1. Role of advocacy in an emergency

Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing those who make decisions about developing, changing and implementing policies. Advocacy is one of the strategies available to CARE to respond to the humanitarian needs of people affected by emergencies. Advocacy may be an appropriate way to make positive changes to the policy decisions or conditions that are causing or maintaining a situation of acute humanitarian need. Humanitarian advocacy during an emergency is usually primarily directed at ensuring people’s access to life-saving assistance and protection in line with core humanitarian principles. It aims to uphold people’s rights in crisis, which are codified in international humanitarian and human rights standards.

Position  Key responsibilities
CO Advocacy Advisor- AA (where the position exists)  identifies an initial humanitarian problem that potentially requires advocacy, then collect and analyse information, develop advocacy strategy, and carry out advocacy activities.
Country Office Emergency Response team (including Country Director) Identify initial humanitarian problem that potentially requires advocacy, collect and analyse information, develop advocacy strategy, and carry out advocacy activities.
Country Director Determine if advocacy is appropriate based on key criteria and risk analysis, and approve advocacy strategy and messages.
Regional Advocacy Advisor- RAA (where the position exists)- So far we have a regional advocacy advisor for Syria Support CO analysis, research and advocacy strategy development; and coordinate communication between the CO, Lead Member and CI.
CARE Lead Member Advocacy Team Support policy analysis and research, participate in strategy development, and carry out advocacy activities where necessary.

Obtain relevant Lead Member/ line management approval of strategy and key messages.

CARE International Advocacy Working Group on Type 4 emergencies (AWG) with other interested CI Members (those groups exist for Type 4 emergencies)


Create such group (with the CO, region, interested CIMs, CI Secretariat Staff in New York, Brussels, Geneva). Oversee the implementation of CI’s advocacy around rapid-onset crises, and maintain an overview of new and ongoing joint advocacy within the CI confederation. The AWG in place are different from one context to another.(Please contact Gareth- Price Jones if you need more information on how to create such a group)
CARE International Senior Policy and

Advocacy Coordinator


Support CI Members in coordinating CI advocacy around rapid-onset emergencies, including clarifying advocacy messages, strategies, and resolving disagreement in liaison with CO, national directors, CI Secretary General, ERD and CI Media and Communications Coordinator (refer to Annex 28.2 TOR for CI Senior Policy and Advocacy Coordinator).
CI policy and advocacy staff in Brussels, New York and Geneva


Support analysis, research and advocacy activities where the issue is aligned with CI advocacy priorities (Type 4 emergencies). Lead advocacy directed at EU, UN and member states located in Brussels, New York and Geneva.
Emergency media staff including:

CO Media Officer;

CI Media and Communications;

COMWG members

Ensure CARE’s media messaging is aligned with and actively supports CARE’s advocacy strategy.

In many situations, a dedicated policy and advocacy advisor will not be available in the existing CO or emergency response team. In the absence of a specific policy and advocacy advisor, analysis and advocacy strategy will fall to the Country Director and other senior programme staff with the support of regional and global advocacy staff. However, without specific policy and advocacy capacity, CARE’s ability to engage seriously in advocacy activities will be limited.

In complex situations where the CO wants to engage substantially in advocacy, adequate policy and advocacy capacity and expertise is essential. The CO should request the deployment of a policy and advocacy advisor via the CARE’s Roster for Emergency Deployments (RED) to form part of the emergency team. In small scale emergencies, this role may cover both media and advocacy. (see Chapter 22 Media)Alternatively, the RAA or a policy and advocacy advisor from a CARE International Member may be able to provide short-term in-country support for emergency advocacy. The role of a policy and advocacy advisor in an emergency team would be to:

  • monitor and analyse humanitarian and political developments in the country
  • lead the development and implementation of an appropriate advocacy strategy
  • coordinate with CI advocacy focal points working in support of the response
  • assist in writing briefings, policy papers and key messages
  • formulate policy positions linked to key humanitarian themes/ country situation
  • represent and advocate with policymakers at national and international levels
  • assist in establishing effective policy/communication links with the humanitarian community in the country
  • share information on upcoming events, visits and strategic meetings in a timely and effective manner
  • liaise directly with policymakers, information officers and media representatives working on humanitarian and policy issues.

Many of these roles will also already be covered by senior in-country managers in the course of their duties.

Annex 28.3 Advocacy and Policy RED TOR