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SRD: Strategic investments in advocacy capacities


A high priority assigned to advocacy is the most important outcome from the “Assessment on Advocacy Capacity of SRD” workshop. Attendees included SRD’s Management Board, SRD staff and a group of consultants from CASI project implemented by CARE Vietnam. The 2-day event, 17th and 18th October, aims at (1) recognizing SRD’s strengths in advocacy, (2) Identifying inefficiencies and gaps in its advocacy skills, (3) developing strategic plan to enhance advocacy capacities of the organization.


Participating in the workshop, SRD staff engaged in in-depth discussions on all advocacy-related aspects including external relationships, internal linkages and relationships with communities. SRD’s achievements, along with the findings from those discussions, reflected that SRD has attained a considerable success in grass-root advocacy which has exerted positive influences on the decision-making process of some local authorities, especially in relation to the application of livelihood models and responses to climate change. Realizing that advocacy is vital to advancing the organization’s mission, SRD has directed an intense focus on engagement in a variety of networks and policy forums and hoped to position itself as a leading advocate (SRD’s Strategic Plan for 2013 – 2017 period). However, in order to become a leading organization in advocacy, it’s important for SRD to develop a roadmap with specific milestones and enhance advocacy skills of its employees. SRD staff attending the workshop were in agreement about some steps that the organization should take to tackle those challenges, which include:





- Designing a strategic plan to improve the organization’s advocacy capacities that consider some advocacy elements such as human resources, budget, supporting mechanisms,

- Developing a technical guide for advocacy to ensure that advocacy activities are conducted at all levels and all consistent with short-term and long-term the organization’s advocacy objectives.

More importantly, the workshop has extended SRD staff’s knowledge of advocacy especially in term of professional techniques and approaches for effective advocacy. “Advocacy takes place at different levels and does not necessarily lead to the introduction of new policies. Effective advocacy can create impacts on decision-making processes at grass-roots level. For example, local authorities allow and promote the adoption of new development models or participatory approaches in community management”, said Mr.Nguyen Van Anh, CARE’s Rural Development Manager. Moreover, each project needs to identify “dynamic agents” in its project site and facilitate their participation in advocacy capacity building activities. Therefore, they, in turn, can bring the voice of their community to decision makers. Finally, it’s crucial for SRD to place their emphasis on strengthening relationships between SRD and its partners ranging from the Government, media agencies to policy research institutes, because they have profound influences on policy formulation and implementation processes.



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