30 November 2022

EFA’s Capacity Building programme aims to deepen EFA Members’ knowledge and skills on techniques to create strong positive impacts on policy, law, and public opinion around health. This year the purpose of the training was to increase EFA Members’ knowledge and skills to advocate for allergy, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) change at EU and national level.

These trainings provide members with the opportunity to familiarise with the different ways to deliver optimal advocacy campaigns and share experiences and best practices on campaigning for change at the national level. The training took place online on Thursday, 24th November, 17:30 – 20:00 CET.

The rationale behind advocacy campaigns

The event was opened by EFA Director, Susanna Palkonen, who presented the agenda and its objectives. The first half of the training focused on WHAT is an advocacy campaign and WHY is important to conduct it, providing members with the tools to identify the objectives and what makes it successful. The training continued with a presentation of tools that members can use to influence decision making by identifying the right stakeholders at national and EU Level and appropriate channels to address them. The first half of the session concluded with some practical tips on how to develop a successful campaign; from the elements that are essential to include in the campaign planning to how to make the best use of EFA work and material.

How to plan for advocacy campaigns  

The second half of the training focused on HOW and WHEN to campaign, and started with an introduction of the Atopic Eczema Advocacy Toolkit, which together with other advocacy tools, led to an insightful and practical workshop where participants were divided into disease areas, and they were invited to put together a strategy campaign.

The event finished with conclusive remarks from the moderator and the EFA team, highlighting the discussions in the breakout rooms, with the main takeaway being that the personal experience of patients is of utmost importance when delivering key messages in an advocacy campaign, and it can be done through patient testimonies. Moreover, it was emphasised that the international and European materials and perspective can be leveraged by national associations and patients to influence and put pressure at the national level for action to be taken.

The recordings of the webinar can be watched here.