Rochtain: advocacy initiative – Irish Council for Civil Liberties

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ICCL is proud to present our new advocacy initiative, Rochtain. With supporting funding from the St. Stephen’s Green Trust, Rochtain will work to democratise and enhance the advocacy capacity of community and voluntary organisations through training, information seminars and 1-1 support. Further details of the initiative can be seen below, and you can register your interest by filling out our short needs assessment survey here: 

Rochtain survey link

What is Rochtain?

Rochtain is the Irish word for “access” or “attainment”. Over the last number of years, ICCL has observed a worrying gap in the advocacy landscape in the non-profit sector in Ireland. While our allies are engaging in critical and groundbreaking work in their areas of expertise, they often find it difficult to bring this work to the attention of legislators. While large non-profits can employ full- or part-time advocacy staff or engage the work of consultants, this isn’t an option for many in the sector.

As a result, many organisations struggle to understand where, when and how best to intervene with elected representatives to best advance their causes in a strategic manner.  

This initiative seeks to work to address this imbalance. Through Rochtain we will  provide ongoing training to: 

  • Enhance the capacity of smaller community, voluntary and non-profit organisations to engage with elected representatives; 
  • Improve understanding of the domestic political system in Ireland and;

Better equip partners with an understanding of the system of developing and enacting legislation.  

What is involved?

We hope to deliver a series of online and in-person workshops on a variety of relevant topics such as: 

  • Understanding the political and legislative process in Ireland
  • When and how to intervene on legislation 
  • Translating policy into effective advocacy
  • Communicating with TDs and Senators effectively 
  • Drafting parliamentary questions for submission 
  • Assembling and communicating a budget submission 
  • Assembling and communicating election manifesto asks 
  • Tracking and recording activities for lobbying returns

The training will be complemented with supporting materials and a support service for any advocacy queries you may have.
The initiative will coincide with local and European elections and a budget cycle. Depending on when it is called, the trainings may also align with a general election campaign. This will allow us to assist groups with not only day-to-day advocacy, but also things like preparing a budget proposal and manifesto asks.

Who is it for?

This training will be open for application to all community, voluntary and non-profit organisations.

We are particularly interested in providing training to organisations which:

  • Do not have full time policy/advocacy staff
  • Are working to improve the status of minoritized groups or new communities
  • Would not be in a position to pay for similar training privately.

If seminars or events are over-subscribed, we will prioritise organisations which meet these criteria. ICCL’s founding vision is to “promote human rights, protect civil liberties, recover them where they have been removed and enlarge them where they have been diminished”. In line with this, we reserve the right to not work with organisations which seek to remove rights from others.

How can I find out more and sign up?

Sign up to get updates on Rochtain and to register your interest by clicking below and filling out the short survey. We also ask that you share this email with your own networks so we can increase the reach of potential participants.

Rochtain survey link

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