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MDF Advisory

Advocacy and Policy Influencing

Policies, laws and regulations govern our world and lives, be it about large issues like climate change and human rights, or concrete cases of access to land, water and health care. Nowadays Advocacy and Policy Influencing (API) as well as lobbying interventions are often part of strategies for change. Being effective and sustainable in steering your policy interventions within complex networks, rapidly changing contexts, overt and covert interests is crucial. MDF can equip you and your partners well to conceive, manage and learn from your strategic advocacy and policy influencing efforts. We bring: 

  • Over 30 years of practical experience and concrete stories of effective policy interventions that will help you analyse your political context, choose strategic allies, and manage your partnerships and networks; 
  • Our experience in API-proof Planning and Theory of Change development, designing API-proof Monitoring & Evaluation systems, and learning in the area from PILA interventions, using narrative and contribution methodologies; 
  • A host of interconnected learner-oriented and user-friendly tools, evaluation methodologies, and skills training, tailor-made to meet the challenges inherent in policy influencing; 
  • Advice, consultancies and learning trajectories in biased or polarized political situations, supporting strategic and tactical choices.

What MDF Training & Consultancy has to offer

Advocacy & Policy Influencing professionals can be directors, policy advisors, project/programme managers, lobbyists, PMEL-experts, communication experts working in civil society organisations, media and academic institutions, governmental institutions or private sector businesses. They are everywhere! 

MDF Training & Consultancy assists you and your partners to build capacity for, strategise for, design and conduct effective API interventions, and capture and learn from your policy influencing efforts.  

Our services: 

1) Assist you in effectively shaping and managing your API interventions

We can advise and facilitate API strategy development based on thorough analysis of the socio-political and legal context, stakeholder and risk analyses and developing an API-proof Theory of Change and communication strategy. Our focus on behavioural change in key stakeholders allows us to frame and measure change where it is most relevant and tangible.  

We can assist in developing tailor-made methods and tools for API interventions along the policy cycle. Examples include developing a thematic policy checklist to identify entry points for API interventions and producing pertinent policy briefs.  

For monitoring, evaluation and learning we emphasise qualitative methods, such as Outcome Mapping, Outcome Harvesting, Contribution Analysis, and Most Significant Change. These enable key stakeholders to jointly define and assess results and outcomes at different levels.  

We also design monitoring systems for API. This may include long-term support in data collection and sense making, learning through blended learning trajectories, strategy revision or developmental evaluation. And because we consider the process to be as important as the content, our services also extend to effective partnership and network management. 

2) Build lasting API capacity in your organisation, alliance or network. We offer steps towards a complete participatory learning trail, using up to date methods and tools:

  • Assessing organisational API capacity to identify priority capacity gaps and needs related to your API objectives  
  • Designing organisation or alliance-wide Learning & Development Strategies addressing these priority capacity gaps and needs in API capacity, with lots of room for learning by doing
  • Designing and using a tailored monitoring system to learn on the go and adjust capacity strengthening in API according to a changing context
  • Evaluating capacity strengthening in API: how can we show intended and unintended effects and identify enabling and disabling factors, etc 

3) Provide individual and workplace learning in API 

In addition to Open Entry Training in API (online, face to face, and blended), we can provide customised training on effective API within your organisation. For optimal sustainability though, we prefer learning trajectories that ensure that capacity is built to last in your organisation or alliance.