Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles on Networking



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NGOs to Get Strong Encryption Tool (July 7, 2004)

Martus, a strong encryption tool available for download, can help NGOs to keep sensitive information contained. Project Director Marc Levine created Martus after realizing how vulnerable NGOs operating in oppressive countries had become to government operatives. (Bangkok Post)

A Click Becomes a Political Tool (March 20, 2004)

New communication technologies have changed the way activists organize campaigns and stage protests. Demonstrations are increasingly organized via short text messages, which can reach large numbers of people in a short period of time. (Inter Press Service)

Appropriating the Internet for Global Activism (Spring 2004)

This YES! article argues that the Internet provides powerful tools to promote global peace and social justice. The article urges more organizations to move beyond e-mail and basic websites and instead harness the "full power" of the Internet and other emerging network technologies.


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From the Screen to the Streets (October 28, 2003)

The use of "new media" helps activists and organizations to mobilize large-scale demonstrations and protests. This In These Times article calls on organizations to enhance effective usage of the information technology, to promote media literacy among users and to halt corporate efforts to privatize the Internet.

Working Together for a More Transparent Budget NGOs Make Their Voices Heard (July 28, 2003)

A government budget best reflects the true priorities of a state, representing "policy stripped of rhetoric." NGOs that monitor officials should adopt budget analysis as a major advocacy tool, argues this article in the Daily Star.

What Is the Special Significance of Community Media to Civil Society? (July 11, 2003)

Community media, a vital alternative to corporate media, is committed to human rights, social justice, and sustainable development. It is crucial for reaching the poorest communities to promote empowerment, political awareness and social engagement. (World Association for Christian Communication)

Peace Activists Get Message Out Quickly (February 10, 2003)

The unprecedented momentum of the movement against war on Iraq has been largely due to the internet. The ability to reach millions of people from all demographics of society in a short period of time didn't exist in the Vietnam era, when protests took many years to grow to the size of today. (Newsday)

Website Helps Aid Staff Find Quick Answers (January 2, 2003)

The Aid Workers Network website allows aid workers to share their experiences and access resources to help them in the field. The site provides a weekly bulletin and a question/answer section, but above all, it creates a space for discussion that connects relief workers around the world. (AlertNet)


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A Long Look Ahead: NGOs, Networks, and Future Social Evolution (2002)

The "information age" has revolutionized the structure of society. The internet empowers individuals to collaborate, spread information and mobilize support rapidly. NGOs are at the cutting edge of this new organizational structure because they use "social networks" to build diffuse support for transnational causes. Environmental movements use information technology to disseminate climate change statistics and organize protest across borders. The author argues that if democratic societies are to advance, they must incorporate "social networks" or face a "David and Goliath" scenario. (RAND Corporation)

E-Activism Connects Protest Groups (December 4, 2002)

The anti-war movement's efficient use of the internet has contributed greatly to its success, but activists worry that it will replace real action. The internet enables people to find out about protests, join grassroots movements, and e-mail congressmen with ease, although overuse of this technology can lead to inefficiency. (Hartford Courant)

Opposition Over Iraq Takes Rise Via the Net (October 14, 2002)

Small protests do not indicate complacency, as people adopt new ways to express their dissent. Much of the debate about and opposition to the war on Iraq occurs online, where petitions and flyers about protests circulate rapidly. However, "Can a movement with no physical center and no pen and ink signatures really have a political impact?" (Boston Globe)

Guerrilla Warfare, Waged With Code (October 10, 2002)

A group of grassroots organizations and "hactivists" (activist hackers) work together to "combat Internet surveillance and censorship by governments around the globe," such as China's blockage of the search engine Google. (New York Times)

United Nations Unveils Global Compact Portal (September 26, 2002)

The UN's Global Compact Office launched a powerful website that will foster online learning and collaboration between "companies, civil society and labor groups, governments, and UN agencies" in support of human rights, labor and the environment. (PR Newswire)

"The Dot-Com Fix" (September 2, 2002)

"Development organizations ought to invest in wiring the developing world," according to European Parliament member Wijkman. A connection to the internet has already brought social and economic benefits to the poor, as rural artists can reach global markets and distance-education becomes a viable possibility. (Newsweek)

