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GSC Coordination Toolkit


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2B: Advocacy and Communications

Advocacy is one of the core functions of clusters, and should be planned in country clusters' strategies. Detailing the main three priorities, the target audiences we want to reach, key messages and an action plan, including indicators to monitor process, are key aspects for clusters to be able to do advocacy. Shelter clusters can contribute to collective advocacy actions, or conduct advocacy activities together with Shelter cluster partners. Some of the activities which can be done are related to giving regular updates to stakeholders such as donor briefings; developing reports and notes on a specific situation detailing the recommendations; organizing meetings with partners and stakeholders among others. 

Communicating who we are, what we do and how we do it is part of the advocacy work needed to create engagement at all levels. The information that should be communicated to stakeholders should be factual, give updates on a specific situation and recommendations. External communication work, such as producing audiovisual materials and communicating through external channels (including social media) should be assessed carefully depending of the context and resources. 

The Global Shelter Cluster Support Team provides guidance on how to integrate into the national cluster's strategies advocacy aspects, and can offer assistance in amplifying messaging and reports from country clusters. 

 For more standard templates and guidance refer to the GSC website – (

  • 2Bi:  Advocacy and Communication Strategic Action Plan 2021-2022. This Strategy contextualises why we communicate what we do and links it with the three GSC objectives on Communication and Advocacy and how country level work contributes to the shared goal.
  • 2Bii: Advocacy plan template, which can guide cluster coordination teams and leads of working groups and Communities of Practice plan their advocacy work. 
  • 2Biii. Factsheets should present in a simple way the main figures, progress and short narratives in which advocacy messaging can be included. The North-West Syria cluster and Afghanistan cluster have produced some appealing formats. Mid-2022, the IM team was working on new templates for the factsheets and other documents, so check with them if there are formal updates. 
  • 2Biv: The Venezuela Cluster's donor briefing document is a good example of an adaptation of the country strategy to present it in an appealing way to the planned Shelter responses. Planned shelter responses can also be presented in summary briefs to give a quick overview to present the key priority areas, with a good example of Afghanistan.  
  • 2Bv: Country clusters can engage in collective and multi-cluster advocacy when there are specific good opportunities (such as pledging conferences, commemorations, high-level meetings). Both for Yemen and Afghanistan tri-cluster notes were produced. 
  • 2Bvi: Other documents can also be used creatively for communication and advocacy purposes. For example, SNFI catalogues presented in a visually appealing way such as the Afghanistan one or environmental profiles and catalogues can be used for social media communication. Reports, evaluations and other more technical documents, if presented nicely, can also be used for advocacy and communication purposes, for example the work done in Somalia on Dignified Shelter Solutions or the Multi-sectoral report for North-Kivu in DR Congo.  
  • 2Bvii: For country clusters who want to use Social Media channels, a tri-cluster initiative created social media guidelines. An example of country-level social media guidelines can be found for Afghanistan and Good Practices of the use of social media for targeted messaging on technical guidance used in Vanuatu explain how social media posts can be meaningfully used. 
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