Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

A simple definition of advocacy

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What is advocacy?

Advocacy is action that aims to change laws, policies, practices and attitudes. 

Who to influence

Advocacy actions are usually directed at decision makers who hold the power to implement the change required, for example governments or private actors such as water companies.

Advocacy can also be directed towards changing public opinion to support and issue or cause, or take a specific form of action to put pressure on decision makers. The media is a key outlet for this.

Why influence?

A just, fair and equitable world is not possible without working on the social, economic and political injustices which result in millions without access to clean water, billions without access to a safe place to go the bathroom and the disproportionate costs and effects of climate change between various parts of the world.

Freshwater Action Network is a network of southern civil society experts and organizations with the voice and experience on these issues. We advocate because justice is important to our vision of a world where water is respected and protected as an essential resource for all forms of life and universal access to water and sanitation is achieved responsibly and inclusively for present and future generations.

Making the most of meetings

Hannah Stoddart, Policy Coordinator at Stakeholder Forum and the Water and Climate Coalition, who has spent countless weeks lobbying (a big part of advocacy) on water and climate change, offers her insight and experience about how to get the most out of lobbying at meetings in this short Youtube clip:

Learn more about advocacy, particularly how is it used in the human rights approach, in the Activists Handbook

Read our guide to the water sector for more information on who to influence and where

Find out about consultations taking place that you can influence