Government acts as platform where policies and legislation are made in response to topics of importance. The future sustainability of many organisations, projects or causes relies on government funding and the willingness to integrate programs or services into existing central public systems. When attempting to gain official support from government for a project, it is often simplest to identify central ‘government champions’. These are individuals working for the government who support your cause and are willing to advocate on behalf of your project. Determine which members of government are interested in your topic, what their day-to-day roles are in their position, what power they have, who they influence and what protocols they are required to abide by (see Stakeholder analysis). Determine what the scope of their involvement could be in promoting your project. Show appreciation for their interest and form a positive relationship with them. Maintain a consistent message each time you communicate with them, keeping a positive approach and continually highlighting the beneficial changes your project is aimed at making. Ensure that you understand what the government member expects form you and share project progress with them. Carefully choose the right people to perform government engagement as this is a sensitive task that requires specific skills. Commitment from government members should be documented officially, through signed agreements or contracts.
Commitment from government may take time, making it important to be persistent yet patient. A high level of government member may not be available to meet with you but it may be possible to meet with their representative - all internal government contacts may be of use. Many government members will have competing interests and priorities therefore, it is important to select who you approach carefully and have a clear, brief message ready to present to them. Ensure you are flexible with your requirements and in your approach.