition): This is the Service Delivery &

    Activist Group:







    Service Delivery


    Participants were asked to put the three organizations on the graph of co-operation vs evidence on the


    Activity 11: Introduction to the Advocacy Planning Framework (APF)

    Participants were asked to bring out three main points from their section of the reading Introduction

    to the Advocacy Planning Frameworkand give a short presentation to the group on their assigned

    element of the Advocacy Planning Framework.

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    Participants were asked to write down and share with their group 3 adjectives that start with their

    names and match with their personality

    Plenary Session:Finding the most suitable way into the process using the Advocacy Planning Framework:

    Group 1: The Process

    - The process focuses on the following points:- Mobilize advocates for mapping out work around planned policy advocacy efforts- Provide series of guiding questions for the mapping out work (i.e. demand openings)- Guide advocates to the most suitable route and timing into the processGroup 2: The Message

    - The essence of the message is to find the right focus and the right means of communication topersuade the target audience. The message must be:

    - Understandable: Written in simple language, have new & interesting things, be short and direct- Attractive: in Format and Packaging- Convincing: to the Target audience, mode of presentation using pictorials, graphics, translationsGroup 3: The Messenger

    - The messenger is as important as the message. He is the face of the messenger, he is the soul ofthe message;

    - The messenger could be a person, organization or a coalition;- The messenger must have enough credibility, power, resources, clout to carry people along,

    support within his coalition. He must be legitimate for the message to be taken serious.

    Group 4: Advocacy Planning Framework

    - The group focused on the following:- Leverage: is the entry point to consider the main issues. The following processes are involved to

    bring alternatives and choose the best solutions:

    - The lever: this is where the messenger is and where all relevant stakeholders are broughttogether to discuss strategies to move the process forward (resource mobilization). These are

    the strategies to help move the process ahead.

    - The Message: This involves what is being communicated and how to communicate it .e.g.through conferences, policy briefs, newsletters, etc

    Data gathering applies to all the processes to show enough evidence for choosing the type of solution.

    Also, evaluation has to be conducted to track and measure progress.

    Participants were asked to read pages 45 49 of the Workshop on the APF.

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    Activity 13: Constructing a persuasive message for your target audience

    Participants were asked to choose the areas to prioritize in constructing a persuasive message for a

    particular target audience and come up with four options from the 12 options on page 41 of the


    Group 1:

    Possibility of getting funding from ECOWAS, AU and the UN to strengthen the countrys military

    May get advance military training and up-date weapons for your military

    Your country may gain recognition and respect from the African Union and United Nations for

    its direct participation

    Has greater chances to reduce human deaths and the destruction of properties in the event

    that civil conflict broke in any ECOWAS member state

    Group 2:

    Possibility of getting funding from ECOWAS, AU and the UN to strengthen the countrys military

    May get advance military training and up-date weapons for your military

    Your country may gain recognition and respect from the African Union and United Nations for

    its direct participation

    Will help in making decisions about how to develop security services at the national level

    Could allow your military to work closely with relatively advanced, prestigious and experienced

    militaries like the Nigerian, Ghanaian and Senegalese

    The Correct Options:

    Participants were given the following options as the four correct options:

    May get advance military training and up-date weapons for your military

    Possibility of getting funding from ECOWAS, AU and the UN to strengthen the countrys military

    Your country may gain recognition and respect from AU, Military and Police

    Could allow your military to work closely with relatively advanced, prestigious and experienced

    militaries like the Nigerian, Ghanaian and Senegalese.

    Exercise: Participants were asked to say constructing persuasive advocacy messages and make notes

    about their conclusions.

    They were taught the 7 processes for constructing effective advocacy messages

    1. Have a clear objective2. Know the process3. Know your audience4. Present the tip of the iceberg

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    5. Keep it simple, at the beginning, questions will come after6. Get them into the research7. Overallmessage must be consumable, plausible and striking

    DAY 5: 26TH

    FEBRUARY 2010

    The days activities started with a game where participants were made to say the names of other

    participants and facilitators.

    Resource 1: Guidelines for your advocacy plan

    Participants were asked to read pages 45 49 and do the practical exercise on page 50.

    1. Impact of the Training.The training was contagious

    Improved skills and knowledge in policy process

    New lessons and experience learning about policy briefs

    New words were learnt

    New approach and strategy involved in policy process

    More knowledge acquisition

    How do you intend to use materials from the training?

