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NGOs Must Form Creative Alliances to Tackle Global Poverty and Injustice (March 14, 2011)

NGOs must purse new, and perhaps unexpected, alliances to successfully affect change; this is the message from Oxfam International's Deputy Advocacy and Campaigns Director, Stephen Hale.  Hale argues that creative alliances achieve a number of purposes; including broadening and deepening public support and NGO capacity building.  NGO alliances with business are on the rise, not necessarily because business is growing a conscience, but rather "businesses see partnerships as a way of restoring people's trust and confidence in them."  While alliances can be effective, NGOs must be cautious that they are not pursued at the expense of affecting change. (Guardian)


NGOs Must Harness Social Media Beyond Disaster Relief (February 16, 2010)

Digital technology and social media have once again proven to be an essential catalyst for the growing impact of NGOs. In the weeks following the recent Haiti earthquake, international humanitarian NGOs reported a dramatic surge in their number of Twitter followers. Jason Cone - Communications director for Doctors Without Borders - refers to social media as a means to mobilize and overcome various obstacles faced by the organization in its disaster relief efforts. This article concurs with Cone, and further argues that the use of social media should be prioritized by NGOs at all times, and not only during crises periods. (Public Broadcasting Service - Media Shift)


How the Media’s Codes and Rules Influence the Way NGOs Work (November 16, 2009)

“Branding” and “marketing” are concepts not often associated with the ideals and aims of humanitarian work. However, due to the large number of humanitarian organizations, these NGOs compete intensely for media attention and donor funds. The organizations must maintain public trust and credibility, “protect their brand” from media scandals, and distinguish themselves from their competitors in the media marketplace.
(Nieman Journalism Lab)


Generation NGO (March 21, 2008)

Large NGOs often discourage students' volunteering ambitions with grueling application requirements. So, "rather than fight[ing] the power," students are "stealing it" by launching a new kind of non-profit organization. These youth-run outfits operate through blogs and Facebook networks, relying on short bursts of labor. This new style of volunteering is luring expertise away from traditional, long-standing NGOs. (Globe and Mail)



How Liberal Activists Outfoxed Fox (June 19, 2007)

The successful documentary, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, and the public protest that followed, exemplify activists' ability to have an influence on media and politics. Using testimonial footage, the film questions whether Fox Network reports unbiased, valid news. Activists created informational blogs and got thousands of people to sign petitions, which grabbed both media and government officials' attention. Film maker Robert Greenwald affirms that, "With no money spent on traditional publicity you can reach millions of people." (Tom Paine)

Stepping Beyond Civil Society: Prospects for the Multitudes of Resistance (April 5, 2007)

While "power elites" and states often claim that free markets and a globalized economy promote democracy, this Toward Freedom article argues that these systems actually widen North-South disparities. The author claims that "NGOs are often expected to fill in the gaps," however states repress and marginalize civil society. NGOs must partner and build strong networks in order to effect change.

NGO Umbrellas Leap Regional Borders (March 23, 2007)

A number of Latin American and European NGOs convened in Santiago, Chile, to discuss how better to meet their common goals of "deepening" democratic processes and promoting economic and social justice. Participants spoke of the need to increase coordination amongst their organizations not only in policy initiatives but also in fundraising strategies. The presence of government officials and individuals from the private sector at the seminar demonstrates growing recognition that NGOs have become increasingly influential in global decision-making. (Inter Press Service)

Whither All The War Protesters? (January 19, 2007)

This Christian Science Monitor piece compares opposition to the 2003 US-led war in Iraq and ensuing occupation to anti-war activism during the Vietnam War. The article rejects the notion that the anti-war movement is dying and, instead, suggests that the less overt forms of protest nowadays, including weblogs, e-mail and online petitions, reflect technological advances. Further, the author states that, compared to the Vietnam War era, public opposition to the Iraq war grew more rapidly – and began at an earlier stage.



Quid Pro Quo: A Journalistic Look at NGO-Media Interaction in Africa (2005)

This paper shows how NGOs in Africa use the media as a powerful advocacy tool. Where governments disseminate misinformation, NGOs can inform communities through the media about problems like HIV/AIDS. Some NGOs also support news networks, which cannot afford journalists with a scientific education, by providing expert statements on health issues. The author concludes from case studies in Kenya and South Africa that NGOs and the media "cannot serve the public effectively without assistance and support from the other." (Brown Journal of World Affairs)

How to 'Sell' Forgotten Emergencies (October 5, 2005)

For NGOs, media relations are important but often-underused outlets for meaningful networking. This "tip sheet," put together by AlertNet, details strategies NGOs can use to bring attention to issues that may otherwise go unnoticed by the general public, and to raise awareness among potential partner NGOs.

Civil Society Launches 2005 UN World Summit Website (August 18, 2005)

In an effort to democratize the debate over UN reform, the organizers of the upcoming DPI/NGO conference have launched a website that is open to the public. The website developers recognized the contradiction in advocating for a more democratic UN while simultaneously organizing a conference on that topic that would not be publicly accessible. The website features updated conference news, as well as webcasts of events and live discussions on relevant issues. (UN News)

Something New in the Latin American Air (January 31, 2005)

NGOs and journalists alike have long considered South America's communication as sub-par. But TV Brazil, launched at the 2005 Porto Alegre World Social Forum, has become the first state-run television network to broadcast event images outside its own borders. The project marks a first step towards an integrated communication system that can aid citizens and NGO activists in influencing local, national and international policy. (TerraViva)

Engaging the New Pan-Africanism: Strategies for Civil Society (2005)

In a joint initiative, ActionAid International and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa produced this guide for African civil society. The guide provides a basic framework for the mobilization of enhanced regional and continental action on the part of NGOs in Africa, by Africans.

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