Global Advocacy and New Partnerships

This Discussion Series seeked to explore the spectrum of lobbying and advocacy by identifying factors for successful advocacy strategies and addressing new ways of inter-sector cooperation. Issues that were discussed are related to dynamics between governments and NGOs as well as businesses and small producers, the role of research, and the debated relevance of internet and social media for advocacy.


15 December | Social Media and Clicktivism: How Citizens are Advocating for Change

Foto - Gerardo Obieta groot

Thanks to Internet and Social Media, individual citizens and civil society groups have the possibility to reach a wide audience. Where mobilization and activism used to be organised by more established institutions like trade unions and larger organisations, now it is within almost anyone’s reach start a campaign. But is this new form of social advocacy effective?

This debate was joined by Nighat Dad (Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan) and Henri Beunders (Erasmus University Rotterdam).

The recap can be read here.

10 November | Who is Driving the Sustainability Agenda? An Example from the Flower Industry

Fresh-cut quality flowers have provided thousands of people in Africa with jobs and income. Growers can also easily demonstrate the improved environmental performance. But what about investments in improved social performance?  What is the role of different stakeholders (growers, traders, buyers, financiers, certification schemes, governments, CSOs and NGOs) in improving social and environmental conditions and what is at stake?

This debate was joined by Caleb Lang’at (Fairtrade Africa) and Peter Knorringa (International Institute of Social Studies).

A recap will follow shortly.

13 October | Do Facts matter? The ‘Hunt’ for Evidence on Climate Change

1. Collecting Water via CIFOR fotograaf Ollivier Gerard (CIFOR)

The climate change debate is informed by a substantial amount of (academic) research. But this seems to have little effect on public opinion or policy. Why is the climate change debate stagnating? Do we have too many data? Or is climate change research too much focused on the problem rather than on the solutions? How can lobby and advocacy efforts move beyond the mere research results?

 This debate was joined by Sylvia Borren (Greenpeace Netherlands) and Pier Vellinga (Wageningen University).

The recap can be read here.

22 September | NGO Advocacy: the New Magic Bullet for Social Justice?

megaphone - pixabay

The Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation and Trade triggered an interesting debate. Whilst encouraging more advocacy and campaigning activities by Dutch civil society organisations and their global partners, she severely cuts on subsidies for service-delivery. What will be the results of this policy shift? How do Southern partners perceive this? How independent can ‘partners’ operate in a government-funded setting?

This debate was joined by Roberto Bissio (Social Watch, Uruguay) and To Tjoelker (Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands).

The recap can be read here.