ADVOCACY AND NEGOTIATION: A PROCESS FOR CHANGING
INSTITUTIONAL AND GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES)
Advocacy, lobbying, and negotiation are actions which organizations and
individuals take to exert pressure for changes in a specific policy or behavior of a
government, an organization, or possibly a single individual. This article presents a
summary of the elements to be taken into account in the design of an advocacy campaign
for non- governmental, popular, and community based organizations.
1. DEFINITION OF THE GOAL: First one must choose and define a problem or
target for the campaign. This should be a specific issue which members of an advocacy
campaign wish to change -- a policy or behavior which is the focus of the campaign. It is
vitally important to have a very specific and narrow focus for the campaign. It is also
essential that all groups in an advocacy campaign alliance are in agreement with the
selection and definition of the target of the campaign. The goal is a statement of the
desired change in the long term, generally over several years.
2. POWER ANALYSIS: A power analysis is a breakdown of who makes
decisions concerning the goal and how these decisions are made. It is an analysis of the
principal actors who can influence or make decisions about the goal -- allies and
opponents. The allies and opponents examined in the power analysis should be only those
actors with influence over the specific goal selected for the advocacy campaign. A power
analysis focuses on understanding the networks and relationships between persons and
key institutions. It is important to identify who makes decisions on the goal.
Relationships and interconnections between actors are also key. After completing a
power analysis it is important to review the goal to determine if it is possible to achieve.
3. OBJECTIVES: It is necessary to develop several (3-5) objectives for the short
term (1 to 18 months) which lead to the goal. Definitions of the objectives should be clear
and limited. Objectives are statements of the desired changes in behavior or policy in the
short term which directly contribute to reaching the goal. Obtaining objectives can be
4. STRATEGY: A strategy is developed to influence the principal actors of the
power analysis who can make or influence changes related to the objectives of the
campaign. A strategy includes gaining access to influence advisors to the key actors. A
strategy should include a variety of resources, for example: reports of experts, peer
pressure and moral arguments from churches and others, the media, and direct advocacy
and negotiation by leaders and participants in the campaign. It is important to have
proposals to change policies, not just to criticize them. It is also important to take into
account the general political atmosphere, including considerations of institutional and
5. ACTIVITIES: These are the vehicles to achieve the strategy. Activities should
increase the pressure or reduce the forces of opposition to achieve objectives. Not all
activities are equally useful. Activities chosen should produce the greatest pressure for
achieving objectives in the short and long term.
6. EVALUATION: Each activity, action, or campaign should be evaluated
immediately following its completion -- how to improve the strategy for the next activity
or campaign. The evaluation should focus on impact (Did the activity lead toward the
goal?), leadership (Were the leaders prepared? How did they respond in the situation?),
and logistics (Were materials adequate, people in the correct locations, etc.?).
DEFINITION OF ADVOCACY
In this manual advocacy, lobbying and negotiation have the same definition:
actions which organizations and individuals use to exert pressure for changes in a specific
policy or behavior of a government or institution. These can be, for example, social
investment funds, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, or
international donors, such as, the United Nations Development Program or the United
States Agency for International Development.
Is a process to force changes in institutional or governmental policies
Is a process in which it is possible to involve various organizations and
Is a process which is open and public.
Is a process which requires proposals for changes and does not only
Is a process in which groups of citizens establish the right to change
their societies by changing the institutions which control the society.
Is a fundamental process in a truly democratic society.
Principles of Advocacy:
1. Advocacy, lobbying, and negotiation are processes, not isolated events.
2. Groups need to select issues for advocacy which are most important to
3. Advocacy is a process which involves education and training of
participants and new leaders on the substantive issues as well as on lobbying methods and
4. The development of new leaders is key to successful campaigns.
Campaign leadership should reflect the diversity of the membership including gender,
ethnicity, race and class.
5. Campaigns should work to model the values and principles for which the
campaign is striving. A decision making process needs to be established which is open
and democratic yet sufficiently rapid to be able to respond to changing situations.
6. Campaigns are accountable to the base they represent, the members of the
7. Alliances with other organizations which support the same specific issue
are key. It is not necessary for all groups involved in an alliance to agree on all the other
issues addressed by their organizations. Alliances with international NGOs can also be
8. Written material is necessary to carry out advocacy campaigns. Well
researched and accurate reports are essential for this process, not just anecdotal reports
which can be ignored by key actors for lacking a valid methodology. Reports must be
brief, begin with an executive summary, and contain carefully researched information.
Anecdotal evidence is subject to the accusation that it has no value because it is
9. In advocacy campaigns it is useful to establish relationships with the
individuals to be influenced. This means that the same people should work with the same
target organizations over a period of time. As a result, it is not useful to frequently change
the persons involved with direct advocacy activities.
10. It is necessary to know the reality in which the campaign is operating, to
know the principal causes which impede work, and to establish priority solutions.
11. To achieve changes it is essential to have the ability to solidly focus
energy and resources on a very narrow issue.
12. Small scale gains are needed before attempting larger scale victories. At
the beginning of a campaign it is necessary to work on objectives for very specific and
limited changes which can be readily achieved.
In its broadest sense advocacy brings together associative groups and individuals
to influence the design, execution, and change in the policies and behavior of institutions
which have power over them. At the same time, advocacy is a fundamental and long term
process within democratic societies in which groups of citizens have the right to
influence political institutions.
Participants in advocacy campaigns should have a clear idea of whose interests
are defended by their work, that is, who are the persons who share directly in the benefits
of their advocacy work. This is important for two reasons -- first, because it is this base
group which provides the necessary political force in an advocacy campaign, and second,
advocacy work must follow a rhythm which is often different from that of the base group.
Both rhythms must be synchronized to avoid competition for organizational resources,
centralization, and demagoguery.
