All aspects of humanitarian action carry risk: the security risks linked to operating amidst active conflict, the potential harm done to communities excluded from response efforts and the risks of having assistance diverted by parties to the conflict, to name a few.
The risks of engaging in protection advocacy are often some of the most visible - captured by the media when a senior humanitarian is made persona non grata (PNG’ed) by a government for having spoken out, or when an organization is denied access to communities facing protection risks as (perceived) blow-back from its advocacy efforts.
How protection actors are assessing and managing advocacy related risks and taking forward risk informed advocacy efforts in support of access and protection are critical questions across the sector, with direct impacts on our shared commitment to protection advocacy actions. What’s more, these questions are most often considered internally by organizations but not often enough collectively unpacked and examined, including in terms of how to better share risks between different actors. At a time when access that protects is increasingly constrained, using risk-informed advocacy to strengthen access and address protection risks is more of an urgent imperative than ever before.
Through this session we will look more closely at the ways different humanitarian actors, including local/national protection actors, are assessing and managing advocacy-related risks and residual risks on a daily basis, what learnings and good practices they can share and how, as a sector and across the humanitarian system, we can further advance more collective, risk-informed advocacy for the protection of affected communities that is based on evidence and experience, not assumption.