Letsema Centre

Laws and Policy-Making

Letsema Centre Debates find their basis in a question. The aim is to define certain phrases or words in a way in which everyone can express his or her personal view on the topic.
This topic is about »Laws and Policy-Making« - articles in this category include definitions and inputs on the topic.

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Defining Advocacy and Lobbying

Advocacy means any action geared towards changing the policies, positions or programmes of an institution or government. Most often, advocacy activities focus on changing government policies and laws. Advocacy is about identifying a problem, coming up with a solution to that problem, establishing strong support for that solution and developing an effective implementation plan. Lobbying influential people for support is part of the advocacy process. However, advocacy goes beyond this to include broader public education on the issue, in order to establish wide support for the proposed solution.

The word lobbying is often quite loosely used, also to denote building support for an idea or a person. However, in its original meaning, lobbying is a somewhat more focused activity than advocacy. The concept of lobbying was born in the lobby (i.e. the reception area) of the Houses of Parliament in Britain. In the days before telephones and faxes, members of the public would wait in the lobby to speak to members of parliament or other parliamentary officials as they walked in and out of the building.  They would try to persuade these MPs and officials about how to vote on a particular policy or bill.  Because this interaction took place in the lobby, the verb »to lobby« came into being.