Education Diplomacy Versus Education Advocacy

Of interest to many when they encounter the term education diplomacy is the difference between education diplomacy and education advocacy. Of course, both approaches seek positive change in education but they differ in three primary ways.

1.   Traditional forms of education advocacy use mainly persuasive arguments to ensure that a specific advocacy goal is met. Education diplomacy has a wide range of diplomacy tools such as negotiation and mediation to select from in order to accomplish its goals, not just persuasive arguments.

2.    Traditional forms of education advocacy usually involve a shorter term effort aimed at securing a change on a specific issue, or set of issues, to ensure that an advocacy target is achieved in a relatively concentrated period of time.  Education diplomacy takes a longer term view to secure a commitment from a broader range of education actors and expand the understanding of education as critical to human development.

3.    Traditional forms of education advocacy are often aimed at specific improvements in education. Education diplomacy looks at how specific improvements connect to the broader benefits of education how education advances communities and society at large.

Therefore, although advocacy methods can be used as a tool within the toolbox of education diplomacy, advocacy does not supersede the broader concept of education diplomacy.  Education advocates might be most effective when they employ diplomatic skills and view their advocacy efforts within a broader framework of education diplomacy.