The programme for today, 24 April 2018, Day 2 of II Simposio MenEngage Africa (2nd MenEngage Africa Symposium) involves a capacity building workshop on policy advocacy. The event will be facilitated by Mpiwa Mangwiro (Jullie Ma), Campaigns and Advocacy Specialist for MenEngage Africa and Zane Dangor, Chief Operations Officer for Soul City Institute.
For civil society organisations to effectively play their role in policy advocacy there is need for an understanding of what it is and how to engage with the different relevant players in advocacy. In this regard the Policy Training Advocacy workshop is a two-day training programme that will be held over two days – 24th & 25th April 2018, and aims to build the capacity of MenEngage Africa members to conduct policy advocacy at a national and international level.
The programme will employ a blended design including facilitation, experience simulated practical activities & group discussions. Pre & post workshop evaluation will be done. The first day will address what advocacy and particularly policy advocacy is, why it is important for civil society organisations to do it as well as how to engage with policy advocacy mechanisms at national level.
On the second day training will focus on understanding the international human rights system and how to engage with it to advocate for human rights, equality and gender justice. It will also build the capacity of partners on how to engage with human rights accountability mechanism, including preparing shadow reports and oral statements. The session will also be used for networking and developing a strategy on how to engage with multi-lateral institutions.
Encouraging citizen involvement in policy decisions is key in holding governments accountable to citizens and nonprofit organisations can play a crucial role in this regard. NGOs play a vital role in the development and implementation of public policy to promote an informed, healthy, and strong democratic society. Due to their proximity to communities, NGOs can be a bridge between policy makers and their constituents. They can help communities be better positioned to place a demand on policy and decision makers to address their concerns and needs through enacting laws and policies as well as effectively implementing them. They can also assist policy makers to be more aware of the needs and challenges faced by communities as well as assist with implementation of policies.
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