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Passion is an overused word in these times. Yet it is fundamental when it comes to a position of advocacy. Advocacy involves arguing for a particular idea or supporting a cause on behalf of a person or institution. Organizations that participate in advocacy work hire people who are passionate about the organizational cause and give them the opportunity, tools, skills and knowledge to realize the shared vision.There are various positions within these organizations, but it is the advocacy officers who are directly involved in formulating and implementing the organizational policy and strategies. An advocacy officer job description indicates the objective, the nature and level of the job, key functional and relational responsibilities and candidate requirements.
Each advocacy organization has a specific cause, and its officers share a passion towards realizing it. Typically the purpose of the position is stated in the job description. An advocacy officer demonstrates commitment to the cause either through previous job experiences or any other activities related to the cause. For example, a person with experience in organizing and participating in book drives would be a good fit for an organization advocating for the promotion of literacy.
The advocacy officer helps implement the organization’s policies and strategies, so he should be aware of the job's scope and requirements as well as the expected outcomes. The advocacy officer devises ways of reaching those who could use the organization’s assistance and offering the help needed. For example, an advocate against child abuse could organize a legal aid clinic to create awareness about child abuse. In offering that service, the advocate could locate a child in need of Child Protection Services.
Advocacy work requires a capacity to build and maintain effective relationships both within and outside the organization. Advocacy officers represent their clients to people and organizations that can remedy the situation. For example, an advocacy officer could organize a meeting with local elected representatives and philanthropic organizations to present the plight of battered women living in the community and push for the establishment of additional safe houses in the area. Externally, the officer coordinates the project with the partners on behalf of the organization. Internally, the officer collaborates with finance and procurement to implement advocacy initiatives. An advocacy officer is accountable to the program director, and they work together to ensure that the initiatives they implement have positive and measurable outcomes.
Although a shared passion and vision is the fundamental requirement for an advocacy officer to work in a specific organization, there are other necessary attributes for this kind of work. Advocacy officers need training and experience so that they have knowledge of the issues they represent in the course of their work. They must possess personal attributes such as integrity, focus, diligence and ability to communicate effectively and persuade others towards their point of view.
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