Communicating Effectively

© 2012 Kim Blessing/JHU CCP, Courtesy of PhotoshareEffectively communicating messages is essential to the success of any advocacy effort. Knowing how to present information to policy makers in a way that will motivate them to enact change and knowing how to reach influential community leaders with messages on the benefits of voluntary family planning will greatly strengthen an advocacy campaign.

To help advocates develop the capacity, tools and knowledge to effectively advocate for family planning, the resources in this section of the Toolkit are organized into several subcategories:

1. Communication Skills Development

This subsection suggests resources to help advocates enhance their capacity to share information with policymakers and others.  It provides resources on:

  • Preparing briefs and presentations
  • Presenting data and evidence
  • Helping decision makers turn data into actionable steps and positive policy changes

2. Communication Tools

This subsection provides presentations and videos on the benefits of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies that can be shared with policy makers or other audiences.

3. Faith-Based Organizations and Religious & Spiritual Leaders

In much of the world, places of worship are integral to communities, and spiritual leaders are often highly respected and have a strong influence on behavior. This subsection provides resources for:

  • Reaching out to religious leaders
  • Preparing sermons spiritual leaders can use to help discuss family planning
  • Adopting best practices in working with faith-based organizations
  • Demonstrating support among faith leaders for family planning, including official endorsements signed by religious leaders

4. Working with the Media

The media can be tremendously helpful in sharing advocacy messages and reaching a wider population. This subsection offers resources on:

  • Making data meaningful to members of the media
  • Communicating with the media on matters of sexual and reproductive health

5. Engaging Champions

Developing champions who can effectively speak to the enormous benefits of family planning and who have credibility with communities is a powerful way to influence members of those communities and their policy makers. This subsection provides resources on engaging champions in family planning advocacy efforts.

Having the right tools and building the capacity to effectively use those tools to present the case for family planning to decision makers and community leaders is essential to the success of your advocacy effort. To suggest additional resources or share your experiences, please fill out our feedback form.