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Influencing policies and practices

Hivos helps to create an enabling (political) environment in which the alternative solutions of frontrunners and multi-actor initiatives can flourish. We help rightsholders and local organizations make their voices heard, get a seat at the discussion table, and influence decisions that affect their lives. Moreover, we support their initiatives to challenge existing power relations at community, local and national level.

For example, in East and Southern Africa our regional SRH-R Fund supports organizations that advocate for people’s right to love whom they choose and to decide if and when to have children. With Free to be Me, a new program to be implemented later in 2021, Hivos and partners will enable LGBTIQ+ communities to lobby duty bearers for access to socio-economic development programs and for an end to criminalizing laws. ENERGIA significantly has advanced gender mainstreaming of sustainable energy policies and practices around the world, based on the evidence of its successful women energy entrepreneurs.

Linking and learning is our core principle. We connect our local partners to each other and to existing advocacy networks of potential allies at the national and regional level. These networks are of great importance to engage with and influence duty bearers. At the global level, Hivos gets directly involved in influencing policies of governments and businesses. We also enable – and if necessary, train and coach – rights holders and their organizations to participate in relevant international events and advocacy moments. Having their stories told and heard in the right places and at the right time can influence key figures and generate international (social) media attention for their cause.