In this first section of the PLAN module we will explore how to design a clear strategy to help you achieve your immunisation aims. A successful advocacy strategy draws on your research from the THINK module. It will help you map out where you want to go and how you are going to get there.
The WHY, WHEN, WHO & HOW…
Developing a strategy is the most effective and efficient way to work. Having a strategy for your advocacy efforts will help you to outline your vision and goals, identify the stakeholders that will need to be involved and how you will reach them. A strategy helps you map out how change can occur.
The best timing to develop your advocacy strategy is before you start working. It is important that you have a clear picture of where you stand and what you want to achieve. Before developing your advocacy strategy ask yourself:
- Why is now the time to act on improving immunisation programming in your country?
- Why should stakeholders care at this moment?
- Why should decision-makers act now?
Remember…choosing when to implement an advocacy plan is often just as important as what you are hoping to achieve.
If you have partners or natural allies, consider bringing them in at this point.
The strategy can, of course, be designed individually or in consultation with other partners and/or stakeholders.
Your initial landscape analysis, stakeholder mapping and gap analysis will help you tremendously and serve as the basis for developing your advocacy strategy and for starting to think pro-actively around building strategic partnerships.
THE ADVOCACY STRATEGY FORMULA
The below formula features the core elements of your immunisation advocacy strategy:
Vision + Goal + Objectives Strategy
Let’s take a closer look at each of the components of this formula:
What is a vision?
A vision is a clear description of the future. When creating a vision together with partners and stakeholders it is called a “shared vision”.
To keep everyone inspired, motivated and headed in the same direction you should develop a vision statement – a single sentence describing the future you desire to create.
What is your vision?
What will the world look like when you’re successful? Is your vision aligned with what other stakeholders or immunisation partners are also trying to achieve?
How to inspire action
- Make sure people own it!
- Make it concrete – support it with achievable goals.
- Suggest actions that will change the future.
Examples of inspiring vision statements
- Each and every child is fully immunised.
- No child dies of a vaccine-preventable disease.
- Every child, everywhere, can access life-saving vaccines.
What are the steps needed to achieve the vision?
Defining your advocacy goals will help you move towards your vision. Unlike your broad vision statement, your advocacy goal needs to be specific and focused. It is a tangible step to achieve your vision.
What are your tangible goals?
Your goals will be about bridging the gap between where the situation is now, and where it needs to be. Developing clear, strong and targeted advocacy goals is important and can be challenging. The gap analysis section will help you identify the gaps and the changes that are needed. The findings from your gap analysis and your landscape mapping should help you formulate your goals. In short, your goals will describe what you want to achieve in a specific timeframe.
The key components of your goals will include:
- What are your desired changes?
- Who will help make the changes happen (which decision-maker or institution)?
- By when?
Once you will have conducted your gap analysis, use the worksheet provided below to develop your smart goals.
A SMART objective is:
Specific: targets a specific improvement
Measurable: quantifies an indicator of progress
Achievable: realistic and attainable
Result-oriented: what can realistically be achieved with resources
Time-bound: gives a clear timeframe
What is an objective?
It’s an accomplishment or milestone that will contribute to the overall goal.
It is a step towards achieving your goal.
Good objectives are clear, specific, achievable, and will result in a significant impact.
The following questions will help you define your objectives;
- WHO is the specific decision-maker you want to take action?
- WHAT specific action is needed to move things forward?
- WHEN should the action occur?
Is this a SMART Objective? Does it answer the WHO, WHAT, WHEN?
“Create a Taskforce to draft a communications plan for the introduction of rotavirus vaccine”
Example of SMART Objective: “The Director of the EPI of the Minister of Health will create a Taskforce, including 1 representative from EPI, WHO, UNICEF, and 2 CSOs to draft a communications plan for the introduction of rotavirus vaccine by the end of 2015.”