1.2 Role of a policy and advocacy advisor in an emergency

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 or equivalent, analysis and advocacy strategy will fall to the Country Director and other senior programme staff (often the Program Director) with the support of regional, lead member and global advocacy staff. However, without specific policy and advocacy capacity at individual country level, 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, especially as they influence principled access to people in need, in order to identify issues that require advocacy support;
  • map actors and spaces (NGO fora, UN coordination spaces, etc) where relevant discussions are taking place and support CARE and partners to be represented in these spaces;
  • lead the development and implementation of an appropriate advocacy strategy, in coordination with relevant actors (peers, national and local partners, especially women’s organisations);
  • coordinate with CI advocacy focal points working in support of the response
  • assist in writing briefings, policy papers and key messages, developing sign-off tables based on global sign off procedures;
  • formulate policy positions linked to key humanitarian themes/ country situation and in alignment with existing global positions;
  • represent and advocate with policymakers at national and international levels and / or support CO leadership to do so;
  • 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 (if approved by Country Director).

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