As a result, and since advocacy is such an important process, it should follow
certain norms in order to be effective. The following is a list of these norms:
1. Groups involved should identify the issue for which advocacy will be
2. It is important to understand the selected issue and to have enough
information on it to be able to argue consistently.
3. Advocacy participants should be prepared to get into intensive and
extensive work. They should assume that this is a collective task in which it is necessary
a democratic leadership recognized by the group,
an explicit division of labor so that actions do not become centralized,
the responsibility of informing and training themselves in order to fulfill
the division of labor,
the responsibility of reporting and achieving consensus with the base
groups or associates they represent, and
the ability and efficiency to make rapid, timely decisions.
4. A work plan should be developed which contains a clear definition of the
advocacy topic, the desired goal, the power analysis, the objectives to bring about the
goal, the strategies to be carried out, and a chronology of activities which are sufficient to
bring about the desired result.
5. Finally, advocacy campaigns are fluid and do not follow the exact path
designed by the advocates. The various results of actions taken should be evaluated and
weighed against what was projected. If actual results vary from projections, immediate
steps should be taken to correct this imbalance. The faster these corrective actions are
taken, the more probability exists that the desired goal will be reached.
The following is a summary of elements to be considered in the design of an
advocacy, lobbying, and negotiation strategy for non-governmental, popular, and
community based organizations.
The goal is a statement of desired changes in the long term. It is important to
clearly determine the fundamental goal of any type of project to be carried out. It is
useful to establish the goal by open, participative brainstorming followed by debate and
by a process of refining and prioritizing resulting ideas. The goal should be clear,
understandable, and limited. It is important that the goal be attainable. For the selection
of a goal, certain key points should be kept in mind, such as:
Is the goal specific or is it subject to a variety of interpretations?
Is the goal reachable?
In what time period can the goal be reached?
Are sufficient resources (financial and human) available to reach it?
The power analysis is a breakdown of those individuals who make decisions
within the institution or entity which is the subject of the campaign. The power structure
of a government or an international organization is complicated, but can generally be
determined. It is necessary, before undertaking an advocacy campaign, to understand the
power structure of the target institution, its decision making methods, the timing of its
decisions, and its objectives.
Additionally, it is important to identify the actors who make decisions regarding
the goal of the campaign. These actors may be supporters or opponents of a particular
policy, and may have influence over the achievement or blockage of the desired changes
within a specific issue.
A power analysis also focuses on the networks and relationships between key
persons and institutions and how to influence them. It is important to understand which
are the persons and institutions who want to change current policy and which want to
maintain that policy. Within these relationships and connections the power analysis
should also identify the persons and institutions which have influence over or provide
advice to the actors being studied.
It is useful to construct a "power map" or diagram of the key actors who can
influence the goal of the campaign. At the center of the "map" is the most important actor
controlling the attainment of your goal. Surrounding this key actor are the other actors
who can influence the key actor and their relationship to each other. The "power map"
should include both opponents and allies to the campaign. Look for patterns in
relationships between key actors. Look for the power available to the alliance's members.
Be aware of the gender, class, racial, and ethnic dimensions of the situation.
Upon completing the power analysis it is important for the alliance to revisit the
goal. Is the goal achievable given the power analysis? Does the alliance have sufficient
power to win significant victories in the campaign? The power analysis may show that
the goal selected by the alliance is impossible to achieve. If this is the case the alliance
needs to decide if it wants to continue working on the campaign as a "symbolic
campaign" or "educational campaign" where they do not expect to win any significant
victories. However, this is the time for a campaign to select a more realistic goal, before
too many resources have been spent on a loosing campaign. It is dangerous to continue
working on a campaign with no chance of victory if the members of the alliance have not
agreed to a symbolic or educational campaign. If members of a campaign are not aware
of the impossibility of achieving victories they will become discouraged and either
withdraw from the campaign and/or refuse to join a future campaign.
In summary, it is necessary for a power analysis to identify:
The forces or actors which maintain the policy or behavior.
The forces or actors which are pushing for a change in policy or
The actors who have influence over a change in policy or behavior.
The influences to which principal actors are subject.
Key decision making times. What is the agenda or schedule for
Revisit the goal after the power analysis to be sure it is achievable.
Objectives are statements of the changes in behavior or policies during the short
or medium term which will contribute to reaching the goal. While there can be many
objectives, it is recommended that three to five be selected which are clear,
understandable and which help to directly reach the goal. It is extremely important to
focus on a few of the most important objectives.
The objectives should be determined as is the goal: gather many ideas, prioritize
the ideas, and then select the most important. Care should be exercised to select
objectives which contribute to reaching the goal. Objectives must be carefully analyzed
and questioned in order to select those which meet the above criteria. A few key points
for the selection of objectives are:
They should be specific, clear, and understandable.
They should be attainable.
They should contribute to achieving the goal.
They should be analyzed in terms of time for implementation, in
comparison with others.
Are funds available, or can they be obtained, for the implementation of
To achieve each objective it is generally necessary to develop a strategy and
activities -- to mount a mini-campaign. These mini-campaigns are useful for the
development of experience and skills by the leaders and participants in the overall
A final point in terms of fund raising: since it is important to have monies for the
implementation of these projects, it is advisable that one of the objectives indicate, for
example, "raise sufficient funds to implement the campaign."
Strategies refer to the way in which we plan to influence the principal actors
identified in the power analysis, and thus bring about the desired change. A strategy
should be the result of the power analysis and focus on an objective of the campaign. In
other words, we must be certain that obstacles, resources, and opportunities for change
have been identified. Additionally, a strategy should:
Identify allies and opponents who can influence the outcome.
Identify advisors to key actors.
Work to reduce the influence of opponents.
Realize that it may be possible to change the perception of the goal
and objectives in order to reduce opposition to them.
