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National Monitoring Committees on NTBs
NMC members trained on advocacy strategies and approaches.
 
Posted on : 23 - Jan - 2013 - Viewed : 113 times
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The Ministry of Trade and Industry organized a training workshop on “Advocacy Strategies and Approaches” for members of the National Monitoring Committee (NMC) for elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) in collaboration with the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and with support from TradeMark East Africa.
The training was conducted in Karongi District at Moriah Hill Resort Hotel from 8th to 9th November 2012. In total, 29 participants from public and private sectors as well as civil society attended the training.

The training was officially opened by Mr. Gerard NkusiMukubu, Chief Advocacy Officer from the Private Sector Federation and NMC co-chair.

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While delivering his opening remarks, Mr. Gerard indicated that advocacy consists of actions designed to draw a community’s attention to an issue and to direct policy-makers to a solution. He also noted that advocacy is putting a problem on the agenda, providing a solution to that problem and building support for acting on both the problem and the solution. Advocacy initiatives require organization, strategic thinking, information, communication, outreach and mobilization.
He indicated that the course has been prepared for beginners and for people with some experience of advocacy and campaigning who want to reflect on how to increase their impact or about creating advocacy and campaigning strategies. He pointed out that the course will further provide a mix of theoretical inputs and practical exercises that will enable participants to build their skills and understanding on advocacy concepts.

Mr. Gerard further noted that he was convinced that the training will considerably equip participants with adequate and basic skills aimed at changing policies, positions and programmes of governments, institutions or organizations on matters of public interest and will hence enable them to become the driving force of the EAC regional integration processes, in registering NTBs, monitor the process of their removal and positively influence their elimination for a successful regional integration.

He finally mentioned that the training workshop will provide platforms for participants to exchange views and practical experiences on active and effective advocacy.
The overall objectives of the training were among others :

  • To introduce advocacy concepts ; identify the core skills required for advocacy ; and learn how to develop an advocacy strategy
  • To consider how advocacy could contribute to achieving the objectives of participants’ organizations
  • To provide a practical introduction to some key tools and methods used in advocacy including Issue identification and analysis, Power mapping, Lobbying and influencing, Working in alliances, campaigning and public outreach to mention a few
  • To reflect on the role and identify key institutions and individuals relevant to the interests and activities of our NMC

The training was based on participatory approach and adult learning techniques. The objectives were to get full participation of the trainees.

The training targeted mainly stakeholders from public and private sectors involved in advocacy on cross cutting issues and other member based organizations that actively advocate for their members ‘issues such as transporters association, clearing and freight forwarders association, coffee exporters association, insurers association, and many others.

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Grace Muhorakeye, Executive Secretary of CEPAR (coffee exporters and processors association), explained that the training on Advocacy Strategies and Approaches will help her to do my work since she belongs to a business lobby organization that seeks to improve its participation in dialogue with stakeholders and EAC region for better policy results and this will happen due to strong development of position papers, identification and elimination of NTBs.

“The training was one of kind that most officials who engage in dialogue should attend to be able to know the best channel to communicate to the audience and provide feed-back to stakeholders”, said Daniel Nkubito, Expert Public Private Dialogue at Rwanda Development Board (RDB). “The negotiation part was amazing : I learnt how to foster the dialogue or any negotiation to yield a better result and SMART orientation as part and parcel of an effective debate ; formulation of a concise position paper articulating the screened SMART phrasing harness and ensuring the buy in of the parties on the round table. I am going to use the tools aforementioned in the Public Private Dialogue Mechanism mostly focusing on effectiveness, cost less and SMART oriented endeavors”, he said.

Another trainee from PSF, Mr. Leon Rusanganwa in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation added to the testimonies the following statement:The training on Advocacy Strategies and Approaches helped me to improve my skills imparting knowledge on how to build strategic abilities and implementation skills in advocacy engagement and dialogue. The training has created in me room for insight, the exchange of experience, and the building of knowledge and facilitation skills to coordinate stakeholders’ consensus building and relationships, build strong networks for high-impact solutions, and create the space for learning and collaboration with different stakeholders.

The first day was dedicated to theoretical concepts on Advocacy and developing position papers on case studies while the second day was consecrated to presentation of developed position papers and introduction to bilateral negotiations and MOUs and Action Plans drafting.

In total 4 presentations were made in line with the training topic : Understanding Advocacy (Theory, Concepts, Key Steps and Roles of Stakeholders), Advocacy Tools and Techniques including template for Position Paper and Action Plan, Advocacy and Communication Channels and Draft Memoranda of Understanding & Action Plans

Further, 3 selected Case Studies on NTBs were developedbased on NMC existing sub-committees responsibilities : Standards, Customs and Border Procedures, and Transport and Infrastructure.

Participants developed position papers in line with case studies given to them and presented their position in the bilateral negotiations.
This training approach allowed participants to grasp the theory and build network among themselves and hence the used methodology made the training sessions more interactive and interesting.

 
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