Civil Society approaches, opportunities and challenges of Shifting Power

Six takeaways for action from Global Perspectives 2021 – Let’s Talk About Power!

Global Perspectives 2021 provided a chance for the Centre’s communities to involve themselves in themes and workshops, exploring methods to address major trends, threats, and opportunities in the civil society sector. We’re still processing everything we learned over the course of two forceful, thought-provoking weeks, so here are some major takeaway that we can all apply right away.

15/11/2021


Transformation in the Aid and Development Sector?

Right CoLab announced the introduction of “Transformation in the Aid and Development Sector?” – a published series on critical problems of change and transformation in the humanitarian sector, in collaboration with The Centre for Humanitarian Leadership. Localisation; Decolonising Aid; Business Operating Models; Funding Models and Finance; Ways of Working; South-South and North-South Partnerships; Technology and Innovation; and Leadership and Diversity are among the eight topic papers in the project.

21/01/2022


It’s 2022 and Decolonising Aid finds itself at a crossroads: which path will you take?

In this article Dylan Matthews talks about how very few organisations know in which way to start the process of decolonising their work, but most importantly he addresses the risk of the term “decolonising”  to become a catch-all term for any transformation attempt, stripping it of its ability to be extremely impactful. Moreover, the author highlights the take aways of these insights. 

27/01/2022


Is Social Media a New Frontier for Marginalised Communities to Challenge Old Power? The Flint Water Tragedy, and the Power of Place-Based Digital Activism

Nina Newhouse and Charlie Batchelor use Timms and Heimans’ New/Old Power framework to enquire how activists could use the web to reach new forms of power and, eventually, better effect change in the second of their four-part blog series, that aims to inspire innovative thinking about digitally-mediated activism.

03/02/2022


Thinking and working politically: What have we learned since 2013?

Author Duncan Green, walks us through a recent paper published by Graham Teskey, who has been a major proponent of ‘political thinking and working,’ always prepared to call out hand-waving intellectuals and seek some real-world lessons. entitled “Thinking and working politically: What have we learned since 2013?”. In this blog post Green comments and shows some extracts on “where we are now” and the lessons Teskey draws from his historical account.

01/02/2022


How can we Better Mobilise Communities?

One of the breakthroughs in the IFRC Strategy 2030, which they and the Solferino Academy have jointly pledged to achieve in the future years, is encouraging and mobilizing volunteerism. But what exactly does this imply, and where do they start? This is the content of the article by Solferino Academy 

24/11/2021


Time to Decolonise Aid

Peace Direct, Adeso, the Alliance for Peacebuilding and Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS)’s (2021) ‘Time to Decolonise Aid: Insights and Lessons from a Global Consultation’ shares strategic recommendations for ICSOs and others, including:

– creating space for change, especially for those with marginalised identities,
– encouraging an internal organisational culture of openness to critique,
– investing in indigenous knowledge creation and valuing local knowledge, and
– adopting a transition mindset for organisational strategies with clear milestones for the transfer of power and resources to local organisations.

It also shares ideas of what a manifesto for decolonising aid would look like.

10/05/2021


Shift the Power - Ghanaian NGOs at the Crossroads of Relinquishing Power to Local Communities

The recent publication by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) points out that any positive and lasting change will have to start with the way communities think about and perceive development. The report states that, unfortunately, many communities in Ghana have become accustomed to the idea that the government and, to some extent, local NGOs are primarily responsible for development.

21/10/2021


Fostering Equitable North-South civil society partnerships: Voices from the South

The report from the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) presents the views and voices of global south CSOs and provides records of ideas, suggestions and recommendations on how ICSOs north-south relationships and power dynamics should evolve. It captures the concerns of global south civil society actors and their re­lationship with ICSOs in four key areas: partnerships, collaborations, decision making, structures and practices.

10/03/2021


Catalysing locally-led development in the UK aid system

This report from Bond summarises work carried out between August 2020 and April 2021 to create a more equitable and sustainable development system through locally-led development.

It shares key insights, lessons and strategies and aims to contribute to the other initiatives that are pushing for change. It also aims to galvanise engagement and action from the wider international development community, with a focus on international non-governmental organisations in the UK.

07/07/2021


Going beyond Western models of value to shift the power

In this article, Nana Afadzinu proposes to move beyond the rhetoric and bring about that needed shift. She shares the following key principles to achieve this:

– ensure that it remains a “shift the power movement and not a shift the power industry.”
– remain inclusive and foster growth
– focus on the relational instead of the transactional
– build solidarity across continents, interests and organisations by overcoming the ego, logo and silo mentality
– hold each other accountable.

16/01/2020


What we have learned

  1. Link the governance as much as possible to the intent and mandate of the organisation
  2. Place transparency, diversity and inclusivity at the core
  3. Dialogue between groups that have different expectations of each other
  4. Engage in an open exchange and have the willingness to learn from each other
  5. Don’t overlook discriminatory practices
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  • #ShiftThePower Manifesto for Change: Statement 1 - English Version
  • Globalfundcf promotes a view of a “good society” founded on global solidarity and distributed leadership.
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  • Shifting Power: (Net)work in progress| Partos Innovation Festival 2021
  • Listen to Jenny Hodgson, Charles Kojo VanDyck, Pascal Richard and Osai Ojigho
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  • The global #ShiftThePower ecosystem
  • The session explored the #ShiftThePower map on the Pando platform.
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  • The Localisation agenda: Questioning the intermediary donor system
  • The webinar interrogates the intermediary structure within the philanthropy/donor funding system
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  • Dialogue 1: Who’s “helping” whom? (3 December 2019)
  • Featuring contributions from: Arbie Baguios of Aid Re-imagined and Catherine Nyambura.
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  • Dialogue 2: Hearing (and saying) what we need to hear (12 December 2019)
  • Featuring contributions from: Maria Faciolince of Oxfam; Grace Labeodan; and, Shail Shrestha of Digo Bikas Instittue.
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  • Dialogue 3: Expanding our moral imperative (14 January 2020)
  • Featuring contributions from: Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah of AWID and Deepa Ranganathan of FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund.
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  • Decolonising Research - #IncludovateRaisesTheBar
  • Includovate is a feminist research incubator helping researchers from the global south to grow their research careers.

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  • Power Shift: Seizing the Window of Opportunity for True Transformation
  • Nana Afadzinu, Wolfgang Jamann and Miriam Niehaus reflect on the latest progress the sector has made on powershift.

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  • Re-imagining the INGO-The Origin
  • Gigi Ong-Alok from Disrupt Development talks with Deborah Doane and Nana Afadzinu to learn more about this initiative.

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  • Shifting power in international civil society organisations
  • In conversation, Ed Boswell, Co-Founder and CEO at Conner Advisory and our Executive Director, Wolfgang Jamann

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  • 15 minutes on localizing and decolonizing aid
  • CARE Canada speaks with Everjoice Win, an activist in feminist and social justice movements in Zimbabwe

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  • Episode 7: Shifting the Power
  • Arbie Baguios speaks about the new frontiers of the development sector

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  • RH Episode 7 | Decolonising aid
  • How does this dialogue begin to move from slogans to actual change?