The role of civil society in policy advocacy : a case study of the Treatment Action Campaign and health policy in South Africa.
Policy is a rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes while advocacy is a strategy to influence architects of decision making or policy makers when they make regulations and laws, distribute resources, and make other decisions that affect peoples' lives. The principal aims of policy advocacy as postulated by Kervatin in 1998 are to create policies, reform policies, and ensure policies are implemented. This study examines the role of civil society in policy advocacy, using the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) as an example. Therefore, the study uses a content analysis method of data collection and analysis to explicate the various advocacy strategies employed by the Treatment Action Campaign to advocate for access to HIV/AIDs treatment in post-apartheid South Africa. The policy advocacy strategies of the TAC were investigated pertaining to the implementation of health policy on HIV/AIDS in South Africa. There are a variety of advocacy strategies employed by civil society organisations, such as discussing problems directly with policy makers, delivering messages through the media, or strengthening the ability of local organisations to advocate. These strategies are known as advocacy tools for planning successful advocacy initiatives. Most of them are clearly reflected in the case of the TAC organisation, which employed these strategies and others to advocate for HIV/AIDS policy change.
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