How to plan health budget advocacy

Health Financing
Planning health budget advocacy will help you and other advocates to ensure that your advocacy efforts happen at the right time and deliver the right information to the right audience.

WHAT is it?

The Health Budget Advocacy Planning tool (download available below) will help you and other advocates to prepare for health budget advocacy by mapping what advocacy interventions you will implement, when and to whom. The tool can be routinely updated as you continue to monitor and evaluate your advocacy interventions.

The accompanying training slides (download available below) can help you to understand why it is important to plan for health budget advocacy, identify the stages of planning for budget advocacy, and learn how to develop your own plan.

E4A-MamaYe support multiple stakeholders to conduct advocacy to improve maternal and new-born health. Advocates have found that they are more likely to be listened to if they speak with a unified voice. Developing a budget advocacy plan enables organisations to coordinate and review their advocacy efforts, and work as a team to achieve change.

HOW do I do this?

You need:

  • The Health Budget Advocacy Planning tool
  • The group of people you are working with
  • A joint understanding of a problem that needs to be resolved and what objective you would like to achieve.


Useful tips for you:

  1. Identify the issue.
  2. Agree on key objectives.
  3. Select a target audience.
  4. Develop your message.
  5. Set out activities.
  6. Identify collaborators.
  7. Set out how you will monitor your interventions and evaluate their impact


WHEN do I do it?

For best results, plan your health budget advocacy at the start of your engagement in the budget cycle, to ensure that all your advocacy interventions are coordinated, planned and strategic from the outset. The coalitions we support have found it helpful to revisit their advocacy plan on a quarterly basis. Regularly updating their plan helps them to account for the changing context in their country and to reflect on what they have learnt while implementing their advocacy interventions. This also allows them to coordinate with other organisations working in the same place, so that they can align advocacy efforts and amplify their collective voice.


WHAT can I do with the information?

Advocacy plans are very useful to ensure your advocacy is strategic. However, the plan is only effective if it leads to action! As a group, ask yourselves the following questions:

  1. What is our first advocacy activity and when does it need to take place?
  2. What sub-activities might need to take place first (e.g. evidence generation)?
  3. Who is responsible for implementing these sub-activities and for keeping track of when the advocacy will happen?
  4. What resources are available and how much more do we need to implement the activities? Who has them?

If the advocacy activity involves verbal communication, we recommend role playing to make sure you are fully prepared to make your case for action. Once the advocacy has taken place, make sure you document any changes that happen, small or big, so you can reflect on them when you next look at your plan.