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Empowering Civil Society with University Engagement: Insights and Advocacy

byOumaima Riad
onDecember 24, 2023

On December 16th and 17, 2023, the Training of Trainers (TOT) program on "Promoting Civil Society-University Engagement" began its 4th and 5th training sessions. The program, organized by the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) in collaboration with the University of Cadi Ayyad and the Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law in Marrakech, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), commenced under the guidance of the esteemed Professor Mr. Mohamed Ben Talha. This session's focus is on "Public Policies and Advocacy Strategy."

The day began with a warm welcome and introductory remarks by the Program Manager, Mr. Abdellah Laaboudi, setting the tone for the upcoming sessions. Professor Ben Talha, an expert in the field, led the participants through a comprehensive exploration of advocacy, covering its definition, various strategies, advocacy campaign intricacies, and different approaches. The morning session included spirited debates and insightful discussions that laid the groundwork for further deliberations. In the afternoon, the focus shifted towards a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind advocacy efforts.

Participants learned about the levels of advocacy and identified the key elements for a successful campaign. Professor Bentalha provided an extensive overview of the conditions and rules that support a sound advocacy strategy and the steps involved in formulating an effective plan. The interactions between Professor Ben Talha and the participants were highly engaging, with attendees expressing gratitude for the valuable insights gained.


As a culmination of the two-day, participants were divided into groups and tasked with drafting a petition addressing a specific societal issue. This activity aimed to apply the knowledge gained throughout the two days and develop practical skills in advocacy strategy. The collaborative efforts of the participants showcased the immediate applicability of the concepts discussed. In summary, the two-day sessions in the TOT program on "Promoting Civil Society-University Engagement" were a resounding success. Professor Mohamed Ben Talha's expertise, combined with the enthusiasm and active participation of the attendees, set a promising precedent for the rest of the training session.

Integrating theory and practical exercises ensures that participants not only understand the complexities of advocacy but also gain hands-on experience in applying these principles in real-world situations. The program holds great potential in empowering a group of trainers capable of fostering meaningful civil society engagement through effective advocacy initiatives.

The two-day training session concluded successfully, leaving a lasting impact on the participants. The collaborative atmosphere fostered a sense of community and engagement among representatives from various organizations.It is expected that the knowledge and skills gained during this TOT session will have a positive impact as participants return to their respective roles, promoting civil society-university engagement and contributing to the formulation and evaluation of effective public policies. The commitment and dedication demonstrated by all involved, along with the practical knowledge shared, ensure that the outcomes of this training will resonate positively in the realms of civil society and public policy advocacy.