A human-centred design approach to advocacy planning
We know that advocacy planning is complex, and much of this complexity can be attributed to our stakeholders. The environment we work in is made up of multiple stakeholders, forming a network of relationships. We do our best to unpack these relationships through the nuances in how stakeholders respond in different situations and by understanding motivations around our work. We are always looking for better ways to tap into the individual and collective wisdom of our stakeholders.
There are a few key types of stakeholder groups with which we often interact.
- The first type is a stakeholder group for which we want to see a shift in perspective. For example, from awareness of an issue to will or from will to action. These are often the stakeholders for which we are trying to create value through advocacy work.
- A second type of stakeholder group is organizations with which we partner—typically because they can help us move past a particular obstacle, either internal or external. Partners help us deliver value to the stakeholder groups we want to see a shift in. In a few cases, we deliver this value through our partners, instead of directly.
- The last key type we’ll mention is the stakeholder group we are advocating on behalf of. This is the stakeholder we want to keep top of mind at all times. As often as possible, we must find ways to interact with this stakeholder group. Our week must be based in there needs and obstacle.
Of course, these are just a few key types—there are many other stakeholder groups that we should consider, depending on who is involved in our advocacy work.
Independent of which stakeholder group we are working with, we need an approach that is more human-centred. We need a new approach for collaborating with our stakeholders and embracing diversity, we need a stronger understanding of the problem we are solving through them and the environment in which we are creating change, and we need a way to consistently engage our stakeholders to understand their needs and the obstacles they are facing.