Public Policy Advocacy Summer School and Internship

Posted on Friday, January 12, 2018

Public Policy Advocacy: Summer School and Internship

DVM 4330A
University of Ottawa
School of International Development and Global Studies

In Ottawa (May 7-18, 2017)

+ On-line components (May 1-4 + May 21-June 11)

This 0.5 credit course is open to students from all universities with a background in International Development Studies or related fields.


Dr. Rebecca Tiessen 
School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa

Dr. John Cameron
Dept. of International Development Studies, Dalhousie University

Public policy advocacy is the process of influencing policy decision-makers (politicians, their staff and civil servants) with the goal of changing government laws and policies. Advocacy can involve public campaigns as well as direct engagement with politicians and government officials, that is, working both outside and inside ‘the system’. It requires a strong knowledge of the policy-making process and an ability to analyse political environments to understand the scope for policy and legal change. Effective advocacy also requires a knowledge of the range of strategies that can be used to bring about policy change, the judgement to know when to use which strategies, and the capacity to build relationships with policy makers (including those with whom you disagree). This course focuses on public policy advocacy for global justice at the federal level in Canada, so the case studies and guest speakers will come from organizations that work to bring about policy changes related to global justice. However, the principles of public policy advocacy apply equally to other levels of government and issue areas. 

The course involves four components:

  • On-line preparation from May 1- May 4
  • Seminars, guest speakers and site visits in Ottawa from May 7-10
  • 5-day internship placement in policy advocacy in Ottawa between May 11-18
  • Continued internship work by distance between May 19 and June 10.

Internship Placements : Students will spend 5 days (May 11-17) working full-time in the offices of an Ottawa-based nonprofit organization that is engaged in public policy advocacy and continue to work on a part-time volunteer basis with the organization on an advocacy project from May 19 – June 10.

Course Schedule

May 1-4

On-line preparation (e-materials available by April 15)

May 7-10

In Ottawa (Seminars, Guest Speakers, Site visits)

May 11-17

Internship placements in Ottawa

May 18

Debrief of Internship placements (Ottawa)

May 19 - June 10

Students work on internship projects by distance

June 10

Final report on internship project

Costs: Course registration (uOttawa): for more information regarding tuition fees please refer to the following link.

Logistics, Travel and Accommodations

For students from outside the Ottawa area, logistical assistance will be provided to book shared AirBnB accommodations with other students in the course for May 6-19. Students will be responsible for arranging their own accommodations, meals and transportation to and from Ottawa.

How to Apply

  • There are 30 spaces in this course for students from across Canada.
  • To apply, please submit the following 3 documents by 4:00pm (EST) on March 2 to:
    1. A one page statement of interest that explains why you want to take this course and your relevant background (other courses, activism, volunteer activity, research interests, etc.)
    2. An unofficial copy of your university transcript
    3. A Letter of Permission from your university (uOttawa students must submit a registration form for uOttawa)
  • Successful applicants will be notified by March 6 and matched with an advocacy organization by March 30.

Course outline

For more information please contact:

Prof. John Cameron ( or

Prof. Rebecca Tiessen (

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