- The Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA (PHAIWA) promotes develops and supports public health advocacy in Western Australia.
PHAIWA was established in April 2008. PHAIWA is an independent public health voice based within Curtin University, with a range of funding partners. The institute aims to raise the public profile and understanding of public health, develop local networks and create a statewide umbrella organisation capable of influencing public health policy and political agendas.
PHAIWA focuses on a number of areas of public health advocacy activity. These range from providing general advocacy processes for public health, conducting advocacy related research and project, building capacity within the public health workforce for more effective advocacy lobbying and communicating through our partners and the media.
PHAIWA design and implement projects and research to improve public health advocacy practice and strengthen the evidence base for public health and advocacy and policy initiatives.
PHAIWA has a focus on increasing advocacy skills within the health and allied sectors. We plan and facilitate capacity building activities such as media training, we mentor emerging leaders to become the advocates of tomorrow and we run topic specific forums to generate consensus advocacy targets.
We aim to make complicated research and project findings relevant and understood by policy makers to generate change and action. Our knowledge transfer activities generate user friendly information and evidence to policy makers and politicians. Two examples of this include our daily MediaWatch service and our monthly JournalWatch service.
We are a small but dynamic group who aim to influence and encourage change in many settings. PHAIWA is an organisation that is diverse in its aims as well as activity, which makes our Institute unique, innovative and never the same from one day to the next.
- PHAIWA’S TOP 10 TIPS FOR ADVOCACY
1. Be professional – Be honest, straightforward, realistic and polite
2. Know the media – familiarise yourself with all aspects of the media who is who
3. Read, watch, listen, surf – get to know as much as you can about what’s in the media and the ways in which they report
4. Learn government and how it works – make sure this covers all levels of government
5. Know what you want – be clear about your objectives and how you want to portray the message
6. Have the evidence to back up your message
7. Work as coalitions – the more people and organisations the better, presenting a united front
8. Share the burdens and the credit – use people who are best and most appropriate, but always ensure that the credit is shared as much as possible
9. Identify the opposition – and oppose it
10. Timing is everything for successful participation in advocacy.