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Developing your engagement strategy

Hero image description: Indonesian Children, Sumatra, 2005 Image credit:US Navy/Benjamin D Glass

This chapter sets out six steps to help you develop your strategy to engage with and influence policy effectively, depending on the nature of the policy problem, the context and the constellation of actors and networks.

At a minimum, you will know what the policy problem is you are working on: you may have done a good deal of work already to understand it, even if you did not use ROMA to diagnose the problem. Either way, as you work through this section, you may find you need to refer back to Diagnose the problem to ensure you understand the root causes, stakeholder interests and influences, complexity and uncertainty and systemic factors.

Identify your policy influence objective

Formulate a clear initial objective for your engagement strategy. This is likely to change as you monitor, evaluate and learn from the implementation process. But in order to assess how you allocate resources and begin to develop a strategy, you need an objective. The previous section demonstrated focusing techniques to ensure your influencing objective will get to the root of an issue within a nuanced understanding of what the problem is and why it persists. Read more.

Develop a set of realistic, stakeholder-focused outcomes

Develop a realistic set of stakeholder-focused outcomes that in turn help set the framing for the M&E strategy that is the focus of Monitor and learn. Read more.

Develop a theory of how to facilitate change

Extrapolate from the analysis of the political context and the level of complexity in order to develop one or more hypotheses about how such outcomes are likely to come about, that is, a change theory. On the basis of this change theory, a framework is then used for Step 4. Read more.

Develop your communications strategy

Select specific activities to be undertaken by you and your partners to ensure you are able to engage with your target stakeholders in the most appropriate way to help bring about your objective. This includes thinking about communication activities to reach your audience and writing a communications strategy. Read more.

Identify resources and capacity to implement your activities 

Highlight capacity and resources and how you might carry out the process of developing your engagement strategy. Read more.

Write your engagement strategy

You should now be able to begin to write your full engagement strategy. Read more.