Human Rights Advocacy

30 September-15 December 2015 (E06215) | Closed
Instructor: Valerie Miller

This e-learning course provides citizen activists, community and development workers and other change agents with a range of proven 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 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 mobilisation; lobbying and negotiation; advocacy leadership and coalition building; and assessment of success.

Course structure

The certificate course involves approximately 50 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction with students and instructor/facilitator, webinars and assignments, and is offered over an 11-week period. 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 A New Weave of Power, People, and Politics: An Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation, by Lisa VeneKlaasen and Valerie Miller. Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon successful completion of the course. The maximum number of participants is 25. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

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
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. “Open week”
Week 7. Analysis of Political Arenas and Advocacy Strategies; Selection of Policy Hooks and Angles
Week 8. Analysis of Forces, Friends and Foes; Review and Readjustment of Strategies
Week 9. Messages, Reports and Media
Week 10. Public Outreach and Mobilisation
Week 11. Lobbying and Negotiation; Advocacy Leadership and Coalitions

About the instructor: Valerie Miller

Valerie MillerValerie Miller has worked in advocacy, international development, gender, and human rights for more than thirty years. She has collaborated with grassroots organizations, NGOs, and international agencies in many capacities — as an organizer, trainer, advocate, evaluator, and researcher. Over the past twenty 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 organizations 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 has published numerous articles and books on issues of advocacy, development, education, and politics. She has been an instructor and trainer for HREA since 2002, including for the annual HREA Advocacy Institute.

Who should apply

The course is intended for citizen activists, community and development workers and staff members of human rights/social justice organisations. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575 (after 7 September 2015: US$ 675); tuition for auditors: US$ 200 (US$ 250 after 7 September 2015). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer (additional fee applies) and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Registration is closed.

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