6. Activating and coordinating advocacy in CARE
To activate support for advocacy efforts, consider the following steps:
- Analyse the policy environment as a regular part of programming prior to a crisis, with particular attention to vulnerable groups and with a gender, age, disability, and diversity lens.
- Monitor protection violations, including GBV, among the population they serve, bearing in mind that contemporary armed conflict takes its greatest toll on women and children.
- When issues requiring policy and advocacy action are identified, the Country Director or CO Advocacy Advisor (if present) should begin problem analysis.
- Contact the RAA or Lead Member Advocacy Advisor for support to explore the problem and develop an advocacy strategy.
- The Country Director should alert the Crisis Coordination Group (CCG) of any potential advocacy issues and support needs (see protocols at Chapter Emergency management protocols).
- Request the CI Humanitarian Policy Advocacy Coordinator to assist with mobilising support from other parts of CARE International.
- If the CO decides to pursue advocacy, the CO Advocacy Advisor (or RAA or Country Director if there is no dedicated Advocacy Advisor) leads advocacy strategy and actions together with the CI Advocacy Coordinator in the Secretariat. The RAA, Lead Member and other interested members provide support as requested by the CI Humanitarian Policy Advocacy Coordinator.
- To help coordinate this support, the CO Advocacy Advisor (or alternative lead) should convene a Crisis Advocacy Working Group (CAWG) for the specific emergency advocacy initiative. The CAWG should comprise 8-12 key stakeholders, including:
- Lead Member advocacy unit
- CI Humanitarian Policy & Advocacy Coordinator
- CI New York and EU Office representatives
- the CEG Media and Communications Humanitarian Coordinator and the Lead Member media coordinator for the emergency
- Other CI members supporting the emergency / country / initiative
- RAA if the position exists.
- The CAWG should keep the CI Advocacy Working Group informed of progress and developments (thorugh the lead member and / or CI humanitarian policy advocacy coordinator).
- As the humanitarian crisis unfolds, the CO Advocacy Advisor (or alternative lead) monitors the situations, supports conducting analysis and develops advocacy materials with the support of the CAWG.
- The CI Humanitarian Policy Advocacy Coordinator coordinates that any necessary support from relevant stakeholders in CI is being provided for in the country and support coordination of global-level advocacy.
- Media officers from the CO, CEG, the Lead Member and other relevant parts of COMWG should be involved in discussions about potential media strategies to ensure that media messages are consistent with advocacy messages (see the Chapter on Media).
It is important to recognise that influential advocacy targets are often based outside the country experiencing the emergency. An appropriate advocacy strategy may therefore require advocacy-related collaboration with the wider CARE membership. In such cases, the joint coordinated advocacy activities by CI Members, COs and the CI Secretariat toward international actors constitute a form of ‘global advocacy’ as mandated under the Vision 2030.
Through global advocacy actions, CARE can:
- influence governments to exert bilateral influence over the local and national authorities in the country where the crisis is taking place by providing information and advocacy messages for CI Members to take up directly with their governments, particularly with governments that have a particular influence in an emergency situation (for example, as donors, conflict mediators or contributors to peacekeeping forces).
- exert influence in multilateral forums-such as the EU, AU and UN-to give attention to CARE and our partners’ humanitarian concerns and recommendations through CARE’s advocacy positions in Brussels, Geneva and New York.
- Influence global humanitarian coordination and policy influencing spaces working on issues of relevance for specific crisis (e.g. Inter-Agency Standing Committee spaces, Grand Bargain, etc.).
- work collaboratively with peer INGOs and/or local and national NGO networks at global level to form coalitions, organize high-level events, collective statements, etc.
- strengthen our collective advocacy impacts by developing common messages based on existing CI policy advocacy positions on priority issues, CI initiatives related to humanitarian issues
Country Offices should contact the CI Humanitarian Policy Advocacy Coordinator or CEG for assistance with global advocacy actions. Similarly, any CARE International Members engaging in advocacy should coordinate closely with the CI Humanitarian Policy Advocacy Coordinator to ensure that CARE’s international-level advocacy is properly aligned with the CO’s needs, analysis and advocacy messages and vice-versa.