Advocacy means making a case in support of a particular cause or activity and trying to convince other people that it is a good idea. It is a process of gathering and organising information to be communicated to decision makers in an attempt to influence decisions.

Advocacy aims to influence decision makers at various levels – at national, regional and local levels. Advocacy for WASH may, for example, try to raise funds and other resources or get support for a particular project from political and social leaders.

You will learn more about advocacy for urban WASH in Study Session 12.

Consider the following approaches that a WASH worker might use to promote improved hygiene and sanitation in their communities. Which of the four communication approaches explained in Sections 9.2 to 9.5 is involved in each case?

  1. Moving from house to house and counselling household members to give advice on hygiene and sanitation issues.
  2. Discussing the importance of hygiene and sanitation with community and religious leaders and encouraging them to provide support in helping communities to improve their practice.
  3. Facilitating dialogue by setting up community discussion groups to talk about sanitation issues.
  4. Coordinating support from local groups such as women’s groups or youth associations, to encourage improvements to hygiene and sanitation practises.

Show answer

The answers are as follows:

  1. This is an example of behaviour change communication, because it is an attempt to help individual people change their behaviour so that they develop more healthy practices.
  2. This is an example of conducting advocacy, because it is done in an attempt to influence the views and decisions of decision makers themselves.
  3. This is an example of social change communication, because it focuses on community dialogue and action.
  4. This is an example of social mobilisation because it brings together community members to strengthen wider participation and a feeling of ownership of the initiatives to improve hygiene and sanitation.

Last modified: Friday, 12 August 2016, 9:51 PM