On November 18, 2016 the NPM Resource Center at KNU welcomed a guest lecture of Peace Corps Volunteer Alexander Simmons on “Advocacy Concept and Strategy” for over 50 students, faculty and CSOs. The lecture was dedicated to the importance of grassroots advocacy and involvement of civil society into the decision-making process within social, political and economic system and institutions. “Various decisions within your community or by your government are made every day that will either positively or negatively impact your life”, pointed out Mr. Simmons. Further, he presented to the participants examples of effective advocacy, i.e. rally, educational trainings, litigation, and lobbying; and offered examples of advocacy implementation from the American as well as Central Asian experience, from gender rights to business initiatives to grassroots rallies against nuclear tests. In the United States, Mr. Simmons has been involved into the activities on refugee resettlement including advocating to businesses to employ refugees and occasionally government officials. In Kyrgyzstan, he has worked with non-profit organization “Aryyjan-Karakol”, which does advocacy for women rights throughout the Issyk-Kul oblast, particularly in villages. The lecturer outlined main steps of advocacy planning: identification of the issues, working with facts, building support base, understanding your opposition, studying legislative process, and using media for rising awareness. Finally, he urged civil society to make an accent on cooperation and exchange of ideas rather than the competition.

Photo 1 Alexander Simmons PCV Guest Lecture Nov 18 KNU IMG 2692

Peace Corps Volunteer Alexander Simmons giving a guest lecture on “Advocacy Concept and Strategy” at NPM Resource Center at KNU on November 18, 2016

Photo 2 Alexander Simmons participants Nov 18 IMG 2656

Over 50 students, faculty and CSO representatives attended a guest lecture of Peace Corps Volunteer Alexander Simmons on the theme “Advocacy Concept and Strategy” on November 18 at NPM Resource Center at KNU

Photo 3 Alexander Simmons Students making notes Nov 18 IMG 2694

During the lecture, the participants have been making notes of some interesting facts and experience shared

Photo 5 Alexander Simmons telling about work with CSO on gender issuesres Nov 18 IMG 2685

Peace Corps Volunteer Alexander Simmons sharing his experience of supporting one of the Karakol CSOs to on gender issues