Rolling out advocacy activities within HFHI -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Rolling out advocacy activities within HFHI

By Jose Quinonez

The Government Relations and Advocacy (GRA) Office has been rolling out advocacy activities to each area office in HFHI in a four-step process:

  • Mapping advocacy information in each area: The concept is to collect and share all experiences in advocacy work developed by HFH national offices within the area. This allows the area office and the GRA Office to identify strategies that can be replicated, not only within that area, but in other geographic regions as well.
  • Sharing of best practices: Building on the mapping exercise, the GRA Office proposes developing a “Best Practices Sharing” session to capture, disseminate and share work, methods, processes and initiatives focused on advocacy, message development and advocacy planning. As part of this session, the national office advocacy staff, area office advocacy staff and the GRA Office will have an opportunity to define needs, develop performance measurement impact indicators, and adapt and share best practices to ensure program replicability and quality. This work will allow for peer discussion and review of how advocacy initiatives could be better implemented in the area. In addition, learning from national office staff about their measuring tools and impact indicators will enhance HFHI’s advocacy metric system.
  • Conducting advocacy training: The GRA Office is developing a five-module training program to help national offices and area office staff understand the different aspects of advocacy work. The training program can be conducted in two forms: GRA staff could deliver the training to area and national office staff, or selected area office staff could be trained so they could replicate the training in the area. In addition, the GRA Office is in the process of updating its Advocacy Toolkit to make it more applicable to national offices.
  • Selecting and providing some financial support to advocacy pilot projects: For many of our pilot programs, the GRA Office issues calls for proposals that seek to generate innovative and promising ideas from national offices/branches, affiliates and/or support organizations. The GRA Office places priority on solicited mechanisms such as published requests for proposals (RFPs), but unsolicited proposals may be considered at any time during the year if the activity does not fit under the solicited mechanism.

HFHI’s GRA Office supports advocacy efforts that lead to change and allows us to serve more families. National offices/branches, affiliates and/or support organizations that seek funding for their advocacy activities should contact the GRA Office to get more information about the advocacy work at HFHI.

Jose Quinonez is the associate director of Advocacy Training at HFHI’s Government Relations and Advocacy Office in Washington. He can be reached at JQuinonez@habitat.org.