9.9 Tools and actions
CARE’s advocacy strategy should outline the tools, actions and spaces (e.g. HCT, IASC Principals forum, UNSC, etc.) that CARE and partners will use to achieve their advocacy goals. The tools and actions used will depend on the type of advocacy approach CARE will take (see Section 3).
CARE can select from a range of often mutually supportive tools and actions to conduct our advocacy. These include:
- releasing position statements through the media,
- writing letters to policymakers, thus articulating key messages,
- negotiating with policymakers in formal and informal meetings,
- working with coalitions and national and local partners, especially women-led organisations,
- sharing information with CARE International Members for external advocacy,
- sharing information with UN country teams, IASC structures at the global level, or other authoritative bodies,
- organising public briefing events or forums and inviting policymakers to attend,
- appointing spokespersons who are knowledgeable on the issues and are credible with the target audience. In a CO, this person may be a representative of a local partner or affected people-led organization. If no partner can be identified, the Country Director, Advocacy Advisor or another member of the response team designated for that purpose can step in, but this is not preferred.
In 2021, the IASC reviewed its strategic priorities, which it does every two years. CARE and others were alarmed to see that the IASC ignored findings from the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls. Further, the IASC wanted to disassociate the IASC Gender Reference Group (which CARE is a member of) from the IASC structure. CARE, with the support of ICVA and its members, led an action to champion Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in humanitarian action and succeeded in elevating it as a priority area (IASC Strategic Priorities, 2022-2023), and ensuring the IASC associated Gender Reference Group (GRG) would not be phased out by end 2021 but, instead, be extended as an IASC entity until the end of 2022. The GRG has now formed a small core group, including CARE, to revisit its mandate, composition and approach to more effectively drive accountability on GEEWG in the humanitarian system and to propose ways of working that will hopefully ensure continuity beyond 2023. This advocacy included a targeted joint letter by NGO gender champions to the IASC Principals (main decision makers), coalition building and influencing through speaking to influential individuals in UN agencies.