Effective Advocate Research Paper

Decent Essays
Session: The Effective Advocate: A Policy-Maker’s Perspective with River Chandler
Topics Covered:
- Importance of advocating and involving community in policy-making in government
- Inclusion practices for involving community, particularly drug-users
Key Learnings: River discussed advocacy in regard to harm reduction “inside” and “outside.” “Outside” groups and campaigns are essential to move policy-makers to make changes that members want to see. As River mentioned, campaigns for Insite helped show politicians that it was hazardous not to endorse it. “Inside” the provincial government, evidence based policy making and to involving drug-users in policy and program development are important practices. Nothing About Us, Without Us is an evidence-based initiative to increase engagement of drug-users in policy and the BC Centre for Disease Control has an evidence-based and policy backed
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In order to address this health issue, more proactive, evidenced-based, and community supported policies and initiatives are necessary. The more people and organizations that work together, the more potential for success.
My two main takeaways:
- Ministry Service Plan and Minister’s Mandate Letter: When it comes to policy proposals, using the words of the government or group/organization who is in power is valuable to gain support and make a difference. On a provincial level, using a ministry’s service plan and minister’s mandate letter is appropriate. I was able to put this advice to practice when doing policy pitches with my group at the end of the week.
- Tipping point: As opioid overdoses and open drug use increased, policy passing quickened. This signifies a tipping point. If an issue is not at a tipping point yet, we can push it forward by determining what the government has said about it publicly and bring forward strong and appropriate evidence and aligning it with our
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