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    • 00:11

      MIKE PODMORE: I'm the Policy Manager hereat the International HIV and AIDS Alliance,based in Brighton.We're doing two sessions, one on national advocacyand the theories of change that they have at national level.And then the other one we're doing on global policy work,and sort of talking about what we'vebeen doing over the last year.We're an international NGO, but actuallyan alliance of organizations around the world,

    • 00:34

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: particularly in low and middle-income countriesthat are working together to fight HIV and AIDS.Keeping HIV and health high on the government's agendais really one of the key priorities for usas an organization.So we work closely with other HIV organizations,both here in this country, but also overseas.

    • 00:57

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: And we're also a leading member of a networkof international organizations working on global health.So we work closely with those organizationsto make the case to the government about why healthis a critical development intervention.We also have to work closely with

    • 01:19

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: other international development organizations whoare working on other issues such as climate change, education,et cetera, to make the case aroundwhy international development itself is and should remaina critical intervention for the government,and why they need to keep funding it.

    • 01:36

      SPEAKER 1:

    • 01:49

      MIKE PODMORE: The main part of the roleis to try and persuade people in power,decision-makers who have an influence on the issuethat you concerned about, is to persuadethem to change or improve policy in the waythat you want them to.One of the important aspects is providing themwith information and the arguments about what we're

    • 02:13

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: saying.Here is one example that I wrote a report-- thisis two years ago now-- called Don't Stop Now,calling for a UK blueprint to achieve an HIV-free generation.We tried to make it really engaging,with some infographics here, and a short executive summary,to really just highlight what are

    • 02:34

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: the key things that we're calling for.You can see here-- political commitment,financial investment, and smarter allocationof resources.And then it also has hopefully engaging picturesand simple graphs that really helpto demonstrate the issue that we're talking about.Kate.Kate.So I'm heading off to Bangladesh this evening

    • 02:55

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: for the linkup meeting.It's going to be four days next week.And I was just wondering if there's anything in particularthat you wanted me to raise with colleaguesthere, in terms of the work that you're doing.

    • 03:05

      SPEAKER 2: One of the things that wewere talking about yesterday was [INAUDIBLE]testing and treatment.And it would be great if you could just [INAUDIBLE]colleagues about [INAUDIBLE] trying to understand moreabout the linkups doing around treatment.

    • 03:25

      MIKE PODMORE: Engaging with the media for policy workis really important, because it allowsus to raise the issues that we're really concerned about,both to the public, through media such as newspapersand through TV and through online media.But also because we're very aware that decision-makersare accessing those media.If they see that those issues are being profiled

    • 03:47

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: in the media, then they realize it's somethingthat they need to take awareness of.I work very closely with our mediateam, who have strong relationshipswith the different media outlets, and who pitch storiesand write press releases around the different issuesthat we want to profile.So that might be writing a press release about an event

    • 04:09

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: or action that we're doing.But it might also be working with journalists, for example,to actually develop a story.To the extent where we may even take a journalist on a tripto be able to see for themselves what the issuesthat we're talking about.My day-to-day really is very varied.And it's one of the aspects that I really enjoy about my work.

    • 04:31

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: It can be here in the office, answering emails and havingmeetings with colleagues to plan the work that we're doing.Liz Barker is coming in about 20 minutes.We have got the first hour that we'llfocus on lesbian, gay, bisexual international issues.Then the hour after it will just be us.And we'll talk about middle-income countries

    • 04:53

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: and also, [INAUDIBLE] harm reductionin particular in the crisis in Ukraine.It can be having meetings outside the office with stafffrom other organizations that we're working with.Or that can be through public events,through events that we're organizing, panel discussions.Or in the case of public campaigning,it can be also sort of organizing

    • 05:15

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: stunts or actions that sort of try to highlight an issue,often in public spaces.The most important part is having meetingswith decision-makers, and actually doing the lobbying.And you can do that in a number of different ways.For example, sometimes it's having one-to-one meetingswith parliamentarians or with key civil servants,

    • 05:39

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: the decision-makers.

    • 05:40

      LIZ BARKER: Hello.Liz Barker.Hi.

    • 05:41

      MIKE'S COLLEAGUE: Hi.Nice to see you.

    • 05:42

      LIZ BARKER: Hullo.Liz Barker.

    • 05:43

      MIKE'S COLLEAGUE: Good to see you.

    • 05:45

      MIKE PODMORE: We really hope that there'llbe opportunities to profile HIV and lesbianand gay issues in the House of Lords,and that we can work together to influence the government'spolicy.And hopefully raise the profile of HIV and lesbianand gay rights internationally.We've talked quite a bit about LGBT issues.

    • 06:06

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: And the meeting today-- actually it would really be greatif we could talk about middle-incomecountries, and the issue of getting servicesfor key populations, lesbian and gay, bisexual people,people who inject drugs, and sex workers,and the services that they need.The art of persuasion is really about firstly,

    • 06:32

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: appearing that you're not trying to persuade someone.That's the first and foremost.Often when people feel that they're being lobbiedor that you're trying to persuade them,then they tend to withdraw a little bit.So I think really just working in a very open and friendly wayis one of the most important approaches.

    • 06:55

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: The budget for HIV and for servicesfor people who inject drugs, in particular,are being reduced dramatically.And that's having an impact, a dramatic impact,on people's lives.Being concise, I think, is critical.We often say that whatever it is you have to say,you have to do it in a three-minute elevator speech.

    • 07:16

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: Obviously, when you're writing things,you have a little bit more time.But often, when you're talking to a politician,you may have less than three minutes.And you just really need to be able to identifythe problem, the solution, and what they need to do,very succinctly.

    • 07:30

      LIZ BARKER: We've got to find a way of makingthe political case resonant with that, with a group of peoplewho will continue to want not to stand by,when they see their fellow human beings in great need.

    • 07:49

      MIKE PODMORE: The most important thingto be able to work in this field-- I thinkI've talked about the ability to be persuasiveand to do that in a concise way.But actually, the most important thingis to feel passionate about what it is you're talking about.What drives me in my work is my commitmentto equality and justice and getting

    • 08:10

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: services for the people living with HIV.And I think if you can convey that when you'retalking to a politician or a decision-maker, thenI think that can be very powerful.The advice I'd give to people whoare interested in working in advocacy and policyand campaigns is, firstly, that there

    • 08:30

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: are a lot of people who are wanting to work in the area.And it can be quite challenging to try and find your way in.So firstly and most importantly is to get experience.And that might mean doing some volunteer workin your free time, and show your passion around campaigns.

    • 08:51

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: So you can get a lot of experiencein campaigns and advocacy by being involvedin campaigns work in your free time.Another key way of getting into the workis to actually better understand how decision-making works.So one way that people who've got into this workis by working for an MP, or working in political parties.

    • 09:13

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: Because it can help you understandhow the thought processes work and how decisions are made.In summary, the key skills for working in policy and advocacyare that you are first and foremostpassionate about the issue that you're talking about.

    • 09:33

      MIKE PODMORE [continued]: That you're able to gather evidence and conveythat in a simple and clear and engaging way to the peoplethat you want to engage.


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Mike Podmore describes his work with the International HIV and AIDS Alliance. He works with other NGOs to keep HIV and health issues on government agendas.

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Mike Podmore describes his work with the International HIV and AIDS Alliance. He works with other NGOs to keep HIV and health issues on government agendas.

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