Welcome to UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States' (CEE/CIS) Advocate for Children toolkit — a clearly written and easy to digest advocacy training module that provides UNICEF staff members and their partners with an understanding of advocacy, and increases their ability to utilize effective advocacy strategies in areas where media freedoms may be limited and civil society curtailed.
Advocacy is a set of hands-on technical skills and practices needed to effectively press for change. It is also the foundation of active citizenship, a process through which ordinary people learn to participate in decision making at all levels. Identifying priorities, crafting a strategy, stepping forward, taking action, and achieving results are critical steps to finding one's voice, making oneself heard, and shaping one's future. Experience has shown that when people are empowered with the dignity and confidence to act, a world of possibilities opens up.
The heart of this website is the Advocacy: People's Power and Participation Guide (available in both English and Russian versions), an online toolkit that provides workshop participants, UNICEF staff members and their partners with the opportunity to continue their learning after a UNICEF CEE/CIS workshop in Istanbul, in September 2009.
UNICEF extends its appreciation to the Institute for Sustainable Communities and People’s Advocacy for their support in incorporating their advocacy strategies and materials into our programming and activities.
The Institute for Sustainable Communities believes in the power of communities and their ability to help themselves grow stronger, healthier, more stable, more prosperous and more peaceful. One of its primary goals is to help ordinary citizens participate more fully in all aspects of public life. Because nonprofit organizations are primary way which they can make their voices hear, ISC focuses much of its resources on strengthening nonprofits and their ability to represent and serve their constituents. ISC’s Advocacy and Leadership Center offers programs, trainings, and tools customized in length and content for each context and set of participants. It recommends a series of trainings that includes opportunities for practice, and it offers ongoing coaching and mentoring to help participants apply trainings to their own circumstances. Moreover, the Center supports a diverse global community of trainers and facilitators with wide-ranging language skills and cultural and topical expertise and a network of more than 800 Advocacy Fellow from 60 countries. Since 1991 ISC has managed more than 70 projects in 19 countries, leaving a legacy of strong community leaders, advocacy organizations, and networks with the capacity to build on its work.
People’s Advocacy believes that advocacy is a means for ordinary citizens and community organizations to practice and achieve real democracy. It provides coaching and trainings to groups that are either already doing advocacy work or exploring how to incorporate advocacy activities into their programs. People’s Advocacy facilitates training on advocacy concepts and practices, prepares resource people that support organizations and coalitions on how to incorporate advocacy into their programs, advises groups as they develop advocacy campaigns, and supports the formation of advocacy networks and coalitions. Its’ staff members have more than 20 years of experience working with a diverse range of civil society organizations, advocates, and social justice activists on five continents around the world. Examples of People’s Advocacy’s experience in countries with limited political space include working with groups covering disabled children’ rights in Morocco; human trafficking in Albania, Romania, and India; female genital mutilation in Egypt; human rights in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco; HIV/AIDS in Ukraine; violence against women and children in Serbia and Kosovo; and political participation in Macedonia.