Content & Curricula

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Advocacy School – Content Summary and Curricula  – January 2012


Advocacy School provides a wide range of training / learning opportunities for organizations and individuals. It also develops and tailors curricula to meet the specific needs of associations, NGOs or companies. If Advocacy School does not currently have the faculty on hand, it will identify and recruit the appropriate personnel to provide instruction and / or, as required, mentoring /coaching.

A curriculum can be devised using a combination of the following listing of General Knowledge and Specific Skill fields, complemented by whatever other areas of learning are of interest for the client organization.

Learning objectives, methodologies / pedagogies and  other details for each of the content areas listed below are available upon request .

General Knowledge

  • decision-making process in government (federal. provincial and/or local)
  • structure of target government / ministry (e.g. provincial, federal or local)
  • policy formulation practices and processes
  • policy priorities of target government / ministry or related agencies / departments
  • “rules of advocacy” (laws, regulations, protocols etc. governing advocacy activity)
    • Income Tax Act provisions
    • lobbyists registration at federal, provincial and local levels
    • political finance (Canada Elections Act etc.)
    • contribution agreements by government and foundation funders


  • Policy and political analysis:
    • discerning the political and public-policy environment ("strategic inquiry")
    • developing an “ask”
    • alternatives development
    • evaluations
    • policy development (general and issue-specific)
  •  Research and Intelligence gathering:
    • strategic inquiry
    • use of internet
    • research practices
    • access to, and use of, survey research
  • Relationships - Building and Maintenance:
    • coalition, partnership and strategic alliances
    • stakeholder public  engagement
    • key contact programs
    • networking
    • proxies and third-party advocates
  • Advocacy Management:
    • board and executive management and oversight
    • hiring and managing consultant lobbyists
    • developing, preserving and spending "political capital"
    • budgeting and planning advocacy campaigns
  • Communications:
    • preparing documentation for governments (briefing notes, decks, cabinet submissions)
    • developing compelling narrative
    • writing - and getting published - op-ed opinion articles
    • uses of social media
    • news media relations (strategies, tactics, tools and practices)
    • strategic communications (strategies, tactics, tools and practices)
    • oral presentation (for speeches; legislative hearings, etc.)
    • grass-roots communications and advocacy
  • Specific Advocacy Challenges:
    • legislative initiatives (for or against)
    • regulatory change
    • procurement / sales of goods and services to government
    • obtaining (or renewing) government  grants / contributions
    • policy change
    • engagement in stakeholder consultations
    • negotiating change
    • dealing with City Hall and local government
    • “family” advocacy (on behalf of family members etc.)