An essential instrument of change for the Syrian people.
We have always heard about the necessity of conducting advocacy campaigns for several issues. The audience demands civil society institutions constantly support such campaigns with their various specializations toward fulfilling desired objectives.
Generally, these civil society institutions are working in several ways, toward the response to any social crisis, or to push the development forward in the targeted society. This significant role gives these institutions more power and effect on the decision-making process, especially when they lead such advocacy campaigns.
We can define “advocacy” as an organized process to defend a significant issue or person, on behalf of the concerned party to recover missing rights, improve the standard of living, ensuring social justice and equity for him and others in a society with similar troubles.
In other words, social advocacy campaigns are considered an attempt to gain endorsement and mobilization for a significant political, social, or economic issue. The main objective would be making some social change, which can contribute to the community-based overall change process.
Most commonly types includes advocacy campaigns for petiolated women, supporting refugees’ rights, combating corruption, and other campaigns that seeks to provide proofs contributing to change in policies and attitudes.
Effective advocacy campaigns requirements:
Advocacy campaigns no longer achieve their objectives easily, unless to be more effective by being characterized by some advantages. Especially in the modern digital revolution which is available for everyone.
Honesty and realism are considered among the most important conditions for advocacy campaigns, as societies are full of serious troubles and challenges leading to effective campaigns.
Moreover, decisions related to such campaigns must be collaborative between considered parties and their defendants. Suitable coordination is needed between civil society organizations participating in campaigns and the community as a whole.
Not to mention that campaigns’ objectives must be determined clearly before launching, such as to pressure decision-making parties for modifying some regulations and laws, achieve social justice toward a significant issue or other clear and applicable objectives.
Why do we adopt advocacy campaigns?
As laws and regulations organizing societies are not applied totally, there is a need for another supporting source away from laws’ rigid texts.
So, the main objective of advocacy is to defend some issues effectively and to make pressure leading to support these issues.
In this manner, we adopt similar advocacy campaigns to support concerned parties, develop or even change policies and regulations related to a significant group of people, and maintain society awareness that ensures troubles are solved and never repeated.
For example, advocacy campaigns for Syrian displaced and refugees, along with mobilization efforts toward humanitarian treatment for them considering their tough circumstances and employment generation. All previous efforts will create a constant awareness about improving Syrian people’s circumstances, and enhancing the thoughts related to protecting refugees’ rights in general.
How are advocacy campaigns implemented?
Such advocacy campaigns require clear procedures to fulfill positive results.
In the beginning, we shall determine a significant objective related to the considered issue. Then, we can define the targeted groups.
In most cases, targeted groups are the decision-making parties alongside social awareness. In this matter, the key role of the advocacy campaigns emerged, which is to link various concerned groups attempting to converge views leading to fulfilling objectives.
It’s not only about convincing concerned parties about the issue monitoring necessity, organizers shall ensure that the audience would become effective and realistic part. Also, they shall ascertain that media and civil society institutions are supporting advocacy toward improving it and converting it into a real pressure group.
Each advocacy campaign adopts certain strategies regarding its nature, as there are campaigns with legal issues, political, or media-related. Some campaigns require more than one strategy.
Once the timeline determined for the campaign is complete, we can evaluate how successful it was and take corrective actions for future campaigns.
How do we increase the chance of success for advocacy campaigns?
We can address the challenges facing social advocacy campaigns through the following:
- Ally with other or external parties and organizations affirmative with campaign issue, this could increase campaign’s effectiveness.
- Adopting a clear and resolute speech that urges taking a certain stance.
- Revealing the campaign organizers, and supporting them with sufficient evidence that clarifies their position.
- Making sure to adopt credibility within all stages of the campaign.
- Constant funding.
A peek at advocacy campaigns for the Syrian people.
As the events in Syria began in 2011, there are many advocacy campaigns launched. These campaigns’ objectives were to urge European countries to hostile Syrian refugees, fund-raising, and highlight their humanitarian suffering.
Campaigns adopted different methods, some of them adopted cyberspace, others attempted to call politicians, and some campaigns adopted media and humanitarian aspects.
In the beginning, many campaigns succeeded to fulfill objectives on the ground. However, started to gradually lose momentum.
Although many countries opened their borders to refugees, and different mass media adopted the mission of revealing humanitarian crimes. But what we’re noticing nowadays is just individual and random advocacy campaigns.
Regardless of recent campaigns organized by civil society institutions every once in a while, many activists try to build advocacy campaigns concerned with a prominent case related to the Syrian people. However, their mission won’t go smoothly as mega complicated challenges face them. We can understand the scene clearly as the Syrian tragedy became an international interest among mega powers rather than an interior conflict among Syrians themselves!
MIDMAR took part in social advocacy campaigns.
At MIDMAR, we undertook the mission of supporting change in societies. So, we’re performing many efforts toward society’s empowerment through advocacy, networking, adopting youth initiatives, and organizational development.