Friday, October 8, 2010


lobby: hacer incidencia (cabildeo, lobby)

Last week John Pluecker commented on advocacy that Mexican human rights activists and lawyers were using the term "hacer incidencia" - but this is actually what I use for lobbying, as distinct from the broader term of advocacy. In Colombia I often hear the term lobby used in English, as in, 'toca hacer lobby.' I think the RAE would probably go for cabildeo, but this seems more formal and less widely understood to me than incidencia. Thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid "hacer incidencia" wouldn't be understood here in Paraguay as much resembling advocacy or lobbying. I don't recall ever actually seeing it, but the way it would be understood would be more like "to win participation/importance" in some activity. That is an interesting meaning to be able to reach, and one of the things one might try to accomplish with lobbying, but even that is usually phrased as "tener incidencia".
I'm afraid the eternal problem with 'lobbying' and 'advocacy' is not solved. Frankly, I improvise a lot with these terms, and sometimes base translations on 'persuadir' and even 'presionar' if they are intended to go beyond those familiar with "cabildeo", which I dislike immensely.

Dan Feder said...

Agree. I don't know about other countries but the word "lobby" is definitely the way to go in Colombia unless you're talking folks with very little background in politics.

Incidencia is, I feel, something different, which doesn't have a good equivalent in English, having to do with making one's presence felt in the halls of power, or at least among one's peers.