Internet Policy Advocacy Strategies in the MENA Region: A Workshop for Advocates  

On August 28th, 29th, and 30th the Hivos IGMENA program held its first ever workshop for civic actors in the MENA region on policy advocacy strategies, approaches, and channels. The workshop targeted alumni of IGMENA Internet governance training programs who are actively involved in policy advocacy related to the Internet issues in the MENA region or who are interested in launching an advocacy project. The workshop encouraged advocates to build on knowledge gained in the training program and start developing plans for action in support of policy change.

The advocacy workshop brought together 18 participants from 8 MENA countries. Participants had a diverse set of professional experiences and skills. Policy advocacy veterans Eoin Young and Lucian Ciolan from the International Center for Policy Advocacy facilitated the sessions. Young and Ciolan introduced the ICPA’s “Advocacy Planning Framework” as a tool for developing and implementing advocacy activities for policy change.

Through interactive activities and group work, participants developed skills to understand policy processes and decision making, leverage research and evidence to build convincing policy arguments, engage with decision makers effectively, choose allies to support advocacy efforts, and develop and deliver messaging. Participants drew on knowledge of Internet policy issues and stakeholders in each of their countries to relate the framework to advocacy planning in the MENA region.

Through participant-driven exercises, the group applied policy concepts to real problems facing advocates in the region, working towards innovative and practical strategies for Internet policy and governance advocacy in the MENA region. Participants began the process of planning for their own projects and campaigns with the support of the facilitators and the IGMENA team.

It was a busy three days, and we look forward to seeing participants continue to develop their policy advocacy plans and launch advocacy activities after returning home. Thanks to all our participants for contributing to the success of this workshop!