• Class Number 5472
  • Term Code 3440
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On Campus
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Laura Davy
    • Dr Laura Davy
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 05/04/2024
  • Class End Date 05/07/2024
  • Census Date 26/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 05/04/2024
SELT Survey Results

There are a whole range of individuals, groups and organisations that seek to influence the formulation and implementation of public policy – from community advocacy organisations and think tanks to political lobbyists and ‘policy entrepreneurs’ within government. This course explores the nature of policy advocacy and the important role it plays in public policy and policy processes in democratic systems. It examines strategies and tactics deployed by policy advocates inside and outside of government when persuading decision makers and the public, mobilising supporters, and building policy networks.

The course draws on the fields of policy theory and policy analysis, political science, political sociology, and public administration. Students will analyse a variety of Australian and international case studies, with a special focus on contested issues in social policy. Key themes include issues of voice and representation, the role of framing, language and storytelling in policy advocacy, and approaches to researching, analysing and evaluating policy advocacy impact. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand and explain key concepts in policy advocacy scholarship.
  2. Reflect critically on the changing landscape of contemporary policy advocacy.
  3. Apply concepts from policy advocacy scholarship to real world case studies and contexts in Australia and internationally.
  4. Analyse the effectiveness of policy advocacy strategies and techniques.
  5. Evaluate the role of policy advocacy and different policy actors in in policy processes and policy change.

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information


The Crawford School of Public Policy has its own Academic Skills team dedicated to helping students to understand the academic expectations of studying at Crawford and succeed in their chosen program of study. Through individual appointments, course-embedded workshops and online resources, Crawford Academic Skills provides tailored advice to students keen to develop their academic reading, thinking, planning, writing, and presentation skills. 

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Day 1: Policy advocacy and policy changeIn this first topic we define policy advocacy, explore the various forms it takes and the diverse actors who engage in it, including community and civil society groups, political lobbyists, and policy entrepreneurs within government. We will also examine the role of advocacy in policy processes and in creating political change. Our first case studies – the school strikes for climate action and policy debate on gun control – will help unpack these issues.
2 Day 2: Policy analysis and communicationPolicy analysis and communication are critical to effective policy advocacy – language and knowledge do more than describe the world, they also shape perspectives. In this topic we draw on the tradition of feminist policy analysis to explore how theories and framings originating in social advocacy movements sometimes come to be integrated within mainstream policy discourse. We also look at the rhetorical and communicative strategies that policy advocates deploy to persuade stakeholders and influence policy processes, analysing the campaign messaging in the lead up to the Australian same-sex marriage plebiscite as our case study. Assignment 1: In class quiz to take place during today’s seminar
3 Day 3: Voice and representationIn this topic we explore questions of representation, legitimacy, and accountability, from both a critical and a practical standpoint. We will look at how feminist, disability and Indigenous policy advocates have negotiated issues of representation and voice. We will also examine the ways in which advocacy organisations and other interest groups address these issues by engaging with people affected by policy through a variety of consultative and participatory processes. Our key case study for this week will examine First Nations approaches to consultation and engagement.
4 Day 4: Policy advocacy strategyIn this topic we explore how individuals and organisations engage in strategic policy advocacy. We look at how policy advocates choose issues as part of a wider agenda for change, build support for their proposals, and develop coalitions and networks. We also examine the ‘toolkit’ of activities available to policy advocates, which range from protests, submissions and policy briefs to performances, petitions, and boycotts – and the way these have transformed in the digital age. We will analyse campaigns related to Australia disability policy reform to examine policy advocacy strategy in action.
5 Day 5: Analysing and evaluating policy advocacyIn this topic we explore approaches to analysing policy advocacy strategy and tactics, as well as issues around defining and assessing policy advocacy impact. The lectures will cover key approaches to collecting and analysing data about advocacy activities, with a special focus on narrative and discourse analysis. Our case study will focus on different approaches adopted by researchers to analyse regulation of the baby food industry in the Philippines. We will also review other qualitative and quantitative techniques used to evaluate policy influence in the field. In seminars, students will work in groups to design an evaluation framework for examples of policy advocacy we have analysed in the course so far.
6 Day 6: WorkshopDay 6 is a workshop day – in the seminar, students will present their Research Essay Plan (a non-graded formative assessment) and receive structured feedback from peers and the course convenor. We will review and reflect on the previous topics, cases and frameworks from the course, but there are no readings allocated to this topic as it is expected that you will be reading widely to inform your essay plan.

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
In class quiz 10 % 12/04/2024 25/04/2024 1, 3
Comparative media analysis 35 % 19/05/2024 03/06/2024 1, 3, 4
Research essay 55 % 23/06/2024 08/07/2024 1, 2 , 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 12/04/2024
Return of Assessment: 25/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3

In class quiz

The first assessment task for this course is an online, ‘open book’ quiz, which will be available in Wattle during the Day Two seminar. The quiz will involve a mix of multiple choice and short answer questions, which you will be given 1 hour to complete. The questions will refer to content covered in the lectures, readings, and seminars for Topics 1 and 2. The questions will be straightforward (no ‘trick’ questions or assumed knowledge!). To prepare, make sure to watch and engage with each lecture, read the compulsory readings, and participate in seminar activities to consolidate understanding.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 19/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4

Comparative media analysis

For Assignment 2, you will need to find the websites of two organisations that engage in policy advocacy and prepare a short report (max. 1,500 words) that compares the way these organisations represent the issue or problem they are advocating about through the information on their website.

Your report should clearly identify the purpose of the site, the type of organisation it belongs to, and the policy issue the organisation advocates about. It should also address the way the websites represent and analyse the issue, the audience they are appealing to, and the way they use different types and sources of evidence to do so. It should critically comment on the differences and similarities between the way the two websites frame their communications. The organisations can be Australian or international, community-based or a government agency – it's up to you. But make sure to pick two that you can contrast (e.g., same policy issue, but different organisational types, policy aims, or strategies). 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 55 %
Due Date: 23/06/2024
Return of Assessment: 08/07/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2 , 3, 4, 5

Research essay

For Assignment 3, you will research and analyse the strategies used in a policy advocacy campaign, presenting your analysis in an essay (max 3,500 words).

This assignment is a research essay, so it must have a central argument in which you critically assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of the campaign strategies, and it must be informed and supported by evidence. The evidence you draw on should include scholarly evidence (course readings, academic articles, books, etc.) and other data related to your chosen campaign (news articles, websites, blogs, other ‘grey literature’, interviews with stakeholders, etc.). The advocacy campaign can be a current or past one and can be based in Australia or elsewhere.

The essay should address elements of the campaign such as:

  • The organisations, individuals, and networks involved, and how they work together
  • How policy arguments are framed, and what communicative techniques are deployed to amplify key messages
  • The engagement mechanisms and activities used in the campaign to build community and/or policymaker support
  • The effectiveness or impact of the campaign.

You will have the opportunity to present a plan of your research essay on Day Six in seminars. This is a non-graded assessment that will allow you to receive feedback from peers and the course convenor/lecturer, particularly focused on planned approaches to research and analysis.

Students should prepare a one-page plan for their research essay to structure their presentation. The plan should include a brief overview of a) your chosen policy advocacy campaign, b) the data sources you will use to analyse this campaign, c) your approach to analysis, and d) potential lines argument or conclusions you will draw in the essay.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Laura Davy

Research Interests

Dr Laura Davy

By Appointment
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Dr Laura Davy
6125 2558

Research Interests

Dr Laura Davy

By Appointment
By Appointment

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