Summary Note - Collaborative Advocacy by Humanitarian and Human Rights Actors

As a part of the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW), the Global Protection Cluster (GPC) and the GPC’s Advocacy and Human Rights Engagement Task Teams co-organised a peerexchange webinar on the topic of “Collaborative Advocacy by Humanitarian and Human Rights Actors: How to better manage the tensions between Advocacy and Operational Access?”.

The event took place online on May 17 with several speakers as well as a panel discussion involving leading protection and advocacy colleagues who shared national, regional and global perspectives on the topic. It was attended by approximately 97 participants.

The webinar’s theme is grounded in the ongoing perceived and real tensions that often exist between access and advocacy. On the one hand, robust advocacy on protection issues is critical in terms of protection actors’ ability to call attention to and help stop rights abuses. On the other hand, the need for access, both in terms of communities impacted by crises being able to access protection services and protection actors being able to access these communities, remains critical. Across many complex emergencies around the world, these two elements are often seen as at odds with each other, making some operational organizations weary of ‘speaking up’ given the risks of operations being ‘shut down’. And yet, both advocacy and access are foundational for effective protection response. How they can be navigated and managed together is an ongoing point of debate and learning across the sector.