The Basic Practice of Second Order Advocacy (SOA)

Second Order Advocacy takes the tactics of First Order Advocacy and turns them into an Advocacy Operation. You can understand an Advocacy Operation as a coordinated web of FOA Tactics.

A System of Focus (SOF) has weak relationships with far more than just the legal/rights community that we typically use in a basic advocacy effort.

Remember that the basic tactic in advocacy is to disrupt a weak relationship. If your disruption is effective, the SOF still has to expend resources and time to rebalance it.

Some other kinds of weak processes to consider for disruption:

  • Local elections that affect the funding of the SOF.
  • Disrupting a part of the SOF that isn’t the focus of your advocacy (i.e., going after regular education disability discrimination when you are trying to change special education policy).
  • Making more work for the boss of the point person you are advocating with.
  • Getting your issue into the press.
  • Forcing the SOF to follow “all the rules”. This works best if you segment the multiple complaints, so that they seem to pop up without notice.
  • Filing complaints with multiple organizations, using related but different rights frameworks.
  • Pressuring local officials or allies for help.

By combining various efforts to disrupt over a period of time, you can create an operational campaign. This is especially effective if you can overlap the threads of disruption so that individual threads don’t get resolved before a new thread develops.

Next Time: Third Order Advocacy-Community Organizing

Author: disabilitynorm

hubby2jill, 2dogs, advocate45+yrs, change strategist, trainer, geezer, pa2Loree, gndpa2Nevin