Training Offered

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Advocacy School plans are underway now to roll out a range of advocacy training workshops across Canada and on-line webinars.

Please indicate below which of the following sessions interests you the most and how or where – or whether - you would like to participate.

Indicating your interest does not constitute registration for this training and creates no obligation to participate. You will be notified by e-mail when a webinar or in-person training of the sort you have indicated is scheduled at which time registration and on-line payment would be available.


Informed Opinions

Informed Opinions: How to Write and Place Commentary to Raise Profile and Attract Attention” is a day-long interactive  “live” workshop designed to help you and your organization raise your profile and draw public attention to issues you care about.

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Strategic Meetings 

Strategic Meetings:  How to Get the Most out of In-Person Meetings with Public Officials” is a 3-hour “live” workshop ( or 60 minute webinar)  designed to help you and your organization get more results from your meetings with both elected and appointed public officials; ideal for simulating  a re-think of how your organization lobbies politicians and bureaucrats as part of its advocacy activities.

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Preparing Effective Briefing Notes

Preparing Effective Briefing Notes” introduces you to the basics of writing clear, concise, and persuasive briefing notes.

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The “Rules” of Lobbying

A workshop about what all public-policy advocates need to know about the rules of lobbying and political action in Canada, covering such matters as lobbyists registration, political donations, advocacy restrictions on charities, NGOs, professional and trade associations.

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Lobbying by Non-Profits and Charities: Getting It Right from the Top Down and from the Bottom-Up

This is a day-long workshop (currently not available in webinar format) designed exclusively for members of boards of directors of organizations that have (or are considering) public-policy advocacy as an important part of the organization’s work. 

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How the System Works and How to Work the System: A Primer on Effective Public-Policy Advocacy

This is a full-day workshop (not currently available in webinar format) on advocacy and lobbying for individuals (and organizations who want to learn more about how to organize one’s time, resources and issue management to legitimately influence decisions of government at federal, provincial or local levels.

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Constructing Winning Policy Proposals to Government

 Using established government formats, analytical frameworks and templates, and drawing upon insights and expertise gained from well more than one hundred successful major submissions spanning the full range of public issues, this workshop helps participants understand how their proposition can best be set out for consideration by government policy formulators, advisors and decision makers.

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Strategic Inquiry: The Important Starting Point in Any Advocacy Effort

Strategic Inquiry is a workshop (or webinar) designed to guide you through a focussed, efficient process of exploring and assessing the political and public policy environment before launching an attempt to try to influence a decision by political or bureaucratic decision-makers in Government.

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Negotiating Change

Negotiating Change is a three part workshop series designed to assist organizations who are engaging, negotiating or attempting to engage policy makers, government officials or other organizations to move a policy, process, business or program forward.

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Public Narrative – how to communicate your story to bind your community together and inspire collective action.

  Public narrative is a method of argument that touches the heart as much as the brain. It is based on those things we all tell each other – stories. You will become a more effective communicator by practicing a public narrative that can be mobilized in the service of advocacy-related goals.

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Advocacy by public sector institutions in Ontario post Bill 122

Bill 122, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, passed by the Ontario Legislature in late fall 2010, prohibits public sector organizations from using public funds to hire external lobbyists. Learn about tools and techniques your organization can use to leverage existing ‘assets’ to achieve government relations goals.

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Research Tools in Support of Advocacy

Information – and lots of it – is essential to any advocacy effort. Thus, a key advocacy skill is knowing how to find and use information, efficiently and effectively.

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Public Engagement in a Multi-Stakeholder Environment

Public engagement is a new way of thinking about how government works together with stakeholders and ordinary citizens to achieve a wide range of goals that it cannot achieve alone, such as population health, adjustment to climate change, building a highly skilled labour force or national security.

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Creating an Effective Communications Strategy in One Month 

“Create an effective communications strategy in one month” is a hands-on, four-week course that teaches participants the rationale for, approaches to, and the core elements of strategic communications planning.

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Who Does What in Government? 

Who Does What in Government? provides a basic roadmap of how government works and is designed to strengthen participants’ capacity to effectively navigate government policy and decision making processes.

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No Strategy, No Impact 

"No Strategy, No Impact" Participants will learn to ask the questions that all good strategies are built on and to pursue deliberate, considered action that will significantly increase their chances of advocacy success.

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Making the Case: Advocacy Skills for Families 

"Making the Case: Advocacy Skills for Families" This workshop provides participants with mindsets, ideas, skills and tools to improve their effectiveness in advocating on behalf of their family members. It also connects participants to a series of  subsequent webinar training opportunities and mentoring / coaching designed to assistant participants hone their advocacy skills.

