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Tools and guides

Advocacy toolkit – a Roots guide

Comprehensive training material on the theory and practice of advocacy

2015 Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

A smiling African woman in a purple tope speaking to community members gathered under a tree

Christina Ndahani speaks to members of the 'pamoja' self-help groups, gathered in Sasajila village, Tanzania. Photo: Tom Price/Ecce Opus

A range of ROOTs guides

From: Roots guides

Practical guidance and training material for organisations on development topics

Tearfund's Advocacy toolkit is easy to understand and easy to use.


  • The what, where and who of advocacy
  • The why of advocacy
  • Overview of the advocacy cycle
  • Issue identification
  • Research and analysis
  • Planning
  • Taking action
  • Monitoring, reviewing, evaluation and learning

Each section is in three parts:

  1. Teaching notes covering the most important points in question and answer format
  2. Tools that are designed to be freestanding but also to double up as handouts in a training workshop
  3. Training exercises for applying the teaching and using the tools in a training workshop, with clear instructions about how to facilitate them

Related resources

There are also PowerPoints to be used in training, all available online.

Using the internet and mobile phones as part of the advocacy cycle

The word ‘advocacy’ has different meanings for different people in different contexts. 

People understand ‘advocacy’ in accordance with their experiences, their worldview, their language and their culture. Some people will see advocacy as beneficial, but other people may have had bad experiences and see advocacy as something to avoid. Assuming that another person understands ‘advocacy’ in the same way as we do can sometimes lead to miscommunication, so it is important to clarify a common understanding. There is no single correct interpretation of the word ‘advocacy’. 

Tearfund defines ‘advocacy’ as: ‘Influencing the decisions, policies and practices of powerful decision-makers, to address underlying causes of poverty, bring justice and support good development.’

Advocacy is never just about raising awareness of an issue, a problem or a situation. It is always about trying to seek change in the policies, practices, systems, structures, decisions and attitudes that cause poverty and injustice, so that they work in favour of people living in poverty.

Advocacy can be about individual cases of poverty and injustice – for example, campaigning to release people who have been wrongly imprisoned. It can also be about structural issues of poverty and injustice – for example, campaigning to cancel debt or improve the rules of global trade.


Other languages

Women from Mozambique in the fields which they work

Advocacy in action

Explore our range of story-based case studies which complement the toolkit and provide examples of how advocacy work by Tearfund partners has changed people's lives

Advocacy case studies

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