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The Active Citizens – Better Society: Advocating for Cooperation and Democratic Development project, implemented by Belgrade Open School, BFPE and BIRN, started conducting online workshops on April 27, 2020, with the aim of strengthening our program’s partners capacities in the field of public advocacy. You can see the list of project and program partners as well as their initiatives that received support this year at the following link.

So far, we have successfully organized four webinars, each of which was dedicated to a specific topic and contained both an advocacy and a communication component.

After the introductory session, held on April 27, where we had the opportunity to get acquainted with 20 initiatives of our partners, but also to present the program and our way of working within the online training, the first webinar was held on Wednesday, April 29. In the first module, participants were introduced to different definitions of public advocacy, the goals of public advocacy, as well as elements of communication strategy. We also talked about civic activism and political power.

The second webinar was held on Wednesday, May 13. This time our partners listened and discussed the concept of political will, approaches in public advocacy and took triangle analysis as a tool for strategic planning in public advocacy which analyzes the different levels within which changes occur as a result of advocacy. In the second part of the webinar, we had a guest lecturer, Ana Mirković from the Institute for Digital Communications. Ana’s session was dedicated to the strategic use of social networks and digital tools in communicating advocacy initiatives on networks.

At the third webinar, held on May 27, we discussed setting the agenda, the message in advocacy, as well as the structure of the communication strategy. Also, participants had the opportunity to hear about the establishment of priorities in terms of social issues and their presentation to decision makers, as well as the importance of the media agenda. The second part of the webinar talked about coding and decoding messages in advocacy, message organization, as well as which issues are most important to us when defining communication goals and target groups we address in our advocacy campaign and what is the difference between a message and a slogan.

The fourth webinar was held on Wednesday, June 10, and was dedicated to tactical mapping, development of advocacy narrative and framing. We talked about the identification of stakeholders and actors in relation to the advocacy initiatives of our partners, the range of allies in relation to the problem, as well as framing as a channel of communication that represents a way of thinking or understanding the topic we deal with and distinguishing it from spinning.

Online workshops will end on June 24, when the last webinar is scheduled. After that, we continue to work with our partners by providing knowledge and skills in the field of advocacy through other trainings and mentoring support.

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