Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

Program Development Guide

Key Components of Effective Advocacy

Chapter Navigation

1. Key Messages

2. Key Components of Effective Advocacy

3. How to Advocate


Advocacy is a common strategy for programs/organizations to engage as many people in developing and promoting peer support. Evidence has shown that effective advocacy can influence funders, policymakers, and decision makers to provide financial support, influence public policy, and effect service and practice changes to peer support programs. Therefore, creating effective advocacy has been the primary objective to achieve these goals. Keys components to make effective advocacy include [11,12]:


The rightness of the cause: Key messages to target audiences should focus on positive impacts and benefits of peer support to population’s health.

Know the facts: The advocates should to be knowledgeable all of the facts – issues, the opposition, and different opinions – about peer support.

Use the facts: Any messages the program/ organization provide should be based on the facts

Be clear and concise: The advocacy message should be clear, concise and direct to the point, and avoid jargon and acronyms.

Build up and nurture relationships and collaborative networks: An advocacy strategy usually has higher chance to succeed if it is a joint effort. Therefore, it is critical to build up a network of allies who share the same messages with your organization.

Use a variety of advocacy tools and tactics: Depending on target audience and budget, different advocacy tools should be applied to make sure the key messages are communicated to target audiences in the most effective way. Some tools are the media, social media, petitions, letters, emails and other evidence-based strategies.

Apply different advocacy channels: It is critical to use strategically variety of channels to transfer your key messages, including meetings with government officials, press conferences, letters, petitions, rallies, and phone calls.

Say thank you: When your advocacy is successful, it’s important to express appreciation to people’s support.


[11] Citizen’s Committee for Children of New York. What is Effective Advocacy? Available at:

[12] Work Group for Community Health and Development at University of Kansas. Community Tool Box: What is Advocacy? Available at:

© 2015 | Peers for Progress

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