Lobbying is a critical component of the democratic process. The essence of representative government is that policymakers should be representing the needs of their constituencies when they pass laws.
In practice, however, policymakers often do not equally consider and weigh the needs of their various constituencies. Legislators have limited time and many commitments to attend to, and it is often difficult for them to acquire and analyze all of the information they should have in order to make fully informed policy decisions.
Given these constraints, policymakers frequently end up obtaining most of their information and influential guidance from a select group of the strongest political voices among their constituents: the voices of party leaders, high-profile media, religious leaders, and leaders of substantial commercial interest blocks, as well as doctors, lawyers, and trade unions.
In Lebanon and Morocco, IFES designed and implemented workshops to build the capacities of the participants to lobby more effectively for the public interest on any important social issue.