    - As a resource material to design and develop policy briefs and policy study- As a reference material for individual and group use- As a Step-down Training Guide- Materials for Policy experts and Consultants- As a Real Companion to gain more understand and training manual

    2. Follow-Up Activities:Policy writing and advocacy by participants at organizational level

    feedback to workshop organizers on how to make the training practicable in our


    Effective Network mechanism among participants, organizers and trainers. E.g. Listserve

    Follow up trainings and networking meetings by organizers for participants

    Partnership building among participants to share ideas and projects, advocate and lobby

    policy makers

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    Prompting questions by organizers to participants to clarify issues and bridge

    communication gaps

    Draw up Policy Case study on Nigeria


    Suggest what can be added to the training manualTraining on Policy Analysis should be conducted for Policy Advocates to empower them

    Icebreakers and Energizers

    4. What is your experience in using the APF as a planning toolA good guideline for aggregating points

    Provided a platform to know various areas to focus on

    Putting the message together was a bit tasking for some participants especially in terms of

    convincing others

    The APF simplified and made the process clearer

    It is thought-provoking

    It allows a lot of people to contribute their ideas based on their understanding of issues

    5. Were the expectations meant?Most of the expectations were met. Skills and techniques were enhanced

    6. Were Participants Fears addressed?Most challenges and fears expressed by participants were addressed by the training.

    Contents of syllabus were covered

    Closing Event:

    The closing event was facilitated by the Policy Advocacy officer- Ms. Balogun. Having expressed her

    gratitude for the commitment and dedication demonstrated by all participants, trainers, resources

    persons, rappouteurs present all through the training period. She specially thanked Mr. Oladayo Olaide

    (Acting Director, OSIWA-Nigeria) for his availability to close the 5 days workshop. She appreciated the

    technical support provided by the LGI resources persons/Course Director Ms. Quinn and Mr. Young

    for the trainers and participants, particularly in giving advance clarification on few sessions in the


    Ms. Balogun, commenced the review of the 5days workshop by calling on the participants to give their

    opinion on the entire workshop from contents to context, materials, trainers, resources persons,

    partners and fellow participants. She requested that participant also includes in their submission

    critical comment on areas where they thought the workshop package should have been better.

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    General Comments:

    Participants submitted that the Trainers were adequate and well prepared for the training; they used

    good communication skills and teaching method to ensure that participants learn in a relaxed manner.

    They commended the experiential learning method used as being very strategic and just right for the

    group of participant present mostly adult learning method. Other comments on the trainer arehighlighted below;

    Trainers were outstanding; humble and patient with participants; Trainers adopted excellent training methodology; and Posses good contextual knowledge of the Nigeria political and policy environment

    The types of Energizers and group works adopted during the training were also very innovative and

    inspiring according to the participants from the two groups (Group A and B); Training Materials

    provided were very comprehensive, easy to understand, thought-provoking and appealing to senses.

    The participant appreciated the conscious effort of gender equity on the part of the partners,

    especially WACSI who was responsible for the shortlisted participants. They commended the balanced-

    ratio in Gender representation; Good and complete welfare package including feeding,

    accommodation and training venue; and respect for time management.

    Critical Comments:

    Participants emphasized the need to respect cultural/religious values of participants especiallywith regards to faith based issues and institutions.

    According to Mr. Joseph Izigbine, there is need to have more localized case studies in themanual;

    The need to foster relationship and interaction between groups was emphasized. Mr. TonyOjukwu offered;

    Mr. Uso Excellence submitted that trainers need to adopt group management skills for effectiveparticipation of every member in a group. He further reiterated the need to introduce

    Tourist/Pleasure trips and Relaxation activities that will ease the intensity of the training; and

    Ms. Aisha appreciated the trainers, organizers especially staff of WACSI and the rapporteurs,she however enjoined the organizers to always include in a space for opening/closing prayers

    before and after workshops.

    Ms. Balogun opened the floor for participants to propose best follow-up mechanisms, which partners

    could adopt to establish a networking among the different parties present at the workshop. She also

    requested the participants to highlight areas in which they might require further assistance from the

    workshop partners i.e. WACSI, OSIWA and or LGI-OSI. In this regards, participants offered the following


  • 8/3/2019 Policy Advocacy and Engagement Training Narrative Report - Abuja Nigeria 1 (Feb 2010)




    Overall, participants commended the organizers for a great workshop; they however made some

    recommendations to target at improving the implementation of similar workshops in future. Other

    recommendations include:


    It was recommended that the training be scared-up for participants to enhance competence inpolicy strategy/paper writing (Ms. Balogun assured participants that WACSI is mandated to

    building the individual capacity of civil society actors in order to strengthen their organizations)

    - Organisers, especially WACSI requested to maintain contacts with and among participants toinfluence policy decisions making processes in Nigeria.

    - Participant agreed that future training should include a practical session where participant canhave Orientation/tour to the National Assembly, and possibly witness a decision making process

    - It is adviced that, due to the centrality of communication to Policy engagement, advocacy andcampaign/lobbying, the training should include amongst other session, a Core Communication

    Skills session that will give detail expertise strategies needed for effective policy analysis and

    influencing. The training handbook should also integrate a comprehensive communication

    module into it before final publishing.

