How to advocate

Public health advocacy is needed everywhere, whether it is urban planning, human rights, tobacco regulation, cross-border, data protection. All these regulations and policies have an impact on public health. The time for public health advocacy is now and the voice needed is yours. Without the involvement of public health professionals, others will shape the public health agenda and make decisions without the evidence-base we can provide. 

So join our network, join your national association, join the European public health community to advocate for better public health. 

General tips for advocacy

  • Research the issue at hand. What are the key questions, which answers should be given. 
  • Remember that you are not alone, find others who agree with you and join up.
  • Build alliances in the widest sense. Are there other stakeholders working on the same topic? 
  • Know who the opposite stakeholders are. What are their arguments? How can you counter these?
  • Set clear goals and expectations. What do you want out of the advocacy, what is the result you want to achieve? 
  • Develop an action plan and time schedule. 

Tips for advocacy with policymakers

If you are planning to influence policymakers, the following tips may be helpful:

  • Get to know your elected leaders. Who is the policymaker deciding on the issue? 
  • Establish relationships with key policymakers.
  • Begin early, policymaking is a long process, the biggest influence can be made at the initial stage. 
  • Know your key messages.
  • Get your issue on record. Put your issue on the agenda, so it is not forgotten.
  • Make sure you treat all involved with respect and be transparent about your own involvement.

Examples from our members:

The French Society of Public Health often calls upon members to sign open letters to the government to express concerns about public health impact of policies.

The UK Faculty of Public Health has issues a Manifesto for Public Health for all newly elected parliamentarians in the UK. A great way of putting your health issues on the table.