9.9 Tools and actions
CARE’s advocacy strategy should outline the tools and actions that CARE will use to achieve its advocacy goals. The tools and actions used will depend on the type of advocacy approach CARE will take.
The appropriate advocacy role for the organisation may be public or private, collaborative or more confrontational, taking the lead or supporting others’ activities (for types of advocacy approaches, see section 3 and Annex 28.4 Advocacy Tools and Guidelines: A resource manual for CARE’s program managers.
The key question for determining the appropriate advocacy role for CARE is:
- What role is likely to be most effective? What is the political environment and what are CARE’s best strengths for exerting influence-for example, public statements, private lobbying, technical advice to policymakers and providing support to third parties. This question needs to be revisited regularly (at times, daily or weekly) to adapt the strategy to the evolving situation on the ground.
- The current Humanitarian Advocacy Strategy (HASt) will help in determining this.
CARE can select from a range of tools and actions to convey advocacy messages. 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 local partners
- sharing information with CARE International Members for external advocacy
- sharing information with UN country teams 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 the Country Director, Advocacy Advisor or another member of the response team designated for that purpose.
In Darfur, CARE has adopted a two-track advocacy approach, focusing on both public and non-public advocacy. The CO has chosen this approach because of the need to weigh the value of public statements against the risk of government reprisals against staff or suspension of critical operations. Public advocacy though press releases, op-eds and briefings has focused on ensuring that the conflict stays ‘visible’, and that public attention continues to focus on the crisis. The majority of the advocacy has been non-public/private, and focused on influencing policy on specific issues through confidential contacts and communication with high-level policymakers.