Within these strategies it is necessary to influence advisors, arrange for pressure
from the base and, if possible, involve public opinion makers and public figures. In
addition it is useful to gain support from the media in order to increase pressure for
change as well as to bring the topic to public light.
In establishing strategies it is also important to keep an open mind and avoid
prejudices. Every subject of analysis is unique and different from others; as a result
strategies should not be imitations of others, although others should be studied for
possible lessons. A strategy should include a variety of resources, such as:
Expert reports and opinions,
Pressure from peers,
Moral arguments from community leaders, churches, and other
Pressure from allies including, possibly, other governments and
international financial institutions,
The communications media, and
Direct advocacy, lobbying, and negotiation from participants.
Generally, it is necessary to have direct contacts between the authorities and the
participants in the campaign. It is important to have proposals for change and not simply
to criticize. Finally, it is necessary to take into account the general political situation,
including considerations of personal and institutional security.
The following is a list of key questions for developing an adequate strategy:
*Does the strategy relate to at least one of the objectives?
Does it respond, at least partially, to the power analysis?
Can it be completed within the limits of the campaign's resources and
Does it make use of the campaign's strengths and exploit the weakness
of your opponents?
Activities are the tasks and tactics to be put into practice in order to implement the
strategy, and thus achieve the desired objectives of the advocacy campaign. Tasks are the
actions which are carried out while tactics are the means and opportunities to carry out
The selection of necessary actions is often defined in the definition of the strategy.
It is from the strategy that the answers come to the question of how to achieve the
objectives and from which follows a list of tasks to be carried out. The first step is to list
activities, answering the questions of which and how many activities can be carried out. It
is important to determine if one has the capacity of carrying out these tasks.
There are a variety of types of activities which follow from a strategy:
These are related to the power analysis and focus on achieving the goal and
objectives. They include pressuring politicians and staff through direct meetings, letters,
petitions, demonstrations, etc., and coordination with allies.
This includes the communications media, press conferences, articles, paid
These include developing the resources necessary to carry out the campaign,
travel expenses, communications, etc.
This includes workshops to keep the base up to date, increase its members, help
them to identify with the campaign, etc.
These include correspondence, secretarial tasks, meetings, photocopies, and
phone and fax calls.
Once a list of possible tasks has been identified, it is necessary to define certain
points: who will carry out these activities, how long will they take, and which are the
most urgent activities with the highest priority. In order to achieve clarity, it is important
to answer a number of questions:
Which activities are priority, which secondary, and which low
Which activities can be carried out simultaneously?
Who is the target of the activity?
Who will carry out the activity?
How long will it take to carry out the activity?
Where will the activity be carried out?
How should the activity be evaluated?
TOOLS FOR ADVOCACY
Each campaign will require a variety of activities or tools for advocating the
changes necessary to achieve the goal and/or objectives. Tools need to be adjusted for the
appropriate local culture and social base. Tools should also be appropriate to the
knowledge and skills of the participants.
This section will outline the use of a number of possible tools.
1. Letter Writing
Letter writing is a basic tool for communicating a point or position of an alliance.
Letters should have a number of characteristics. Be brief. The letter should be no more
than one or two pages. Documents and materials can be attached to the letter but the letter
should be short and to the point. The tone of the letter should be firm but courteous. You
should never make threats in a letter. The author(s) should be comfortable with anything
in the letter being made public, published in a newspaper, or sent to an opponent. After a
brief introductory paragraph the letter should clearly state the purpose or point of the
communication. Try to mention something which you agree with the recipient of the
letter. It is important that the letters have correct spelling and punctuation. Always keep a
copy of the letter. All signers of the letter should receive a copy. It is often useful to send
copies of the letter (cc:) to other influential actors, for example: the World Bank, Inter-
American Development Bank, or USAID representatives.
2. Meetings with Key Actors
Any advocacy campaign will usually entail direct, face to face meetings with the
key actors you are trying to influence. It may be very difficult to arrange for a meeting
with a key actor and therefore each meeting needs to be carefully planned.
The following items need to be planned:
The key points to be raised in the meeting.
The position of the alliance on topics expected to be addressed in the
Who will speak for the alliance in the meeting. Leaders should reflect
the makeup of the constituency of the alliance including women and
Agreements or positions acceptable to the delegation.
How decisions will be made DURING the meeting.
Contingencies need to be planned for. For example, if you have an
appointment with the Minister of Natural Resources and he/she sends an
aide do you refuse to meet with him/her and insist on a meeting with the
minister or hold the meeting and/or request a further meeting with the
Meetings need to have some method of accountability and follow-up.
This may be a report to be issued at a certain date or a follow-up meeting
to review progress.
Any points agreed to in the meeting should be confirmed in writing.
3. Demonstrations/ Vigils
Demonstrations, vigils, or mass gatherings of supporters for pressuring a
government or organization should be used only occasionally, be very carefully planned,
and be part of an overall strategy. These take a great deal of resources and effort but may
be ignored by the key actors you are trying to influence. They can be a drain on an
alliance's resources and thereby prevent you from conducting other, more effective
If after a power analysis, setting objectives, and developing a strategy a
demonstration, vigil , or mass gathering is the most effective form of pressure it needs to
be very carefully planned and executed. Points that need to be considered include:
The specific target of the demonstration.
The number of demonstrators necessary to make an impact.
The logistical requirements necessary to transport and supply the
demonstrators (food, housing, sanitary facilities, public address system,
The need for media coverage for a successful demonstration.
Remember that you can't control how the media reports the demonstration
and they may accentuate negative aspects, for example unruliness or law
breaking on the part of the demonstrators.
Permits needed to conduct a legal demonstration.
The selection of speakers and other public leaders for the
demonstration. It is important that members of the alliance have
representatives in public positions.
