2. Critical steps for advocacy
All advocacy steps should be taken in cooperation with partners – with partners, affected population-led and women-led groups leading the way. CARE’s value of meaningful and equitable partnerships must be at the forefront in every step of the advocacy process.
- Consider the range of advocacy approaches that could help achieve CARE’s and partners’ programme goals, and how they complement / support operational approaches and actual program delivery.
- Use advocacy as one of the options that CARE and partners have to promote a rights-based gender transformative response to the emergency.
- Develop a basic understanding of key international and regional legal frameworks that underpin rights-based humanitarian advocacy (e.g. Annex 11.14), in refugee crisis, etc.
- Coordinate with the various actors in CARE International to activate support for CO-level advocacy actions and to coordinate global level advocacy initiatives.
- Assess CARE and partners’ staff training needs and hold necessary trainings on relevant topics (e.g., relevant normative and policy frameworks, humanitarian principles, international humanitarian law, etc., but also on advocacy itself, the different methods and tactics, etc.).
- Undertake with partners a process of problem identification and prioritisation, aligned with CO, regional and global advocacy priorities, to determine what the most important issues are that could be addressed through advocacy.
- Apply basic criteria and risk analysis to emerging issues to determine what kind of advocacy tactic (public, private, CARE alone, collective, etc.) is an appropriate and feasible response and ensure that potential benefits outweigh risks.
- Develop an advocacy strategy that is appropriate to the emergency context and the needs and wants of affected people. This may be simplified in an acute crisis, or more comprehensive in a protracted crisis but Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls (GEEWGiHA) should always feature centrally.
- Ensure that the advocacy strategy is based on a sound analysis of the problem, is informed by Rapid Gender Analysis and the views / priorities of crisis affected people in all their diversity, especially women’s organisations.
- Develop a reliable base of information / evidence.
- Identify with partners clear goals and objectives for the advocacy strategy, which outline the specific policy changes that are sought.
- Analyse and identify the key target audiences of CARE and our partners’ advocacy strategy.
- Map relevant groups and movements to engage with. Identify allies and opponents.
- Define with partners key messages, tools and actions to be used.
- Plan the timing of the strategy carefully to take advantage of key events and opportunities to influence the target audience.
- Identify and secure human and financial resources required to implement the strategy.
- Include specific actions to mitigate and manage risks in the advocacy strategy and to share risks fairly with partners.
- Develop with partners monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track progress and impacts.