    - The Soft copies of the Training materials was advised to be made available to the participantsprior to the training (this was rejected by the two partners WACSI and LGI-OSI present, on the

    ground that, the manual are still going through stages of review process and will surely be

    published and disseminate). This will help to instill quality control measure and minimize the

    number of versions to exit.

    Trainers Experience:

    At the end of the 5days training workshop, the trainers were given opportunity to make brief

    comments about the training. The following comments were made:

    - Learnt a lot from participants and enjoyed the workshop- Participants were resourceful- Participants are deep in knowledge and enthusiastic- Participants were easy to work with- Participants asked good questions and gave constructive feedback to trainers- Participants were very cooperative

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    Lisa & Eion:

    The representative of LGI also gave a brief comment about their impression of the 5day training. They


    - the four trainers for excellent training method-

    WACSI, OSIWA and all participants for their support and active participation

    Mr. Dayo Oladayo Olaide, Acting Director, OSIWA-Nigeria:

    The Acting Director of OSIWA-Nigeria graced the closing ceremony with his presence. According to

    him, Mr. Olaide commended the trainers, the partners (especially WACSI) for playing the most critical

    of roles in the implementation of the project. He went further to congratulate the participants for their

    commitment and dedication demonstrated through the 5days training. He enjoined participants to

    step the training through feedback and follow-up mechanisms. In his final words, Mr. Olaide

    encouraged participants to put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired into their daily activities

    and actively participates in the online forum created and managed by WACSI.

    Ms. Omolara Balogun, Policy Advocacy Officer, WACSI:

    Ms. Balogun rounded up the closing remarks, first by commending the former Executive Director of

    WACSI Ms. Thelma Ekiyor for conceiving and pushing for the initiative behind the Policy Advocacy

    Project. Specifically, she commended on her exhibiting great zeal which resulted at the implementation

    of this project. She thanked the Executive Director of OSIWA-regional based in Dakar, Dr. Nana Tanko

    for supporting project, both financially and morally. She expressed her appreciation to the

    management and staff of OSIWAs country office in Nigeria, especially, her Acting-Country Director,

    and specially, Mr. Peter Ocheikwu, for mapping out general logistics prior to the commencement of the


    Ms. Balogun appreciated LGI-OSI for co-financing the project with OSIWA. In her words, she specially

    thanked Eoin and Lisa for supporting the project, all through the implementation stages, particularly

    for acclimatizing to the West African weather during their stay. She encouraged the trainers by

    appreciating the high level of commitment demonstrated throughout the six month ToT process.

    Ms. Balogun expressed her gratitude to the entire staff and management of WACSI. She thanked the

    interim-executive Director, Dr. Esi Sutherland Addy for her support and leadership direction through

    the leadership gap in the organisation. She thanks all management and staff, especially Mr. Yaya

    Ramde for his support. Finally, she thanked the participants and rapporteurs for their absolute


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    Follow-Up strategy and Networking:

    The Policy Advocacy officer stated the importance of following up with the participants, trainers and all

    partners to the project. She mentioned that WACSI as the implementing partner of the tripartite has

    put together a communication link, through which information will be disseminated; avenue to

    continue sharing idea and experiences on the Nigerian political environment and policy processes;sharing policy , studies and briefs. In this regard, WACSI created yahoo group to ensure this

    relationship building among participants;

    Group name: [email protected]

    Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/policyadvocacy_westafrica

    Group email: [email protected]

    - Make conscious effort to establish Network with organization and co-participants- Frequently contact trainers and facilitators for guidance

    Participants Certification Process:

    Ms. Omolara Balogun apologized to participants for the inability to provide suitable certificates due to

    some unexpected constraints. She however promised that the certificates will be ready in few days and

    will be present at the OSIWA-Nigeria country office for participants to collect. Meanwhile the available

    certificates were the LGI representatives, Mr. Young and Ms. Quinn while the last set was presented by

    Mr. Olaide, OSIWA-Nigeria, acting country director.

    Vote of Thanks:

    In her remarks, Ms. Omolara congratulated participants. She also enjoined them to submit their

    evaluation forms.


    The workshop was very successful; the training manuals were comprehensive and addressed key areas

    for intervention. In Nigeria, due to current political instability and conflict situations, it is highly

    recommended that next phase of the training in Nigeria should target policy advocates from conflict

    prone areas such as Niger Delta region, Plateau State, Bauchi. Also, the workshop should also be

    designed such that it will provide a platform for both Policy makers and policy advocates to meet and

    discuss. This will help facilitate policy engagement as well as provide partnership opportunities for

    policy makers and advocates to work towards an effective policy system in Nigeria. There is also need

    to do more Training of Trainers for Nigerian Policy advocates so they can use their experience and

    background knowledge about Nigeria to effectively deliver the training across Nigeria.

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]://groups.yahoo.com/group/policyadvocacy_westafricahttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/policyadvocacy_westafricamailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]://groups.yahoo.com/group/policyadvocacy_westafricamailto:[email protected]
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