Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lessons in Civic Action from India

Arriving with the birth of 2011 is our newest book The Politics of Collective Advocacy in India by Nandini Deo and Duncan McDuie-Ra. In addition to revealing the amazing diversity and complexity of India’s civil society sector, the authors highlight practical strategies that NGOs and other actors can use for the greatest impact in their work. An excerpt:

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

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