FANRPAN has combined research and theatre to create a unique tool - Theatre for Policy Advocacy (TPA) - that encourages the participation and involvement of ordinary people and communities in evidence-based policy advocacy with their leaders, service providers, policymakers; and other relevant stakeholders - using research findings and recommendations from FANRPAN and other research institutions. Essentially, theatre is being used to package and explain research findings and recommendations for policy change to ordinary people and to communities in rural areas, and to carry the voices from the countryside back to the centre and to government. Therefore, TPA is a tool for both research uptake and policy advocacy.
The 16-minute Video Clip on Climate Smart Agriculture Theatre for Policy Advocacy is a visual illustration of the main features of TPA, the key lessons that can be drawn from TPA, and how TPA combines research and theatre to deliver change messages to all relevant stakeholders. Popular theatre personalities are engaged by FANRPAN and travel to communities in the rural areas of specific target countries and stage performances using scripts based on FANRPAN’s or other research, to engage members of the community. After each performance, community members, women, men, youth, local leaders are engaged in facilitated dialogues. The dialogues give all community members - especially women - a chance to openly talk about the challenges they are facing without upsetting the status quo. More importantly, the facilitated dialogues allow the women to tell development organizations what they really need, not the other way around. FANRPAN is training women and community leaders to use the theatre for advocacy platform to discuss other issues and problems in their villages, including HIV/AIDS.