Study of Caritas practices in strengthening relations with governments

The topic of Institutional Advocacy has been introduced recently within the Caritas Europa network. It is related to “the effort of Caritas to establish a structured relationship with government in order to strengthen the organisation’s own sustainability.”

The present study is meant for the network to better understand this concept and to assess the steps with which to achieve the above goal, based on analysis of experiences shared by Caritas Europa member organisations.

It first explores the meaning and definition of “Institutional Advocacy”, as also seen through the lens of different social welfare systems in Europe. It then presents and analyses existing examples of good practices of Institutional Advocacy in a number of countries, grouped according to one of the three dimensions: legislative, financial or political and policy. These examples can serve to inspire, to build confidence and to teach, as well as to be (adapted and) replicated in other countries, depending on the context.

The main goal of this study is to facilitate the sharing of experiences and information and to stimulate and encourage discussion within the Caritas Europa network, rather than to give a top-down definition or to suggest one unique model for all the organisations to adhere to.

Ultimately, this study and Caritas Europa’s work on Institutional Advocacy is meant to help make our member oganisations stronger and more sustainable to better serve the poor.