Step 9: Implement, monitor, and communicate
As you implement your advocacy strategy, be sure to monitor and communicate results to build on successes. It can take time to habitually review progress on your advocacy objectives.
In reviewing your advocacy action plan (Step 7) and the monitoring plan (Step 8), ask yourself:
- Has your landscape changed? Is the next objective still appropriate? For example, have any policies changed independent of your actions? Has there been a shift in political power that allows you to articulate a more ambitious objective?
- Should you reformulate your advocacy approach and strategy? For example, should you focus on a different target audience or retooling your messaging?
- Should you add another objective? Have you achieved your initial objective? Is there an opportunity for a different intervention?
Sustaining policy support over time is much easier if there is evidence that the investment of political and financial capital is producing results. From the early stages of policy implementation, advocates should accumulate credible evidence on the policy’s impact. To the extent possible, quantify the results, such as the effect the equal opportunity/gender equality interventions have on health worker retention (and, therefore, on service availability) or on health professional student attrition (and, therefore, on graduation rates). For example, the British Government demonstrated that after establishing flexible working policies, 65% of employers stated that these policies had a “positive effect on employee recruitment and retention, thus saving on recruitment, induction, and training costs;” as a result, 58% of small businesses experienced an increase in productivity. Qualitative data can show that flexible policies were key to a worker’s job satisfaction.
This concludes the nine-step Advocacy Strategy Development approach. The following page lists resources and examples of advocacy efforts for promoting gender equality, such as the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative Toolkit.