The physical security of the demonstrators both during the
demonstration and traveling to and from the demonstration site need to be
During an advocacy campaign it is expected that an alliance will need to enter
negotiations with key actors. It is important to remember that a negotiation is a give and
take. An alliance needs to enter negotiations with the understanding that it will not be
able to obtain its full position -- it will need to compromise on some of its points. It is
important for the alliance to decide several key points prior to starting negotiations:
When beginning negotiations an alliance should ask for the best
possible results it desires but be clear on fall back positions and on the
minimum agreement it will accept.
An alliance needs to present itself in the negotiations in a manner
which will build its power -- this includes the composition of the
negotiating team, dress, discipline in the negotiating team, timing, and
presentation of positions.
A negotiating team needs to be selected with representatives from the
key organizations from an alliance. The team needs to have a clear focus,
established leadership, and clear roles for its members. The team needs to
know if it can negotiate a final position or if it needs to bring the best offer
back to the membership of an alliance.
The negotiating team needs to have as much information as possible
on who is serving on the opposing team. It is useful to know what their
position will be and to understand what their interest is in negotiating.
The team should be willing to caucus if it is unsure of the next steps or
how to respond to an offer.
The team should NEVER argue or disagree with each other in front of
Influencing a World Bank Consultative Group Meeting: Guatemala
Each year the World Bank hosts 20 to 25 Consultative Group (CG) meetings in
Paris to allow donor countries and multi-lateral development institutions to meet with a
single applicant country from the Third World. Prior to the meeting, the World Bank
prepares an economic analysis of the applicant country, and the applicant country
presents their economic analysis and projects for which it is seeking international
In June 1995 the World Bank hosted Consultative Group meetings on Guatemala,
El Salvador and Nicaragua. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are not permitted
to participate in, or observe, the CG meetings without an invitation from their
government. These meetings are extremely important for civil society because they set
the framework for loans and donations to the country for the following three to five years.
It is possible, however, for NGOs to have input into the meetings by preparing a position
paper for presentation to governments and to multi-lateral financial institutions prior to
the Consultative Group meeting.
This is a case study of work undertaken by NGOs in Guatemala, the United
States, Canada, and Europe prior to the World Bank Guatemala Consultative Group
meeting of June 1995. It will examine the development of a core group of Guatemalan
non-governmental organizations who organized to respond to the government's position
as well as the international support work. The case study will examine the development
and implementation of an advocacy strategy by Guatemalan organizations to influence
the international donors attending the CG meeting.
In the winter of 1994 the World Bank announced plans to host a Guatemala
Consultative Group meeting in June of that year. In April several non-governmental
organizations in Guatemala approached the Director of the Center for Democratic
Education (Center) and requested assistance in their preparation for the World Bank
Consultative Group (CG) meeting on Guatemala. This CG meeting was postponed and
subsequently linked to the signing of the Guatemalan peace accords. An "informal" (non-
pledging) Consultative Group meeting on Guatemalan was held in June 1995. In the
spring of 1994 the Director of the Center for Democratic Education began a series of
visits to Guatemala designed to assist the local organizations to more clearly understand
the role of Consultative Group meetings. The Center provided information and technical
assistance to local organizations as they prepared for the CG meeting. Each trip (which
totalled nine during the 15 months leading up to the June 1995 CG meeting) involved a
variety of activities:
Individual meetings were held with NGO leaders concerned about the
Consultative Group meeting.
Briefing documents on the CG meeting were distributed in Guatemala.
Meetings were held with the Technical Team, established to represent
local Guatemalan organizations in the process, and
Assistance was provided to the Technical Team on the development of
an advocacy strategy.
In July 1994 a Working Group of U.S. NGOs was organized in Washington, DC
by the Center for Democratic Education under the auspices of the Economic Issues Task
Force of the Latin American Working Group. The purpose of the U.S. Working Group
was to develop support for Guatemalan organizations in their efforts to have input into
the Consultative Group meeting.
This alliance of US organizations was key to the success of the campaign and
brought together individuals with experience on Consultative Group meetings. The
alliance provided a number of key resources to the process:
It pooled the knowledge of CG meetings from a dozen U.S.
It provided ideas and served as a sounding board for advocacy
It provided feedback to the Guatemalan organizations on the process,
their position paper, and their advocacy strategy.
It provided speakers and contacts for the Guatemalan workshop on the
Consultative Group meeting.
It developed and implemented the idea of a sign-on letter.
It provided the contacts and organized the Guatemalan NGO
delegation to Washington.
During 1994 donor countries and multi-lateral development agencies organized an
informal secretariat in Guatemala to coordinate preparations for the meeting. This
secretariat included the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and
the United Nation Development Program (UNDP). Most of the secretariat work was
undertaken by the UNDP which convened a number of meetings of the donor countries,
including one at the ambassadorial level, to coordinate preparation.
In November two federations of NGOs began work on the CG meeting: COINDE
(Council of Guatemalan Development Institutions) with 12 member organizations and
CONGCOOP (Coordination of NGOs and Cooperatives for the Accompaniment of the
Population Affected by the Internal Armed Conflict) with 23 member NGOs.
The Deputy Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
was very helpful as the campaign progressed and met with members of the Technical
Team in the spring. The Central America office of USAID in Washington, DC was also
very helpful in sharing information about the CG meeting.
During the early months of 1995 the Guatemala Technical Team expanded to
include three additional NGO federations who were members of Forum of NGO
Coordinations (Foro de Coordinaciones de ONGs): ASINDES (Asociaci¢n de Entidades
de Desarrollo y de Servicio No Gubernamental), COMG (Consejo de Organizaciones
Mayas de Guatemala), and Foro de ONGsy Cooperantes. The Team developed a draft
position statement which was revised and focused over a period of several months. The
NGO position paper included six major points :
Implementation of the MINUGUA recommendations (UN Human
Rights mission to Guatemala).
