9.3.1 Information gathering
Developing a reliable base of information is crucial to advocacy. Time constraints and multiple demands on programme managers may limit the capacity for information gathering and analysis, especially in the early days of a response. Gathering policy-related information through pre-emergency programming activities and surveys can be a useful starting point, and can be supplemented with rapid assessment data (see guidelines in Chapter 4 Assessment).
Relevant information for problem analysis may be gathered from beneficiaries, local partners, external experts, government sources, other NGOs, the UN and the media. In all cases, CARE must always ensure not to expose beneficiaries or staff to security risks in the process.
It is critical to assess and verify all information for accuracy and bias, and rely on sources that are the most trustworthy and legitimate-including how they are perceived by the policymakers we are trying to influence. Using a diverse set of sources helps to provide a balanced picture. Because marginalised or vulnerable groups experience policy impacts in distinct and often harsher ways, the collection and analysis of information must identify and take into account the specific needs of women, ethnic and religious minorities, children and others (see Chapter Gender).