We generated a number of distinct outputs which contributed to the levels of knowledge and capacity and well as promoting increased levels of self-reflection in relation to social justice advocacy.

Outputs from The Advocacy Initiative

Project Scoping Report


This research examined the literature on advocacy and involved a survey of 170 community and voluntary organisations to assess the extent and nature of advocacy work being undertaken by these organisations.

Statement on Social Justice Advocacy

The working statement on social justice advocacy was developed in order to inform the development of the Initiative along with informing and stimulating conversations, debates and reflections.

Guide to Social Justice Advocacy Training Opportunities

This online guide was compiled based on research conducted by Irish Charities Tax Research (ICTR) for Atlantic Philanthropies. It was updated in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Mapping of Social Justice Advocacy in Ireland Study (2012) (including five case studies of effective social justice advocacy)

This research examined and documented the breadth, depth and practice of social justice advocacy with the non-profit sector in Ireland. It involved a postal survey of 288 community and voluntary organisations and a more in-depth online survey of the organisations who indicated that they were actively involved in social justice advocacy. The study was complemented by five case study examples of effective social justice advocacy.

Public Opinion Polling (Nov 2012 & June 2013)

The purpose of these polls (two online surveys of over 1,400 respondents over the age of 16) was to understand what the general public thought of the lobbying, campaigning and social justice advocacy work of the community and voluntary sector. A summary of the findings emerging from these two polls was produced entitled: Who Cares About Social Justice Advocacy? What the public thinks.

Funding Dissent: Research into the Impact of Advocacy on State Funding of Voluntary and Community Organisations (2013)

This study explored the link between advocacy and funding in both an international and Irish contexts. It found in the Irish context inconsistent practice by government, with both provision for and prohibition of advocacy work. This report also sets out the ‘rational case’ for advocacy and its role in a democracy.

In Other Words”: Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Social Justice Advocacy (2013)

This study (conducted using a participatory research approach which involved seven social justice advocates in the research process) explored 33 policy makers and influencer’s views on social justice advocacy.

Are we paying for that?” - Government Funding and Social Justice Advocacy (2014)

This study explored the funding relationship between the state and voluntary and community organizations engaged in public policy advocacy in Ireland from the perspective of the voluntary and community sector. It found relationships on a continuum from the inhibition and suppression of advocacy to active and positive support for advocacy work.

The Regulatory Environment for Social Justice Advocacy in Ireland 

This study offers an overview of the regulations, both formal and informal, which affect the social justice advocacy environment in Ireland. It also anticipates the challenges that will be posed for the sector with the introduction of legislation in relation to the regulation of lobbyists and the Charities Act 2009.

Assess Your Advocacy Tool

This online tool (developed with the assistance of Bolder Advocacy, an initiative of the Alliance for Justice (AFJ) in the United States) was designed to help support community and voluntary sector organisations and coalitions a) measure their advocacy capacity, and b) identify activity areas that need to be strengthened.

Are we getting there?’ - Identification of Indicators for Social Justice Advocacy

This tool sets out a framework to allow advocates and their organisation to identify their own indicators for effectiveness. The purpose of the indicators is to support those doing social justice advocacy answer the question: How do we know our advocacy is working?

Outputs from the various Knowledge Exchange Fora

Various reports, presentations and videos. Following the inaugural meeting each Exchange Fora focused on a different topic. The topics covered included: e-advocacy and social media tools; good practices; participation; collaboration; and creative approaches and tactics for social justice advocates.

Guest Blogs

20 guest blogs from a variety of individuals from across a range of sectors addressing themes relevant to the community and voluntary sector and their social justice advocacy work in particular.

The Advocacy Initiative Website

The Advocacy Initiative website (which went live on 22nd June 2012) has had approximately 12,335 unique visitors, 42% of which were return visitors, the average number of pages visited per visit was 3.35.

Advocacy Posts (Newsletter of the Advocacy Initiative)

Post are sent on a monthly basis to up to 1,200 people. These posts drove traffic to the website and encouraged engagement with The Advocacy Initiative research, news and events.


The Advocacy Initiative Events 2011-2014

Event Type & Numbers

Event Description

Number Registered

Report Launches

Funding Dissent Study (Part 1)

(Feb 2013)


In Other Words Study

(June 2013)


Are we paying for that? (Funding Study Part II)

(Jan 2014)



Public Opinion Poll 1 (Feb 2013)


Public Opinion Poll 2 (June 2013)


The Regulatory Environment (Dec 2013)


Knowledge Exchange Fora (6 along with a Final Conference)


Inaugural Knowledge Exchange Forum (Feb 2012)


2nd Knowledge Exchange Forum (July 2012) - Focus on E-Advocacy and Key Social Media Tools


3rd Knowledge Exchange Forum (Dec 2012) – Good practice case studies


4th Knowledge Exchange Forum (July 2013) – Participation and Advocacy


5th Knowledge Exchange Forum (Nov 2013) – Collaboration


6th Knowledge Exchange Forum (May 2014) - Creative Approaches and tactics for social justice advocates


Final Conference (July 2014) – Breaking Though: The Future of Social Justice Advocacy


Local Reflection Events

(2013- 2014)


Making Sure All Voices are heard in Dublin 12 organised and hosted by Rathmines Pembroke Community Partnership.


Launch and discussion of the book ‘Paid For – My Journey through prostitution’ by Rachel Moran organised and hosted by Doras Luimní (Limerick).


Advocacy - whose role is it anyway? Organised and hosted by Meath Equality, Rights and Anti-Poverty Network.


Disconnect between policymakers and C&V sector. Organised and hosted by Limerick Active Citizen Network.


Thriving & Surviving in Changing Times organised by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.


Are our hands tied? Organised and hosted by Clare Active Citizenship Network (Clare)


Artists for Civic Action - using theatre to advocate for social justice and influence public policy. Organised and hosted by Smashing Times Theatre Company (Dublin).


Using Advocacy in Creating Safe Communities where Children Can Flourish. Organised and hosted by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).


Campaigning and Advocacy: The experience of home-care campaigning. Organised and hosted by The Carers Association (Dublin).


Knowledge Exchange Workshop. Organised and hosted by the National University Galway.


'Our Community - Our Voices' Launch of a Human Rights Based Approach toolkit to inform advocates. Organised by Dundalk Simon Community (Louth).


Other Events

Advocacy and Philanthropy (July 2013)


Implications of the electoral acts and the regulation of political financing for social justice advocacy (March 2014)



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