In his book, “making of Champions” Benjamin Suulola, stated that, “Growing your leadership capacity demands personal effectiveness. Being effective is the ability to do the right thing at all times, no matter the cost.” 

Between 5th–9th of August 2019, UYAHF staff joined 20 other CSOs to a capacity building training on Advanced Family Planning (AFP) SMART Advocacy Diffusion that aimed at introducing the AFP SMART Advocacy approach to partners; increase their understanding of AFP SMART and how to apply it in developing advocacy strategies and facilitating partners on how to develop advocacy strategies.

The week-long training that camped at Mbale resort hotel attracted over 30 participants who discussed various advocacy strategies geared towards the achievement of the long-term goal’s outlines in the Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan under the Ministry of Health.

Attentive: Members of CSO’s during the AFP SMART training

The highly active and participatory training involved technical presentations, group works, discussions which enabled participants to develop their organizations of Smart Advocacy Strategies led by each organization.

During the training, participants discussed different approaches of deciding on who to involve in the advocacy work, how to set SMART advocacy objectives to guide on who and what the goals need to be achieved, identifying, understanding and reaching key decision-makers for effective engagement and identifying and understanding the decision-makers.

Mr. Richard Mugenyi the Advocacy and Communications Manager of Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) empathized that “for the advocacy to be effective, an advocate must be diplomatic, patient, be an effective mobilizer with the ability to work with others to achieve the expected targets.

He stated that advocacy and Activism may aim at achieving some goals but different in approaches.

Advocacy is simply an act or process of supporting a cause or proposal while Activism is simply a practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue depending on the issues different strategies work on different situations” Notes Mr. Mugenyi

The training provided an opportunity for UYAHF and other CSOs working on Family Planning to develop organizations smart advocacy strategies geared towards achieving the increased Modern

Contraceptive Prevalent Rate to 50% by 2020, but also to reduce unmet needs for family planning to 10% by the same year.

UYAHF team was able to develop an advocacy strategy that will guide their work and operations especially in engaging with the Ministry of Health.