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How to Make the Media your Ally
How to make the media your ally
is a 3-hour “live” workshop (or 60 minute webinar) designed to show professional communicators they can do more than simply put out press releases and hope somebody will come to their way of thinking. In addition to demonstrating what goes into an effective press release, the program will look at other tools communicators can use such as op-eds, backgrounders and pitch letters.

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Addressing Issues in Integrated Risk Management  

Addressing Issues in Integrated Risk Management is a course that will expose participants to a wide range of considerations that need to be factored into the identification and assessment of potential threats to either the continued effective functioning of their organization, i.e. “bet the business” issues, or to the reputation or credibility of the organization as a whole.

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Approaching Policy Communications as Story Telling 

Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that successful policy development guarantees successful policy advocacy, when, in fact, policy advocacy should be seen as a separate act with its own rules for success. “Approaching Policy Communications as Story Telling” is a one-day course that treats policy advocacy as a form of story telling, an approach which identifies the essentials of successful advocacy, whatever the format (e.g. PowerPoint presentation; oral presentation with table drop; etc.).

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Brand-Based Analysis of Organization Identity

“Brand Based Analysis of Organization Identity” is a course which challenges and equips participants to identify what is unique to their organization in a manner that will help rediscover their organization’s raison d’être, and/or identify those advocacy initiatives that will most effectively resonate with and further advance their organization’s brand identity.

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Learning to work in and with the future

"Learning to work in and with the future" is a course that will help participants learn how to break the grip of the status quo by scanning their organization’s environment to anticipate emerging challenges and opportunities, and how to “stand in the future” and “tell the future of the organization back to the present”, all as ways of achieving a better understanding of the choices facing their organization at any time.

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How to Know What You Want and Get What You Need: An Advocacy Workshop for Families Giving Care

This half-day, “live” workshop is aimed at “giving voice” to families dealing with the challenges of caregiving, providing them with practical ideas and tools with which to gain support in their efforts to care for family and loved ones.This workshop will begin by helping participants break down and identify their needs and match them to potential sources of assistance in their community.  Mapping community assets and linking them to a personal, practical need will assist participants in beginning to learn the ‘how to’s’ of solutions-based advocacy.

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Government Decisions on Access to Medicines: How Patient Voices can Make a Difference

In reviewing new medical treatments for drugs, Canadian public drug programs and national agencies encourage stakeholders to provide written submissions on the impacts of diseases, current therapies and expectations for a new treatment. Thus the focus of these workshops will be to help patients, caregivers and other health system stakeholders to understand the process for making a written submission, including who is eligible to submit input, what the agencies and review committees are looking for, and how to make an effective case for coverage.

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Effective and Persuasive Legal Writing

Effective and Persuasive Legal Writing is an interactive, workshop on effective and persuasive legal writing; classroom style for approximately 30 participants. Participants will learn: the importance of identifying the audience for the document; what decision makers (adjudicators and judges) look for in legal writing; the structure of persuasive legal documents; how to effectively use an outline; the importance of clear and concise writing; the common mistakes in drafting legal documents; and writing style tips.

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The Essentials of Effective Evidence

The Essentials of Effective Evidence is an interactive workshop on evidence and expert evidence. The workshop covers a variety of topics including: the types of evidence; rules related to the use of expert witnesses; relevance and admissibility issues in evidence; and many others.

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Planning and implementing strategic communications cost-effectively and successfully for government organizations

Planning and implementing strategic communications cost-effectively and successfully for government organizations will focus on informing, moving and winning the support of key audiences through strategic communications by governments for major announcements, public consultations and stakeholder engagement actions. Designed for manager, staff and consultants who work for governments at any and all levels – federal / national;, provincial / state;  or regional / municipal / local - and for those individuals outside of government who wish to understand how public authorities can and should handle public communications.

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Getting government to pay attention to your organization’s advocacy story

Using strategic communications cost-effectively to support and strengthen a charity’s or non-charity NGO’s to achieve their public-policy advocacy goals cost-effectively in a highly competitive marketplace for getting the attention of government, especially with today’s crowded political landscape that is rapidly being transformed by a digital communications world loaded with “social issues” noises.

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Policy Design Studio

Policy Design Studio allows participants to become familiar with the scope of stakeholder interests in the policy marketplace, and start developing the capabilities to design and manage a strategy for a successful policy initiative (i.e. one that maximizes the prospect that it will win the attention of decision-makers) through creating both demand for and supply of the initiative among key stakeholders, as well as responding to decision-makers’ values and agenda.

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