Guatemala Government's commitment to providing funds for the
The strengthening of the Technical Commission created by the Accord
for the Resettlement of Populations Uprooted by the Armed Conflict.
Participation of the Civil Society in the Secretariat for Peace,
Development and National Reconstruction (SEPAZ).
The creation of an Intersectoral Commission for social auditing and
verifying the transparency of the implementation resources.
The eradication of traditional practices that promote secrecy of the
plans of the reconstruction process.
In February the Technical Team drafted a fund raising proposal to European and
U.S. funders. This included a work plan, drafted by the Center, that was to become the
Technical Team's advocacy strategy. Just prior to the educational workshop Lutheran
World Relief awarded the first grant to the campaign allowing the workshop to proceed
on schedule. Subsequently both DIAKONIA of Sweden and Oxfam-UKI funded the
A positive relationship was developed with staff of the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) directing the secretariat work. This resulted in members
of the Technical Team meeting with a staff member and his presentation at a workshop
on the Consultative Group meeting held by the Technical Team in March.
In March the Technical Team held a workshop to orient a larger group of
Guatemalan organizations to the Consultative Group meeting and to enlist their support.
Workshop speakers included: Lisa Haugaard of the Latin American Working Group, a
UNDP official, and a staff member of NITLAPAN, a research center in Nicaragua, who
had worked on the Nicaraguan CG meeting. The Guatemalan government refused several
invitations to speak at the workshop. The Center provided background briefing papers
and World Bank materials for workshop participants. Attended by over 50 individuals
and organizations, the workshop was highly successful in mobilizing support in the civil
sector for the Consultative Group meeting.
By the end of March the position platform had been endorsed by the Guatemalan
Civil Sector Assembly which greatly broadened its backing. The Civil Sector Assembly
was established to assist with the peace negotiations and included: non-governmental
organizations, human rights organizations, political organizations, women's
organizations, religious organizations, Mayan organizations, unions and popular
organizations, research organizations and universities, news organizations, and small and
medium sized businesses.
The Latin American Working Group wrote and distributed a cover letter for the
Guatemalan position paper. This was signed by almost 20 U.S. organizations and was
sent to officials prior to their meetings with the delegation.
In May the Guatemala government issued an invitation to the non-governmental
organizations to be observers on the government's delegation to the CG meeting.
However this invitation was made following the publication of the government's position
paper. Since the NGOs had not been allowed input into the government's position they
refused to accompany the delegation to Paris because this would imply their endorsement
of the government's position.
In June the Technical Team sent a three member delegation to Washington which
met with a wide range of officials at the World Bank, Inter-American Development
Bank, International Monetary Fund, and U.S. Departments of State and Treasury as well
as a the U.S. Agency for International Development. The delegation had individual
meetings with each of the three U.S. representatives to the Consultative Group meeting.
They received praise in the meetings concerning their professionalism, organization, and
diligence. The delegation also met with the Economic Issues Task Force of the Latin
American Working Group and the Washington Office on Latin America hosted a briefing
for Washington organizations and congressional staff.
This first effort on the part of Guatemalan non-governmental organizations to
have input into the Consultative Group meeting met with surprising success. Initially few
outsiders believed that Guatemalan organizations could unite behind a combined
platform. This was accomplished by March of 1995.
During the visit to Washington the delegation received praise and respect for their
professionalism and work in preparing their position platform. The position platform had
been provided to participants prior to each meeting, allowing the discussions to be
specific and productive. The World Bank meeting included six members of the Central
America team with the lead economist for Central America chairing the session. The
meeting lasted over two hours and was ended by the Guatemalan organizations.
During the Consultative Group meeting three important events occurred:
The Guatemala government admitted that the participants in the
Consultive Group meeting had been lobbied by the Guatemalan NGOs.
The head of the U.S. delegation, Mark Schneider, Assistant
Administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, read the
key points of the Guatemalan NGO position paper during his presentation.
The Guatemalan government publicly agreed to involve Guatemalan
civil sector in the preparation of the government's position prior to the
next Consultative Group meeting.
1. Briefing documents were developed and distributed to Guatemalan NGOs
by the Center for Democratic Education.
2. NGO allies were recruited in the U.S.
3. A Technical Team of NGOs began preparing for the CG meeting. Initially
this consisted of two NGO federations, COINDE and CONGCOOP, as well as a
number of individual NGOs including the research center AVANCSO. Later
additions of other NGO federations including: ASINDES (Asociaci¢n de
Entidades de Desarrollo y de Servicio no Gubernamental, USAID funded),
CONG (Consejo de Organizaciones Mayas de Guatemala), and Foro de ONGs y
4. A funding proposal was submitted by the Guatemalan NGOs to U.S. and
5. The Guatemalan NGO Technical Team developed a position platform.
6. Allies were recruited in Canada and Europe.
7. The Guatemalan Technical Team held an educational seminar to broaden
participation and to orient local organizations to the CG meeting. The Latin
America Working Group and Center for Democratic Education assisted with the
seminar which was funded by Lutheran World Relief.
8. The position platform was endorsed by Guatemalan NGOs and the Civil
9. The position platform was presented in Guatemala to:
embassies whose countries would attend the CG meeting
U.S. Agency for International Development
United Nations Development Program
Inter-American Development Bank.
