Barriers to Advocacy

The term ‘advocacy’ can conjure up thoughts of rallies and marches, intensive media campaigns, meetings with legislators, and the potential for backlash. Some other common barriers include:

  • Advocating for changes to policy, legislation or regulation requires significant effort and takes time
  • Advocacy is often not regarded as part of the work of health promotion practitioners and organizations, especially systemic advocacy. It can be seen as too political, disconnected from health promotion work ‘at the coalface,’ or too difficult to demonstrate outcomes for
  • Organizations can face additional challenges in advocating for changes to government policy when the government provides their funding
  • There are limits on the ability of health promotion practitioners to engage in advocacy activities, related to the project-based nature of funding for much health promotion work, as well as the limited training on advocacy in health promotion and public health university courses