The Advocacy and Research Unit aims to enhance various civil society stakeholders’ capacities for informed and educated negotiations for pro-people actions. The unit creates a synergetic convergence of its three diverse activities: research, information dissemination, and advocacy.
The unit also creates a platform, by generating knowledge, where various and relevant stakeholders can lobby, safeguard, and negotiate for their interests.
Topics of interest are selected, and in a participatory manner, a discourse ensues from which core and periphery issues are identified. Based on the identified issues, a research agenda is set. Research mainly considers the following:
- What were the causes of the issue (to establish cause and effect around an issue)?
- What were the effects (the problem in hand) of the issue?
- What are the alternatives for that particular issue?
- What were the problems in the methodology (bottlenecks)?
- What are the recommendations to tackle those bottlenecks (future action)?
The unit facilitates forums and discussions on the research; the outcome is used to improve upon the original research which is made available in written forms such as booklets and case studies.
Information dissemination is a mechanism used to communicate findings from research and forums. The unit mainly focuses on two forms of information dissemination: presentations (i.e. case studies) and seminars. The former is shared with specific audiences via post and electronic mail while the latter is used primarily to share the research publicly with media and academia.
The unit measures the effectiveness of this mechanism by periodically surveying recipients of information to determine the level and degree of action taken based upon the presented research.
The unit’s guiding principle for advocacy is to select the right issues at the right time and at the right place.
Advocacy is the culmination of the research and information dissemination activities. Although a research topic is selected based upon evidence of its significance and impact factors, some research develops into stronger thematic issues that require further and more developed attention. By ascertaining the quality and significance of a particular research, the unit identifies key issues for which a policy statement can be developed. This policy statement is shared with relevant stakeholders for consideration and future action.