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Mobilization and action; Self assessment and Measuring progress

The mobilization and action phase of the advocacy process, which will be explored in greater detail later in this module; is the natural outcome of the strategic planning phase and is inextricably linked with communication and education throughout the advocacy process. During this phase, the following activities will occur:

  • Implementation of the advocacy strategy and plan;
  • Legal and political actions;
  • Interested and affected groups take action to secure change; and
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the process.

This phase of the advocacy process is in the section entitled “Taking Action.”

Engage in self-assessment and adaptation of advocacy strategy

To achieve success, advocates must be willing to continuously adapt the advocacy strategy and lobbying tactics as new information, progress and setbacks provide feedback on the effectiveness of the effort.  For example, with legislative advocacy because of the number of variables involved in passing new legislation or amending existing legislation, advocates must be flexible while at the same time persistent in moving forward with the objectives.  Advocates and lobbyists should:

  • Know the legislative process and procedure and negotiate it constantly;
  • Seek effective champions and make sure they receive credit among their peers and in public throughout the process;
  • Remain true to principles, but be willing to be flexible on the details such as timing and the scope of the legislation’s provisions or methods of implementation;
  • Build support and intensity, while choosing moves carefully;
  • Engage in vote counting constantly and learn how one member’s vote affects another member’s vote while also assessing the legislative body’s culture;
  • Evaluate selected activities for potential risks to constituents;
  • Mobilize constituents based on vote counts to influence legislators at the critical points in the advocacy effort;
  • Establish the NGO as an authoritative and credible resource to gain standing with legislators and other decision makers – remember that one of the most important accomplishments is to have a legislator solicit advice on an issue;
  • Evaluate and modify the message for people working at the grassroots level on the issue – it needs to be understandable and not too technical;
  • Refine tactics and strategies so that ineffective ones are discarded and new approaches incorporated into evolving campaigns; and
  • Always listen carefully – hear what the grassroots, legislators, media, and community (local, national, regional and international) are saying and pay attention to what they say, weighing it and making strategic changes as needed.

See: Legislative Advocacy Resource Guide:  Promoting Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Global Rights, 12, 2005; and

Women’s Human Rights Step by Step, Women, Law & Development International and Human Rights Watch, 1997.

CASE STUDY:  In Mongolia, advocates began lobbying for the passage of a law against domestic violence in 1996 encountering numerous challenges during the eight year process of securing its enactment.  The Law on Combating Domestic Violence was unanimously adopted by the Parliament of Mongolia on May 13, 2004.  Approximately a year after the passage of the law, which applies to family members and relatives, the death of a boy who had previously been beaten by his step-father led to several other changes in the government’s response to domestic violence.  The Mongolian National Center Against Violence (NCAV) lobbied the government to create a national program to address domestic violence, which led to partial government funding for shelters.  The NCAV also asked the Mongolian Supreme Court to review the Law on Combating Domestic Violence and interpret the provisions and provide guidance to practitioners.  The Supreme Court declared that “the issuance of a restraining order for the perpetrator shall not require proof of physical damage to the victim and that separation measures mean that the court require the perpetrator not to live with the victim(s) in the same home.”  See:  Response from the National Center Against Violence, 12 March 2010; Mongolia Adopts Domestic Violence Bill, StopVAW, 8 June 2004; Mongolia Adopts Domestic Violence Bill, UNIFEM Currents Newsletter, May/June 2004.

In 2013, Advocates for Human Rights traveled to Mongolia to conduct an assessment of the domestic violence law and the effectiveness and scope of its implementation.  In so doing, they conducted interviews with police, prosecutor, judges, social service providers, NGOs, and government officials.  They anticipate producing a report before October 2013, in advance of the introduction and mooting of proposed amendments to the domestic violence law. 


Measure progress toward goal and achievement of objectives

The final phase of the advocacy process is the measurement of progress toward the goals and objectives.  In some cases, the progress made will not necessarily be a tangible result; but rather may be the strengthening of relationships with the target audience and among coalition members or stakeholders.  In other cases, the progress will be tangible, such as the passage of a new law against domestic violence or human trafficking.  Progress may also be measured incrementally with the passage of one component of a larger legislative package or in the drafting and implementation of a new policy or procedure.  For example, a law enforcement policy mandating the screening of individuals charged with prostitution offenses may ultimately lead to progress in identifying victims of sex trafficking.

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