Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

The Benefits of Advocacy

Discover the importance of advocacy and developing your plan.

Now that you’ve got your plan and you know how it links to the SDGs and big goals, it’s time to be an advocate for it!

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is about working with people to support them in strengthening their voice on the issues that affect them, then raising awareness of those issues to mobilise others to take action.

Advocacy is important to influence policy development and to evidence the strategy. For example, information collected from the community affected by your chosen issue could be presented to those in power or used in your own policy creation.

For programmes, advocacy can help build partnerships and influence those who could support your project. Activism is the next step in mobilisation – being at the forefront of a social or political movement and amplifying voices otherwise unheard.

“To be an activist is to speak. To be an advocate is to listen. Society can’t move forward without both… By unanimously claiming ‘activist,’ there is no room for a dichotomy between the activists who execute and the advocates who amplify. We are paying too much attention to the ‘clout’ behind activism, and not the advocacy at its foundation. We need more advocates who amplify the problems occurring in society.” Eva Lewis

If implemented correctly, sports advocacy is a tool through which we can discuss injustices, inequalities, and social and public issues related to sport in a safe, open environment.

Sport advocacy is defined as taking action to effect social change, within and through sport. It is underpinned by some general guidelines:

  • Work with local actors to ensure their concerns take centre stage
  • Recognise complexity and target underlying causes
  • Be engaging and inclusive
  • Accept diverse voices
  • Use effective communication that supports independence, informed choice, and shared decision-making
  • Find commonly agreed solutions to problems or issues
  • Prioritise the principle of “nothing about us, without us”

You’ll notice many of these guidelines have parallels with good programme and policy design (participants at the core, no assumptions, inclusive by design, etc.), which is no coincidence!

This article is from the free online

Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now