"Planning an Advocacy Strategy"

Facilitator: Charlie Clements

Clements is Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy.

Preparatory Reading:

More About the Training::
In this training session Clements will introduce students to the concept of advocacy articulated by Lisa Veneklassen and Valerie Miller in A New Weave of Power and Politics: “a political process that involves the coordinated efforts of people in changing existing practices, ideas, and distributions of power and resources that exclude women and other disadvantaged groups. From this perspective, advocacy deals with specific aspects of policymaking, as well as the values and behavior that perpetuate exclusion and subordination. Thus, advocacy is both about changing specific decisions affecting people’s lives, and changing the way decision making happens into a more inclusive and democratic process.”

Though the steps may be named differently, generally any advocacy effort will involve the following:

  1. Bring people together to determine problems…and solutions
  2. Set goals and objectives
  3. Get the facts
  4. Conduct research
  5. Identify key decision makers
  6. Determine opportunities for influence
  7. Build alliances and coalitions
  8. Determine methods/tactics
  9. Take action
  10. Evaluate and follow up

In this training, Clements will familiarize participants with the basics of creating an advocacy strategy and identifying related resources.

More about Charlie Clements:

Charlie Clementsis a widely respected human rights activist and public health physician. Clements has experience organizing public health and human rights campaigns ranging from farm worker safety issues to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Prior to being appointed Executive Director of the Carr Center, he served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (August 2003 until February 2010). Before his position at UUSC, Clements served as executive director of Border WaterWorks, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the El Paso Community Foundation, which assisted small U.S. communities along the border without running water or sewers to construct such desperately needed infrastructure.
Throughout the years, Clements has faced several moral dilemmas that shaped his life. As a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Academy who had flown more than 50 missions in the Vietnam War, he decided the war was immoral and refused to fly missions in support of the invasion of Cambodia. Later, as a newly trained physician, he chose to work in the midst of El Salvador's civil war, where the villages he served were bombed, rocketed, or strafed by some of the same aircraft in which he had previously trained.
For two years in the late 1980s, Clements served as director of human rights education at UUSC, leading a number of congressional fact-finding delegations to Central America. In 1997, as president of Physicians for Human Rights, he participated both in the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the treaty signing for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Clements is author of Witness to War and the subject of an Academy Award-winning documentary of the same title.