A Free Toolkit for Civil Society Organizations in Myanmar: Advocate Together

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This toolkit is designed to offer a comprehensive set of advocacy strategies and tools for advocates in Myanmar. Advocates can be individuals, communities, civil society organizations, or any other institution advocating for democratic and participatory development in Myanmar. The toolkit is aimed to serve above all local and regional civil society organizations based in Myanmar’s regions and ethnic states. Many of these groups have already been involved in advocacy activities, particularly in grass-roots level in their communities. This toolkit shall serve as a tool to enhance their work and support them in their future endeavours.

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In order to identify advocacy issues that are of utmost importance for these groups, they collected information from approximately 70 groups from six target regions. These findings were the basis for developing this toolkit.

The toolkit is divided into three main sections:

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  • Section I explains what an advocacy strategy is and how to develop one. You will learn what you need to consider when planning and implementing any advocacy measure. Besides presenting a general advocacy strategy based on the 9 questions methodology developed by the Advocacy Institute, they also show you a practical example of how an advocacy strategy can be developed.
  • Section II introduces some frequently used advocacy actions and tools. It shows you the types of instruments that can be used when reaching out to pressure makers as well as decision makers. The section guides you step-by-step in a hands-on application and provides many practical tips.
  • Section III provides background information on selected human rights – topics that were identified as most important for advocacy work by civil society organizations in six regions. This section starts with a general introduction to human rights as instruments of international law. they describe the selected rights and compare the international standards and the situation in Myanmar.

These rights include rights of assembly and association, child rights and women’s rights, land rights, and participatory peace processes. You will also find case studies showing what advocating human rights topics might look like.

How to Use the Toolkit

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This toolkit is intended mainly for PIN’s partner organizations in the divisions and ethnic states of Myanmar. Most of these organizations focus on grass-roots level activities. However, this toolkit can also be used by nationwide organizations, individual human rights defenders, other campaigners, students, or anybody interested in human rights, advocacy, or communication.

You do not need to read this toolkit from beginning to end. You will probably benefit more if you take just parts that are useful for you. However, if you work with the book during a longer time period, you can use it step-by-step during the preparation, implementation, and evaluation of your advocacy activity. Keep in mind that it is up to you to decide which parts are useful for you – the toolkit is designed to support your plans, with the resources that are available for you. You do not have to do it all – they would rather you do less – so long as you do it well.

The toolkit will:

  • Help you to analyse the roles of stakeholders in your advocacy
  • Help you to define your goals and shape your message
  • Give you ideas and inspiration on tools for your advocacy
  • Help you to assess and determine the best use of available resources
  • Give you an insight into human right standards and the situation in Myanmar
  • Show examples of successful advocacy campaigns

You can download this toolkit for free here.

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