Responding to Advocacy Challenges by Acting as a Knowledge Broker

FROM: Valbona Karakaçi – 23. February 2022

The Western Balkans and Eastern Europe are confronted with many development challenges that require close collaboration and meaningful dialogue between government, the private sector and civil society. To promote this exchange, the Regional Advocacy Network acts as a knowledge broker.  Together, we bring the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to engage in such dialogue and effectively advocate for issues of concern.

The world’s most popular social media platform creates no content, the largest accommodation provider owns no real estate, and the biggest global bank holds no actual cash. These examples demonstrate the powerful function of serving as a knowledge broker – and the potential of this role to be a game-changer for the future of development organizations when it is anchored by substantive learning content.

This premise led to the founding of the Regional Advocacy Network in 2018, an initiative that brings together 18 members and partners from more than 10 countries. In its role as a knowledge broker, the network creates, diffuses and uses the knowledge gained through different Helvetas projects (e.g., DEMOS, Strong Municipalities, RisiAlbania, Education for Employment in North Macedonia, and ACT in Serbia) and from partners. The network also serves as linkage agents, relationship builders and consensus facilitators for initiatives targeting the private sector, government and civil society.

Throughout 2021, the network focused on the topics of future stories in advocacy, digital advocacy, and advocating for change in a polarized society. Webinars were used to share knowledge and generate new knowledge on these topics, with Bernd Steimann, Helvetas’ Development Policy Coordinator, and Jonathan Ellis, an advocacy campaigner, serving as facilitators and consensus builders in the trainings.

Future Stories

Future stories are an engine that can drive your advocacy towards achieving change by defining where we come from, where are we now, and where we want to go.

Digital Advocacy

Don't be daunted by digital advocacy – it’s a powerful channel if you stay true to the effective principles of good advocacy and encourage authenticity of expression.

Advocating in a Polizarised Political Environment

Where deep political divides exist, start by listening and practicing empathy toward others’ perspectives.

Advocacy

Real change requires open dialog between policymakers and society. So Helvetas promotes exchange between decision-makers and those affected by their decisions.