"The Internet As A Tool For Global Campaigns" (July 22, 2002)

The internet allows once voiceless people to "challenge unjust power structures and empower those traditionally excluded from development debates." Many campaigns owe their success to the high speed and low cost of the internet. However, marginalized communities still need more access. ( Digital Divide Network)

"We Have a Right to be Heard" (May 30, 2002)

As the government of Zimbabwe curtails freedom of the press and of expression, has emerged as a center for information on Zimbabwean NGOs, "embracing electronic activism to promote openness and debate in an increasingly repressive climate." (Financial Gazette)

Technology and Transformation: Facilitating Knowledge Networks in Eastern Europe (March 2002)

Jonathan Bach and David Stark of Columbia University examine the "coevolution of interactive technology and NGOs in Eastern Europe." (UNRISD)

Responses to Terror - the Internet at Full Potential? (March 2002)

After September 11, online donations reached "unprecedented levels". However, Priscilla Jere, Director of OneWorld Africa, believes the Internet should be used by NGOs to achieve "deep-rooted, long-term change and not simply as a fundraising channel, however impressive." (Alliance)

Media Concentration, News Simplification and Disinformation (February 4, 2002)

In the age of globalization, "ownership [of the media] is concentrated in the hands of the few, while the content is simplified for mass consumption. The result is disinformation." Global civil society must create "a new communications order" based on "citizens' values." (Third World Network)


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Red Alert (November 11, 2001)

NGOs organizing humanitarian aid are increasingly using the internet to co-ordinate their activities., a website created by Reuters is playing a crucial role in disseminating up-to-the-minute news on crises around the globe. (Guardian)

The World in His Attic (October 15, 2001)

Out There News, located in a London attic, is "a place on the internet where people can tell their own stories on their own terms 'without journalists getting in the way.'" Especially valuable for Middle Easterners who may not have otherwise been able to tell their stories over the past few years, this forum has taken steps to democratize the news. (Guardian)

A Very Different View of Genoa (July 30, 2001)

A website that is open to any amateur or professional journalist with an internet connection, the Independent Media Center (IMC), or Indymedia, has provided an important alternative source for views that are not published by corporate media. (Independent)

Cyber War Declared on World Bank (June 20, 2001)

Protesters have announced to express their opposition to globalization through 'cyber sit-ins' and virtual attacks after the World Bank decided to hold its upcoming conference on the internet. (Guardian)



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How a Little Band of London Activists Forced the Diamond Trade to Confront the Blood on its Hands (July 24, 2000)

Global Witness, an NGO based in London, deftly linked the trade in illicit diamonds with bloody African wars and forced into the public consciousness the uncomfortable truth that diamonds can be the best friend for rebel forces. (Independent - London)

A New Geography of Power?

In this essay, Sociologist Saskia Sassen discusses the "incipient unbundling of the exclusive authority" of the state. She cites the proliferation of NGO's and the internet as two examples of the new power.


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Activists on Internet Reshaping Rules for Global Economy (July 5, 1999)

NGOs are working together to "inject a democratic voice" into global institutions such as the World Trade Organization. The result is a "battle for power and control that will stretch well into the 21st Century". (Chicago Tribune)

Wired For Warfare (October 11, 1999)

Time Magazine report on "Netwar" and its use by the Zapatistas and in the Kosovo and East Timor crises.

NetAid Benefit Faces Technological Challenge (October 8, 1999)

A Mercury News article about the event of NetAid concert as a showcase for Cisco's latest Internet technology.

Big Dreamers Aim to Harness Internet (August 13, 1999)

Article about NetAid, a mega rock music concert and web site planned by UNDP and Cisco Systems as a project to "tackle global poverty subversively."


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Grassroots Groups Used Their Own Globalization to Derail Deal (April 29, 1998)

An article by Madelaine Drohan about a global band of grassroots organizations who used the Internet's capability to broadcast information instantly worldwide to help derail the Multilateral Agreement on Investment.


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Electronic Global Networking & the NGO Movement (Spring 1994)

This article explores the communication dynamics of nongovernmental organizations and stresses the necessity of a worldwide recognition of the right to communicate and access information.(Swords and Ploughshares)


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