10. The platform was translated into English.
11. The platform was presented by a Guatemalan NGO delegation to
Washington, DC. Each official visited received a copy of the platform prior to
Inter-American Development Bank
International Monetary Fund
United States government: USAID, State and Treasury
12. Plans were made for Guatemalan NGOs to present the platform to the
following organizations and countries but due to a lack of time and resources the
delegation did not visit them. The position platform was presented by Northern
United Nations Development Program
United Kingdom representative at the World Bank
13. Other governments that were targeted but were not approached by the
Guatemalan Technical Team or Northern NGOs due to a lack of time and
Campaign Strategy Design:
To insure input into the World Bank's Guatemala Consultative Group meeting by the
Guatemalan civil society, including non-governmental and popular organizations.
1. The Guatemalan government is perceived negatively by the international
2. The Guatemalan government strongly desires a successful Consultative Group
3. The World Bank wants civil society input into the Consultative Group meeting.
4. The United States government wants civil society to have input into the
Consultative Group meeting.
1. To form an alliance of non-governmental organizations with other sectors of
the civil society.
2. To develop a common position that alliance members can endorse.
3. To develop alliance support among the key countries and financial institutions
attending the Consultative Group meeting.
1. To develop a unified position within civil society concerning the Consultative
2. To enlist the support of friendly governments for the position of the civil
3. To enlist the support of international NGOs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
4. To present the civil society position to key actors prior to the Consultative
1. Guatemalan NGOs discuss the possibility of influencing the Consultative
2. A working group of US NGOs is developed to support the Guatemalan civil
3. A draft position paper is circulated among NGOs interested in the Consultative
4. The position paper is endorsed by the FORO de ONGs.
5. The position paper is endorsed by the Civil Sector Assembly.
6. The position paper is presented to the Guatemalan government and foreign
7. The position paper is presented to the World Bank, I DB, IMF, and U.S.
Departments of State and Treasury, and USAID during a Guatemala Civil Society
In the fall of 1995 the Civil Society Assembly established a Technical
Commission to prepare for the next Consultative Group meeting. This group met with
President elect Alvaro Arz£ in January 1996 and he re-affirmed the government's
commitment to involve the Civil Sector Assembly in the preparations for the next
Consultative Group meeting which was held in Brussels on January 21-22, 1997.
In 1995 the Technical Commission of the Assembly asked the Center to develop
an international support network. Working closely with the Copenhagen Initiative for
Central America (CIFCA), the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC),
the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Canada), and
the Latin America Working Group in Washington, over 50 NGOs in the US, Canada, and
Europe were enlisted to assist the campaign.
In April 1996 the Technical Commission held a three day training workshop for
members of the Assembly on lobbying campaigns, the European Union and the
Consultative Group meeting. This training was conducted by the Center for Democratic
Education, a Copenhagen Initiative for Central America member (the Central America
Human Rights Committee, London), and the Washington Office on Latin America
In December the Foro de Coordinaciones de ONG de Guatemala published a
position paper which was followed by the publishing of a position paper by the Civil
Society Assembly. In addition the Center for Human Rights Legal Action circulated a
position paper focusing on human rights. Prior to the Consultative Group meeting the
Foro de Coordinaciones de ONG and the Assembly issued a combined position paper. In
January 1997 the Copenhagen Initiative for Central America (CIFCA) organized a two
week delegation visit to Europe for representatives of the Foro de Coordinaciones de
ONG and the Civil Society Assembly. The position papers were presented to the counties
and institutions attending the CG meeting.
The Inter-American Development Bank hosted the Guatemala Consultative Group
meeting January 21-22, 1997 in Brussels. During the meeting $1.9 billion was pledged
for loans and grants to Guatemala for implementation of the peace accords. The advocacy
campaign by the Civil Society Assembly and Foro de Coordinaciones de ONG resulted in
a number of improvements in the U.S. position as well as impacting on Canada, the
European Union, and European countries.
A number of important events occurred during the campaign's final months: The
Guatemala Civil Society Assembly and the NGO Forum agreed on a combined position
statement. A U.S. NGO sign-on letter was sent to the Office of Management and Budget
requesting an increase in the amount of funds allocated by the U.S. to implement the
peace accords. A second U.S. NGO sign-on letter was sent to the U.S. Agency for
International Development, the State Department, and the Treasury Department
supporting the Guatemalan positions vis-a-vis the Consultative Group meeting. The
Canadian Council for International Cooperation's Guatemala Working Group submitted a
sign-on letter to the Canadian Foreign Minister in support of the Guatemalan positions.
A Latin America Working Group delegation met with a Guatemala government
delegation and with Mark Schneider, U.S. AID Assistant Administrator for Latin
America and head of the U.S. Delegation. CIFCA (Copenhagen Initiative for Central
America) published a research paper on the impact of European Union funding in
Guatemala, La Pol¡tica de Cooperaci¢n de la Uni¢n Europea Hacia Guatemala: Un an
lisis preliminar, 1996. CIFCA also sponsored a Guatemala civil society delegation to
Europe for two weeks. The delegation included two members from the Civil Society
Assembly and two from the NGO Forum. Three additional members from COPMAGUA,
an alliance of 175 Mayan organizations, joined the delegation for a number of meetings.
The CIFCA delegation visited France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium to
present their position to governments and NGOs.
In Brussels a meeting was held for the delegation with Mark Schneider, Stacy
Rhodes (U.S. AID-Guatemala), and Liliana Ayalde (U.S. AID-Central America). This
meeting was primarily for the four COPMAGUA members. Mark Schneider agreed that
they should meet again in six months with Stacy Rhodes for an assessment of the
implementation of the accords. The US position improved significantly during 1996: The
U.S. pledged $260 million over four years, subject to Congressional action. This is up
from the original $19 million commitment for 1997. The U.S. assistance program is
premised on the successful implementation of the institutional and policy reforms in the
substantive accords. The U.S. position focused on:
Establishing a Justice Strengthening Commission to improve the
access to and functioning of the judicial system.
Enacting an Organic Law for the national civilian police.
Increasing expenditures in health and education by 50%.
