What is advocacy?
Advocacy is a deliberate process involving intentional actions that seek to directly or indirectly influence those who make policy decisions in order to achieve a stated objective or change.
This process is typically designed to influence the actions of decision-makers that are responsible for devising laws or regulations, or for distributing resources in a way that impacts on the well-being of a significant number of people. ‘Decision-‘ or ‘policy makers’ that are targeted can encompass a wide range of individuals, including within the private and informal sectors and can operate at the local, regional, national or international level.

What does it mean in practice?

CARE International works to influence policy across its programming as a means of empowering poor people – and women in particular – to claim their rights. In recent years, CARE has focused much of its advocacy efforts on developing a ‘bottom up’ and rights-based approach to advocacy through its governance work. Actions include:
  • Policy and political economy analysis;
  • Strengthening the evidence base of civil society actors to influence policy-makers;
  • Mobilising constituencies to demand change;
  • Building coalitions with other civil society bodies to support citizens-led advocacy;
  • Influencing public opinion through media campaigns;
  • Engaging and lobbying policy-makers to pass laws and regulations that support citizens' rights and well-being;
  • Implementing oversight mechanisms to analyse the implementation of these policies.

Programming Examples
Advocacy in Latin America
Advocacy in Africa

Advocacy in Asia

Key Tools & Resources

Advocacy for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality: What’s it All About?

Putting Policy Making into Practice at CARE International