Influencing policy change through advocacy communication : sexual and reproductive health and rights in East and Southern Africa
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The purpose of this study is to find out what factors should be taken into consideration and what is the role of stakeholders when influencing policy advancements for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in East and Southern Africa. This study seeks to especially explore how an enabling policy environment for the SRHR issues could be achieved. The case organization for this study is United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The research data consists of eight qualitative interviews, most of which were conducted in South Africa in 2019. To obtain as wide view of the researched topic as possible, in addition to UNFPA professionals, the organization’s key stakeholders were interviewed. The interviews were analysed by thematic analysis. The research follows abductive reasoning meaning that the formation of the theoretical framework and analysis of the data are overlapping. The findings suggest that organizations can influence SRHR policy advancements primarily through communication efforts. Strategic framing of the issues, agenda building practices and engaging key stakeholders and policy makers in dialogue results in achieving a more enabling environment and finally more beneficial policy changes for SRHR. Also the usage of different advocacy strategies is influential when engaging policy makers. To pursue the prevailing paradigm of development communication, participatory approach, is crucial since the local stakeholders should be seen as active and equal partners in the advocacy. Altogether, effective SRHR policy influencing needs communication to succeed but little attention has been given to research the phenomena from communication perspective. Further research on SRHR advocacy as well as on development communication questions could focus more specifically on the interlinkages with communication discipline. ...
sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) East and Southern Africa UNFPA development communication policy advocacy agenda building multi-stakeholder engagement and dialogue kehystys seksuaaliterveys lisääntymisterveys vaikuttaminen ihmisoikeudet framing sexual health reproductive health influencing human rights
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