Increasing tax revenues by 50%.
Signing an upper credit tranche (Stand-by) arrangement with the
International Monetary Fund.
Influencing a Social Investment Fund: Jamaica
For the past several years the Jamaican government, with the assistance of the
World Bank, planned for the establishment of a Social Investment Fund (SIF). Social
investment funds were created in response to the debt crisis in Latin America as a part of
economic structural adjustment policies implemented under the direction of the World
Bank and International Monetary Fund. Social investment funds are a partial response to
the deepening of extreme poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean which lacks any
substantial "social safety nets", e.g.: unemployment assistance, pension programs, or
public health services and public education in the rural areas.
The primary activity of a social investment fund is to make grants for small
investment projects of infrastructure and equipment in the areas of health, education,
drinking water and sanitation, environment, electrification, and community development,
and in so doing improve the living conditions of the country's poor.
In 1996 the Jamaican government established a Social Investment Fund (SIF)
with the support of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. The
Jamaican NGO community had been involved in a World Bank sponsored workshop on
the SIF in December 1995 but felt that they were not having sufficient input into the
design of the Fund's operation. Several NGOs invited the Center for Democratic
Education to assist in a campaign to increase the NGOs' influence over the Social
Investment Fund. The Jamaican NGO Council decided to launch a campaign to insure
that several members of the SIF Board of Directors represented the NGO community.
Chronology of Events
In December 1995 the World Bank, with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (a
government agency), hosted a three day workshop to introduce non-governmental and
community based organizations to social investment funds and to obtain their input into
the design of the Jamaican Social Investment Fund. However, despite their presence at
this workshop, between December 1995 and May 1996 the NGO community was not
been involved in the process of designing the Jamaican Social Investment Fund.
The Center for Democratic Education (Center) had conducted intensive
investigations of the social investment funds in El Salvador and Guatemala. Because of
this work, in March 1996 the Social Action Center of Kingston, Jamaica requested the
Center's assistance. Advice was requested to help Jamaican non-governmental and
community based organizations develop influence over the operations of the Jamaican
Social Investment Fund. This began a short (five month) campaign to have NGO
representatives included on the Board of the Jamaican Social Investment Fund. In April
1996 the Director of the Center for Democratic Education visited Jamaica for an initial
round of meetings with federations of NGOs and community based organizations and
international financial institutions.
During these meetings it became clear that several federations of NGOs and
community based organizations wanted to develop a campaign to influence the Social
Investment Fund. The federations established the Jamaican NGO Council in early 1996.
The Center's Director also met with representatives at the World Bank and Inter-
American Development Bank responsible for the Jamaican Social Investment Fund. The
bank staff were very helpful and informative and during these meetings four key points of
information were provided:
1. The World Bank planned to hold final negotiations and approval of the
Jamaican Social Investment Fund loan within two to three months.
2. The Jamaican government needed to appoint the Social Investment Fund
Board of Directors prior to final negotiations.
3. The Jamaican government was in the process (in May) of circulating a list
of potential members of the Board of Directors of the Social Investment
Fund but had not finalized the board list.
4. The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank supported the
concept of NGO representatives on the SIF Board.
The Jamaican NGO Council decided to launch a campaign to insure that several
members of the SIF Board of Directors represented the NGO community, and that they
be selected by the NGO community. The immediate nature of key decisions by the
Jamaican government and the World Bank required the NGOs to move rapidly to
influence the selection of the SIF Board of Directors.
The Jamaican NGO Council met in early May and drafted a letter to Dr. Wesley
Hughes, Director of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) which is part of the Ministry
of Finance and Planning. The letter proposed that the Council "submit a representative
slate of suitable NGO Sector candidates from which the Government could appoint a
minimum of a third of the JSIF Board." The letter also stated that the Council "would
therefore like to meet with you [Dr. Hughes] as a matter of urgency...." Copies of the
letter were sent to the office of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and Planning,
the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Ambassador from the
Netherlands, and the British High Commission.
After some difficulty in reaching Dr. Hughes, a meeting was held in late May.
This meeting included four representatives from the Jamaican NGO Council. The
Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Jamaican Social Investment Fund were represented
by Dr. Wesley Hughes, Director, Planning Institute of Jamaica and three staff. Dr.
Hughes agreed that the Jamaican NGO Council could submit three names for the Social
Investment Fund Board. The Council met and decided to nominate nine individuals for
one third of the positions on the Board.
In July the Jamaican Cabinet approved a Social Investment Fund Board of seven
individuals, including two representatives, from the NGO community one of them
nominated by the Jamaican NGO Council (almost 30% of the Board). This action
represented a major victory for the new Jamaican NGO Council. It is the first time in
Latin America and the Caribbean that NGOs have been permitted to nominate board
members for a social investment fund.
Campaign Strategy Design
To establish a formal role for non-governmental and community based organizations in
the governance of the Jamaican Social Investment Fund.
Key points in the power analysis included:
1. The Board of Directors of the Jamaican Social Investment Fund are formally
appointed by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies.
2. The Planning Institute of Jamaica will undertake the work of screening and
developing a list of candidates for the board.
3. Dr. Davies will need to clear the selection of the Board with the Prime Minister.
4. The World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank support the inclusion of
NGO representatives on the Board. In particular, the Jamaican mission of the World
Bank had established a reputation for encouraging participation of civil society in bank
5. The President of the World Bank, James Wolfinsohn, had given clear public
messages of support for participation of NGOs and civil society in bank projects.
6. The World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank have a great deal of
influence over the planning and implementation of the SIF operations. This influence will
decrease following the approval by the World Bank and Inter-American Development
Bank's Boards of Executive Directors of the Jamaican Social Investment Fund loan.
