Advocacy Accelerator – Strategy Development


The Advocacy Accelerator is an African-based nonprofit with the vision of supporting strong, country-based advocacy to drive improvements in health and development throughout Africa and the Global South. The Accelerator works to strengthen advocacy capacity, alignment, and impact by providing online and in-person resources for advocates and their supporters to share evidence, approaches, and expertise.

Business Problem

Founded in 2016 with a grant from the Hewlett Foundation, the Accelerator spent its first several months securing a host organization, and hiring an executive director and her staff. In 2017, it contracted the Busara Center for Behavioral Research to help it develop a three-year organizational strategy and plan to clarify the future of the organization, set clear direction, and identify priorities and focus areas. Busara contributed necessary research and analysis capacity, and partnered with Callan Consulting to provide the tools and methodology to develop the strategy itself.


For this project, Callan Consulting and Busara performed a four-phased project consisting of reviewing and providing input to existing mission/vision/mandate documents, developing a stakeholder and landscape map based on in-person interviews and secondary research, developing the organizational strategy, and creating a results framework. Ed Callan shaped the overall project strategy, reviewed and helped develop interview guides, and performed market sizing and analysis. Most importantly, Ed drove the strategy development phase, leading a two-day offsite workshop to define the Accelerator’s target market segments, offerings, differentiation, sequence of events, and economics. The workshop also included a Theory of Change exercise to identify preconditions and interventions required to reach the Accelerator’s long-term goals.


The project was very successful. Callan Consulting and Busara developed a 40+ slide output deck and a 17-page written summary that the Accelerator used as the foundation for planning activities for the coming year. The Accelerator used these documents to communicate its strategy to relevant stakeholders throughout the African advocacy ecosystem, and Callan Consulting and Busara presented the results of the strategy development at the Accelerator’s next board meeting, helping the Accelerator align this critical audience to its long-term goals and strategy.