CEBA Project Outcome 2: Advocacy Capacity Building
Regional Advocacy Trainings
Regional Advocacy Training (Vihiga, West Pocket & Nakuru) - 15th - 16th December 2022
As part of its commitment to target increased investment in and enhanced national and local government ownership of PHC/RMCAH+N policy implementation and adoption, Keprecon/KPA in collaboration with the county governments of Vihiga, West Pokot and Nakuru organized a training for healthcare workers to strengthen their capacity on advocacy and equip them with relevant skills to enable them tackle eminent PHC/RMNCAH+N issues through advocacy in their respective counties. Training on advocacy and building up evidence are often the starting points for influencing policy. The two-day training was facilitated by Dr Nelly Bosire, Conrad Wanyama and Dr Dan Odallo. Twenty-five participants from the three counties attended the training.
In his opening remarks, Dr Dan Odallo emphasized the relevance and impact advocacy can have on achieving health outcomes and shaping policy direction, both in the short and long term.
“Let us always strive to keep the policy cycle alive, it takes time, stick to it”, said Dr Bosire, emphasizing that advocacy engagements can often take a long time and without sustained efforts nothing significant can be achieved. “We only realized we have policies after tragedy strikes, that’s when we begin to ask ourselves, what policies are in place to mitigate this”, she further added, pointing out that it is upon health workers to acquaint themselves with health policies in order to engage constructively with decision makers and the wider community, not only in times of tragedy but also in conversations to shape policy aimed at positive health impacts.
The policy advocacy process was elaborately presented, importantly, emphasis was put on selecting the right audience “…don’t waste resources barking the wrong tree, ensure you’re clear on who you want to influence and why and be very clear on your issue,” said Conrad while sharing knowledge on stakeholder mapping, an important process to ensure an effective advocacy process. “…come looking like you are here to give solutions, your solutions should be relevant to the circumstances presented. Exude energy to show that you are deeply invested in the agenda”, added Dr Bosire.
At the end of the training, the participants shared that they found the practical sessions engaging, the content relevant and littered with real life examples applicable in real-life scenarios. They called for continuous mentorship and more training sessions to keep the spirit of advocacy burning.