Helping Markets and States Work for Development

There has been an interest in incorporating advocacy into ICICI Foundation strategy.  Almost all the five partner organizations work with the government in some fashion.  How much of these government interactions are translated into advocacy – reforming the system in which we are working, to make our programs more effective?  The development sector complains constantly about policy roadblocks – outdated legislation, poorly thought out regulation, endemic corruption, politicians pandering to popular trends rather than sustainable solutions.  While we do our best within these conditions, we can work simultaneously to fix these systemic problems at their root cause.  The question we need to answer is how we best fit into this network of change: how can we collectively leverage the Foundation’s strengths for optimal impact in programs AND advocacy?

This background note is intended to give a high-level overview of the basics of advocacy, why it is important, and how best-in-class organizations approach the topic.  Its secondary objective is to showcase various options for structuring an advocacy-oriented organization backed up by programming, to initiate a discussion on what model would best suit the Foundation to most effectively accomplish both its project and advocacy goals.