USAID Promote Musharikat continues to strengthen the capacity of its Access to Education Coalition to design and execute effective advocacy campaigns. October 17-18, the project convened the third Musharikat Coalition Organizational Development and Planning Working Session, bringing together coalition leaders from 31 provinces to improve their advocacy skills, engage with key education stakeholders from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA), and craft a framework for the group’s advocacy work.

The project, in partnership with the USAID Assistance to Legislative Bodies of Afghanistan (ALBA) Project, organized a session on the fundamentals of public policy advocacy. Participants learned how to define social problems and the workings of the public policy cycle. The instructors then led participants through the process of developing networks and creating advocacy campaign frameworks to influence public policy. Finally, instructors conducted practical exercises in developing policy documents and drafting position papers.

Along with this practical training, Promote Musharikat also brought in key government players in the education field to provide an in-depth review of education issues facing Afghan women and girls and introduced GIRoA plans to address these challenges. Working hand-in-hand with GIRoA officials on priority women’s issues is a guiding principle of Promote Musharikat’s approach to effective and long-term advocacy.

Abdul Wassay Arian, Senior Advisor and General Director of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Education, introduced the Ministry’s recently developed National Education Strategy and noted that “girls’ empowerment through education is part of the strategy, as is increasing recruitment of female teachers.” He urged coalition members to encourage parents in rural areas to send their daughters to school.