051214 CARE Advocacy Tools and Guidelines

Advocacy Tools and Guidelines: Promoting Policy Change

A Resource Manual for CARE Program Managers

CARE’s programs have traditionally worked at the household and community levels but rarely addressed policy causes of poverty and the actions of policy makers. Advocacy is a strategy to influence policy makers when they make laws and regulations, distribute resources, and make other decisions that affect peoples’ lives. The principal aims of advocacy are to create policies, reform policies, and ensure policies are implemented. Policy makers are typically government officials or those with formal political power, but they also can be leaders in the private sector whose decisions and behavior affect communities.
Several advocacy strategies can be used to influence the decisions of policy makers, such as discussing problems directly with them, delivering messages through the media, or strengthening the ability of local organizations to advocate. Advocacy is one more option in a wide range of program strategies for reducing poverty, and appropriate when you want to influence policies that are at the source of poverty and discrimination.
These Tools and Guidelines provide a step by step guide for planning advocacy initiatives, as well as advice for successful implementation. They are intended for country office program managers who wish to include advocacy in their programs. These guidelines will help you to:
? Learn about advocacy concepts and advocacy vocabulary.
? Analyze policies that lie at the root of poverty and discrimination.
? See how advocacy can help you increase your impact.
? Devise a strategy to achieve your advocacy aims.
? Acquire essential skills to help you become an effective advocate