7. Issues identification and prioritisation

Emergencies raise a large number of potential advocacy issues, at a time when capacity is often stretched. The CO must carefully identify and prioritize a few issues and determine whether advocacy would be an appropriate and feasible response for the CO and others in CARE.

Advocacy is usually based on programmatic priorities as determined by the concerns of affected communities and local and national organisations, including women and girls and women-led organisations, and on the extent of humanitarian access. In an emergency, issues may be identified based on response activities, programme experience, research, witnessing and observation.

The following questions can help issues prioritisation:

  • Does the issue affect a large number of people?
  • Does it have a significant impact on affected populations in terms of threats to life or welfare?
  • Does the issue affect CARE’s and our partners’ field work or response priorities and access to affected populations?
  • Is the issue one that the CO has previously advocated for?
  • Does the issue connect to /align with  CARE’s global advocacy initiatives and overall mission?
  • How can CARE support the efforts of partners?
  • Where does CARE fit into the policy landscape? Who are our likely allies and what level of effort is already being devoted to the issue?
  • Does CARE have credibility with aid recipients, partners, and oplicymakers on this issue?
  • Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls (GEEWG): As women and girls are disproportionately affected in humanitarian crises, gender, age and diversity considerations are a central part of advocacy. Women and women-led organizations (WLOs) should play a leading role in humanitarian response (See the Advocacy Roadmap).
  • Localization: As a signatory of the Grand Bargain, CARE is committed to the principle of localization, increasingly working with and through partners in humanitarian response. Whenever possible, we strive to follow the lead of local partners, particularly women-led and affected-people led organizations and movements. (See Localization in Operational Practice (2020).)
  • Humanitarian access: Gaining access to populations affected by a crisis is a paramount consideration for humanitarian action. Obstacles to such access may be rooted in the actions and decisions of policy makers at different levels (Bureaucratic and Administrative Impediments decided by crisis affected countries’ governments, sanctions and counter terrorism measures d, and may therefore require an advocacy response.
  • Protection, prevention and response to GBV and CRSV, and protection of civilians: CARE recognises protection as a cross-cutting theme in its humanitarian response (see the Chapter on Protection). Addressing gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in emergencies, both in terms of prevention, response and mitigation are priorities for CARE and our women-led partners. Advocacy can be a strategy to raise the protection needs of vulnerable people with policymakers and humanitarian organisations at crisis, country and international level.
  • Humanitarian space: Safeguarding the impartial and non-partisan nature of relief efforts is an increasingly important advocacy concern, especially because it is linked directly to the safety of humanitarian personnel (see the Chapter on Humanitarian space, and the Chapter on Civil-military relations) and of Protection of Civilians.
  • Adequate and quality funding: Shortfalls in humanitarian funding can cripple an emergency response effort. Advocacy can be used to ensure that key policymakers prioritise the emergency, including allocating sufficient resources. That said, this is different from fundraising directly on behalf of CARE. Funding should ideally be predictable, long-term, and flexible. Advocacy efforts should encourage donors to uphold their Grand Bargain commitment of 25% of funding going directly to local and national actors.
  • Health, food security and livelihood, shelter, WASH and other emergency programme areas also give rise to priorities for which an advocacy response may be necessary.