What is advocacy?

Advocacy is the science and art of persuading people to do what you want them to do. Usually this is related to an area of policy or practice by state authorities, agencies or by other organisations.

In its simplest form, it is about making change happen, or sometimes stopping change from happening.


Where do I start with advocacy?

Getting started in advocacy can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This article – Advocacy Basics – and the video below will give you an overview of the key components of effective advocacy.

Using advocacy toolkits in your work

In the charity sector, numerous advocacy toolkits have been developed, providing valuable resources that can be adapted and applied to various advocacy efforts irrespective of the cause or the change you want to bring.

Consider the following examples of toolkits as a starting point. However, remember that the crucial factor is tailoring these resources to your specific national context to maximise their effectiveness.

The ‘Advocacy in Action’ toolkit developed by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance provides clear and easy steps to get started with your advocacy plans.

Another useful guide and toolkit for advocacy, prepared by Plan International, comes in several parts and is available in English, French and Spanish.

Key components of MS advocacy


Evidence collection is an integral part of advocacy efforts and a powerful tool in influencing decision-makers to response to your call for change.

The Atlas of MS provides freely available data on epidemiology and clinical management of MS around the world, allowing comparisons to be made between countries with similar income levels or geographical regions. Good quality data on people with MS (e.g. registries) and an in-depth understanding of the barriers are often effective tools for advocacy. Find out more on the Get the evidence page.

Voices of people with MS

Storytelling is a powerful advocacy tool. It can help connect with decision-makers at an emotional level and bring facts and data to life. Stories can make complex issues more relatable by showing the impact on people’s lives.

These are examples of stories we collected from around the world of people with MS to inspire you. You are welcome to use them in your advocacy work, if you find them relevant to your country context.

Get inspired by advocacy examples from the global MS movement

Learning from each other can help strengthen our efforts to create change in the global MS  movement. By leveraging the experiences of MS organisations, healthcare professionals and individual advocates worldwide, we can strengthen our collective force to improve access to healthcare for people with MS.

Visit Learn from others to get inspired by what others have achieved across the world, through advocating for better access to MS healthcare.