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Course 2E: Human Rights Advocacy
11 March - 26 May 2002

Instructor: Dr. Valerie Miller

This distance learning course provides human rights activists with a range of proven human rights advocacy methods and critical concepts as a means for them to reflect on and deepen their own work. The course will look at the theoretical foundations and critical issues of human rights advocacy, elements of advocacy planning, and strategies for action.

In this course, participants should deepen their knowledge about advocacy and its relationship to: Politics and Democracy; Citizenship and Rights; Power, Empowerment and Citizen Education and Action. Participants will gain basic skills and knowledge in: visioning; contextual analysis; problem/issue identification; analysis and prioritisation; power mapping; goal/objective setting; analysis of advocacy arenas and strategies; message development, reports and media; public outreach and mobilization; lobbying and negotiation; advocacy leadership and coalition building; and assessment of success.

The course involves approximately 60 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction with students and instructors/facilitators and assignments, and is offered over a 12-week period, beginning on 11 March 2002. E-mail will be the main medium for the course, although participants will need to have periodic access to the Web (part of the readings/assignment will be distributed via CD-ROM). The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning. Participants will do the required readings, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. The main course text will be the A New Weave of Power, People, and Politics: An Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation (World Neighbors, 2002), by Lisa VeneKlasen and Valerie Miller. The maximum number of course participants is 25. It is also possible to be an auditor of the course. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

Course outline

Weeks 1-3: Conceptual Foundations and Critical Issues

Week 1. Politics, Advocacy, Democracy, Rights and Citizenship
Week 2. Power, Empowerment and Citizen Education and Engagement
Week 3. Advocacy Effectiveness: Factors and Measures of Success

Weeks 4-7: Elements of Advocacy Planning

Week 4. Overview of Planning; Analysis of Political and Social Context
Week 5. Identification, Analysis and Definition of Problems; Selection of Priority Issues
Week 6. Analysis of Political Arenas and Advocacy Strategies; Selection of Policy Hooks and Angles
Week 7. Analysis of Forces, Friends and Foes; Review and Readjustment of Strategies

Weeks 8-12: Doing Advocacy: Strategies for Action

Week 8. Messages, Reports and Media
Week 9. Messages, Reports and Media
Week 10. Public Outreach and Mobilization
Week 11. Lobbying and Negotiation; Advocacy Leadership and Coalitions
Week 12. International Cases (and linking Global, National and Local)

About the instructor/facilitator

Valerie Miller has worked in advocacy, international development, gender and human rights for more than 30 years. She has collaborated with grassroots organisations, NGOs, and international agencies in many capacities -- as an organiser, trainer, advocate, evaluator, and researcher. Over the past 15 years, she has been policy advocacy director at Oxfam America, director of policy and exchange programs at the Institute for Development Research, and advisor and associate of a wide variety of organisations including the Global Women in Politics Program; Women, Law and Development International; and the Highlander Center. She has taught courses on advocacy under the auspices of the University of Brasilia and New Hampshire University. Dr. Miller holds a doctorate in adult education and she has published numerous articles and books on issues of advocacy, development, education, and politics.

Who should apply

The course is intended for staff members of human rights/social justice organisations. Participants should have a good written command of English (any proof, e.g. certificate, diploma of English language proficiency should be enclosed with the application) and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. The number of participants is limited to 25 per course. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.

Participants are requested to send:
- a copy of their CV (2-3 pages)
- a completed Application Form (see below)
- two letters of recommendation
- a cover letter stating their motivation for participating and personal goals in the course

The application deadline for this course was Wednesday, 7 November 2001. We are no longer accepting applications.


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