Advocacy is an internationally-acclaimed tool for Civil Society, in its efforts to bring institutional change to important social problems. In Greece, especially in the periphery, advocacy activities are either limited, or of limited efficiency, with exceptions in human rights, environmental or social welfare issues. This is attributed to 2 factors:
– Firstly, non-profit organizations (NPOs) in Greece lack knowledge and expertise regarding advocacy’s methodology and tools, in order to design and implement effective relevant activities
– Secondly, the negative image of non-profits in the media and the general public pose as an obstacle to the potential communication and collaboration of all parties for a good cause and their active participation to decision-making.
Τhe project “Non-profits & Media advocating for good!” aims to strengthen civil society advocacy and watchdog role in Greece. To achieve that, the project offers a framework of experiential training & collaboration, benefitting 32 media representatives and 32 non-profits’ staff in 4 cities of Greece, which will be selected based on the fact that they have both vibrant NPO communities and media as well as significant social issues, in order to co-create and implement together advocacy activities.
The project “Non-profits & Media advocating for good!” is being implemented under the Active citizens fund in Greece by HIGGS (Project Promoter) and its partners, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Open Knowledge Foundation Greece and Journalism Initiative.
The aim of the project is to strengthen advocacy and the watchdog role of civil society in Greece. The project will promote good governance, accountability and transparency and the cooperation among the media and civil society organizations in order to run advocacy campaigns. This will be achieved through the training of 32 media and 32 civil society organizations who will participate in 3 experiential workshops in 4 different cities in Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Komotini, Patras).
More specifically, through the 3 experiential workshops:
- 32 organizations will gain skills on how to communicate with the media.
- 32 representatives of the media will become sensitized to the work of the organizations and will learn how to handle their information.
- These civil society organizations and media will be informed about the available open data in their Municipality.
- 64 representatives of NPOs and the media will optimize the techniques of data collection, analysis, and distribution, in order to use them in the planning of their activities and to expand their research skills.
- Enhancing the research skills/capabilities of local regional media and NPOs will strengthen their role, collaboration and ability to function as watchdogs.
- 64 representatives of NPOs and the media will be informed about the available open-source budgets and their role in enhancing the transparency and accountability of public bodies as a raw material for the creation of mechanisms for direct democracy.
Finally, the participants who will complete the experiential workshops will be able to co-design advocacy activities and implement 4 advocacy campaigns promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance.
Project's Announcement Event
Project’s announcement opening event will take place at HIGGS premises, in Athens, with the participation of representatives of the Civil Society, the Media, but also the general public. The speakers of the event
will be representatives of HIGGS, AUTh, Open Knowledge Greece and Journalism Initiative. During the event we will present the importance and objectives of the program, as well as the activities, while
participants will have the chance to address their questions to the speakers about the project and the program.
Experiential Workshop: Advocacy Phase A
A two-day experiential workshop with a duration of 12 hours that will take place in 4 cities (Thessaloniki, Patras, Komotini and Athens). The workshop will be addressed to 8 Non-profit Organizations or
informal groups per city, as well as to 8 media per city. The workshop aims at creating/enhancing the identity, the communication tools and material of the NPOs helping them to acquire the appropriate skills
in order to plan advocacy campaigns and bring institutional/legal change to an issue of their common interest. The first phase will focus on what is advocacy and how an organization can plan a campaign
Experiential Workshop: Advocacy Phase B
A two-day experiential workshop with a duration of 12 hours that will take place in 4 cities (Thessaloniki, Patras, Komotini and Athens) and will be implemented by the Open Knowledge Greece Foundation.
The workshop will provide a detailed briefing to the NPOs and media about the available open data in their Municipality and optimization of data collection, analysis and available techniques, so that they can use
them during the planning of their activities. In addition, citizens and journalists will be informed about available resources regarding open budgets and their role in strengthening transparency and accountability
of public bodies as a raw material for the creation of mechanisms for direct democracy. Finally, an open workshop will be held for the recording of open data concerning the execution of budgets of the Greek
Municipalities and regions.
Experiential Workshop: Advocacy Phase C
A two-day experiential workshop with a duration of 8 hours that will take place in 4 cities (Thessaloniki, Patras, Komotini and Athens). The workshop will be addressed to 8 Non-profit Organizations and to 8 media
per city. During the third phase, the media and NPOs will be divided into groups and will co-design advocacy campaigns, in order to implement them in collaboration using a methodology provided by HIGGS.
Interim progress meetings for the implementation of advocacy campaigns
In order for the NPOs and media to be able to apply successfully what they have learned during the experiential workshops, our planning includes conducting two online meetings and one in person with each
team during the implementation of their activities. These meetings aim at examining their progress, address any difficulties and problems, and provide further counseling support on issues that have arisen.
During the final event, there will be a presentation of the activities and the results of the project. Additionally, 4 teams of NPOs and media will present the advocacy campaigns they have co-designed and will implement. The project promoter and the partners will also share good practices that have emerged during the planning of the advocacy activities. The event will be addressed to the participants of the project
as well as to stakeholders of the third sector.