Advocacy is public support for an idea, cause or policy. It involves people participating in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Advocacy strategies can include lobbying, social marketing, information, education and communication, community organizing or other tactics. Since 1987, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) projects have supported the development of a robust and vibrant electoral systems. IFES aims to increase the effective and educated participation of citizens in political and electoral processes.

IFES’ activities help develop informed civil society organizations (CSOs) with the skills to impact political change through meaningful, sustained and inclusive advocacy. IFES’ support to CSOs works from the bottom up – as CSOs engage citizens to develop consensus on priority issues – and from the top down – when CSOs engage political actors in public dialogue on citizens’ priorities. This is designed to create and strengthen linkages between citizens and political entities at all levels.