Public advocacy and people-centred advocacy: mobilising for social change

Public and people-centred advocacy are shaped by the political culture, social systems, and constitutional framework of the country in which they are practised. It is the practice of advocacy that determines the theory, and not vice versa. If advocacy is not rooted in grassroots realities and is practised only at the macro level, the voice of the marginalised is increasingly likely to be appropriated by professional elites. However, the very credibility of advocacy practitioners depends on their relationship with mass-based movements and grassroots perceptions of what constitutes desirable social change.