"In order to engage champions strategically, the most important first step is to ensure that work with champions is linked to advancing a particular advocacy objective."
This toolkit, now in its second edition, provides practical guidance about why, when, and how to systematically partner with champions to advocate for robust policies and programmes to reduce global neonatal mortality. It also provides examples of how Save the Children has worked with newborn health champions as part of its Saving Newborn Lives (SNL) programme has brought together paediatricians, midwives, members of parliament, ministers of health, journalists, celebrities, and many other champions to increase the availability of and access to routine and emergency newborn care services and supplies, improve the quality of newborn care services, and increase knowledge about and demand for newborn care.
Overview of contents:
- Section 1 provides an introduction to the toolkit and champions.
- Section 2 offers an overarching "Champion Checklist" of items to consider when deciding whether and how to engage a champion.
- Sections 3-8 delve further into each item on the Checklist and provide tools and guidance:
- Deciding if and when to engage a champion (Section 3)
- Identifying appropriate champions (Section 4)
- Approaching, recruiting, and establishing a relationship with champions (Section 5)
- Cultivating and supporting champions (Section 6)
- Monitoring and evaluating champions' influence, engagement, and effectiveness (Section 7)
- Documenting the use of champions (Section 8)
- Section 9 offers four short case studies and examples of Save the Children's work with newborn champions, as well as lessons that can be applied to similar efforts.
Engaging champions as an advocacy tactic to promote change is an approach that has been used with many issues, including public health issues such as family planning, malaria, and HIV and AIDS. Save the Children notes that the toolkit's content is equally applicable for working with any kind of champion, not just newborn champions.
Save the Children's Resource Centre, January 11 2018.