November 25, 2015
Today the Advance Family Planning (AFP) initiative launched the AFP SMART Facilitator’s Guide, a new addition to its advocacy resources toolkit. A companion piece to AFP SMART: A Guide to Quick Wins, the new guide contains special tips and recommendations for how to successfully facilitate the AFP SMART process.
What is AFP SMART?
Based on the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) framework and honed in resource-limited settings, AFP’s approach emphasizes 9 steps to developing a focused, collaborative advocacy strategy that leads to advocacy “wins”. Advocacy wins are discrete, critical policy or funding decisions that must occur in the near term to achieve a broader goal.
The AFP SMART approach involves a one- to three-day strategy session during which national or subnational coalitions identify decisionmakers with authority over budget and policy decisions and customize the means, messages, and messengers for gaining their support. The process involves partnership with leaders who have the stature and skill to persuade a specific decisionmaker to invest in and improve access to quality, voluntary contraceptive information, services, and supplies
The new guide contains information on how to oversee this process, with sections on how to: prepare for an advocacy strategy session, facilitate the most challenging AFP SMART steps, avoid common facilitation traps, and ensure follow-through after a strategy session ends. In a brief, flip-book style format, the facilitator’s guide can be used by experienced advocates to sharpen existing skills and by new advocates who are just learning the 9 steps.