7. The Jamaican government desired to be seen as open to input from the NGO
community and civil society in general. In fact, there was a chance that the government
would select an NGO representative for the Board, however, without NGO input.
8. If the Jamaican government selected an NGO representative without input from
the NGO community the selected NGO would be perceived to be "in the government's
pocket", in other words too closely aligned to the government to represent the NGO
1. To win the support of the World Bank for the Jamaican NGO Council's position.
2. To win the support of the Inter-American Development Bank for the Jamaican
NGO Council's position.
3. To win the right to select one third (1/3) of the Board of Directors of the Social
1. To utilize the World Bank's position of involving NGOs and the civil society in
bank projects to support the goal.
2. To make the appointment of an NGO representative without NGO input
unacceptable. This would change the perception of the goal of the Jamaican NGO
Council and make it more acceptable to the government and the World Bank.
3. To rapidly implement the campaign.
1. Obtain the endorsement of the Jamaican NGO Council for the position of
nominating individuals to the SIF Board.
2. Send the Jamaican government a letter to state their position to nominate 1/3 of
3. Send copies of the Jamaican government letter to the World Bank, the Inter-
American Development Bank, and other key institutions.
4. Meet with the Director of the Planning Institute of Jamaica to press for the
Jamaican NGO Council's position.
5. Meet with representatives of the World bank and the Inter-American
Development Bank to press for the Jamaican NGO Council position.
Influencing a Domestic Violence Act: Belize
In February of 1991, six model legislations were tabled at a Caribbean Economic
Community (CARICOM) Ministers meeting held in Belize. These models, because they
all addressed issues of major concern to women in the region (for example, domestic
violence and sexual harassment), created the impetus for developing gender focused
campaigns. Because of limited resources, however, there was a need for each country to
prioritize this list of legislation and work at passing them into local laws one at a time.
The Women Against Violence Organization (WAV) in Belize played a significant
role in helping Belize to develop its priority list by making strong arguments in favor of
addressing domestic violence as a number one concern for women in Belize. They made
presentations on the prevalence of domestic violence cases nationwide, and gave
examples of frustration with the lack of local institutional support for victims of domestic
violence. Additionally, WAV turned the public's attention to the media which was, at the
time, saturated with stories of murders resulting from unchecked cases of domestic
violence. These graphic murders created a further sense of urgency in passing the
Domestic Violence Act, consequently convincing the Department of Women's Affairs
(DWA) to name domestic violence as the first of the six gender campaigns to be
Campaign Strategy Design
Passing a Belize Domestic Violence Act acceptable to the Belize women's community
and the Women Against Violence Organization (WAV).
The people who had the power to pass the proposed Act into law were the Ministers in
the Cabinet, and in particular, those named to the House of Representatives Committee
on the Domestic Violence Act. The people with direct access to these Ministers, such as
loyal party supporters, were therefore named as significant in determining the success or
failure of the campaign. Since in Belize the ruling party in the government rewards
selective women who are avid campaigners and loyal party supporters by appointing
them to the National Women's Commission, this group was considered important in
developing an effective strategy for passing the Domestic Violence Act.
1. To create an awareness of the dynamics of domestic violence.
2. To create an awareness of what is included in the model legislation on domestic
3. To ensure national input into the content of the proposed Domestic Violence Act.
4. To mobilize national support for the proposed Domestic Violence Act.
5. To generate financial support for the domestic violence campaign.
2. Public Awareness Campaign
4. Official representations at key meetings of the Bill
Example of an Activity Work Plan:
When Resources needed
Create an awareness of the dynamics of domestic violence
A. Develop a one minute ad on domestic violence
Meet with UNICEF to discuss funding Department of Women's Affairs
Draft script DWA
Select actors DWA
Hire technicians to produce ad DWA
Meet with media personnel to discuss free airtime DWA
Send tape to all media houses DWA
Monitor viewing schedule DWA
B. Visit Schools
C. Visit NGOs
No formal evaluation was held, however the Department of Women's Affairs,
along with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), has been monitoring the
effectiveness of the Domestic Violence Act. A pilot study of how the Act has worked
in Orange Walk has been completed. These results will be used to decide what
adjustments, if any, are needed in the application of the Act, or in the content of the
Act itself. One of the trouble spots already identified is the lack of systematization
and documentation of cases presented to medical personnel and the police.
This study will inform the next phase of the campaign which includes follow-
up action to make the Act as effective as possible. The public awareness campaign on
the dynamics of domestic violence and on the contents of the act are ongoing, through
the Department of Women's Affairs.
1. A governmental body involved in an advocacy campaign may cause
difficulties for the public officers involved.
2. Networking with non-governmental bodies is an important aspect of an
3. At times personal agendas can influence the outcome of a campaign.
4. Having international and regional support for the campaign is important.
Center for Democratic Education
The Center for Democratic Education was founded in 1986 for the purpose of
educating the U.S. public about the economic and political conditions in Central
America. In 1993 the Multi-lateral Development Bank Reform Project was
established by the Center in response to requests for assistance from non-
governmental and popular organizational leaders in Central America.
The Center responds to requests from organizational leaders in Central
America and the Caribbean for information and assistance on influencing the policies
and programs of the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.
The Center provides information and training in the design and
implementation of advocacy campaigns to non-governmental, popular, and
community based organizations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and
Belize. This support enables organizations to analyze and respond more effectively to
the economic and social policies which Central American and Caribbean
governments are implementing in order to obtain World Bank and Inter-American
Development Bank loans. Information is also provided in the United States to the
public, policy makers, and non-profit organizations.
The Center maintains a small staff in the Washington DC area and has part-
time Associates based in Guatemala, Jamaica, and Belize. The Center receives
funding from private foundations, individuals, and churches in the United States and
Europe. It receives no funds from the World Bank, Inter-American Development
Bank, or the U.S. government.