Thursday, December 30, 2010
Successful collective advocacy—whether by a social movement, an advocacy network, or a loose coalition of civic actors—comes from people, organizing strategy, relationships, and principles.
The attributes of successful involvement of people
• implicit, restricted membership criteria with daily responsibilities for members
• a division of labor based on membership and either mission or activity
• frequent interaction among organization leaders to coordinate mission and strategy
The attributes of a successful organizing strategy
• It is sustained over long periods of time.
• The recruiters become community insiders who relate to recruits as mentors and friends.
• The new activists are free to choose the means by which they contribute.
• The activists and their families are supported by the movement.
The attributes of successful relationship management
• accepting support but not becoming wholly dependent on it
• targeting individual donors who are unlikely to take over the mission
• using a mix of methods to reach individuals
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
And I think too of Milton's phrase in Paradise Lost:
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
In this season of wish lists here's mine. I want Kumarian Press to give sound to silence (apologies to Simon and Garfunkel), give light to darkness (apologies to Milton), give development practitioners insights and ideas so that the vital work that they do imparts hope and purpose and does not draw nectar in a sieve (apologies to Blake).
Last, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and look forward to posting more blog thoughts in 2011. And of course, please do send me your ideas and book projects!
Editor and Associate Publisher
jlance [at] kpbooks.com
Friday, December 10, 2010
Cassidy's article brought to my mind a book we published in 2009, The Myth of the Free Market, by Mark Martinez. And it struck me that one of the missions of KP is precisely to dispel and disrupt conventional wisdom, the myths and ideologies that often pose as truth or hard fact.
As editor for the press, I am constantly on the alert for authors who question conventional wisdom and received narratives. So for my first blog posting, I am asking a question: what are more myths that require dismantling and examination? Feel free to respond to me personally. I give my contact information below.
I look forward to posting more entries on the KP blog and I look forward to hearing from potential authors!
James Lance, PhD
Editor and Associate Publisher
Kumarian Press, an imprint of Stylus Publishing, LLC
PO Box 185
Williamsburg, MA 01096
Thursday, December 2, 2010
And here's Roodman's take on the Indian Microcredit Crisis:
Perhaps the heedlessly expanding Indian microcredit industry deserved a smackdown. But what matters most is not what is fair to the microcreditors but what is best for the poor. The Indian government has built an impressive 50-year track record failing to meet the financial service needs of the poor. Under the right circumstances the private sector can help fill the gap. The goal should be to reform microfinance, not kill it.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The United States can talk all it wants about how irresponsible the Chinese are in manipulating their currency. But if the Chinese ever stopped doing it, at the same time that the United States is running a big deficit, the U.S. economy would explode. Right now, the Chinese are saving our bacon -- no one else is willing to do it. Read more...
-- Author John Isbister in an October editorial for Foreign Policy in Focus
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I hope my stories will help kids to feel empowered to apply their heads, hands and hearts to any problem to help themselves and others. And I especially hope The Good Garden interests them in combating world hunger — ideas for action are listed at the back of the book. I also hope we see even more school, community and family gardens sprouting up — so kids can identify, if only in a small way, with the billions of poor in our world who live off the land, and so they can experience the satisfaction and nutrition of self-grown produce. Read more...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
If we recognize that big business is co-responsible for the state of our economies and social welfare, how can then the Giving Pledge address the injustices its supporters have contributed to creating? Philanthropy is a noble sentiment but it can at best scratch the surface of social problems. Often, unfortunately, it hides or even entrenches the structural injustices in our current economic and financial system: as long as you give something back – the philanthropy creed seems to imply - you can carry on with your life doing ‘business as usual’.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
David Hulme (Just Give Money to the Poor) writes about fighting poverty in a post-MDG world for The Broker. An excerpt:
What has 10 years of the MDGs achieved? On the positive side: one, they reversed the post-Cold War decline in foreign aid; two, they helped promote the understanding that ‘growth is not enough’ and that growth plus basic needs is the minimalist credible strategy (even though it is not enough); three, they helped re-engineer social norms in the UK (anywhere else?) and get the three main political parties to commit to increasing and improving the quality of aid. But, there is also a negative side to these laudable goals, and it is a big negative – they allowed world leaders to make big promises and then carry on with business almost as usual.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
"We’re arguing, basically, that poor people are poor because they don’t have money. It’s not that they’re stupid or need education. They actually know what to do with the money,” says Joseph Hanlon, a development expert at England’s Open University and coauthor of a new book on cash transfers entitled “Just Give Money to the Poor.” “You can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don’t have boots, and cash transfers are providing boots.”
Read more here.