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How Influential Are International NGO s in the Public Arena?



International non-governmental organisations have, for some time, been operating as diplomacy actors in the national and international public spheres. There has been an increase in their influence in the local areas of intervention of their programmes and in broader spaces where polices about the environment, inequality and other issues are decided. However, their influence has been threatened by the emergence of social movements and a flexible style of individualised activism that promotes their demands, as well as by questions around their independence and legitimacy that some of their actions generate cyclically. COVID-19 has brought into the public sphere some old challenges that international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have been working on for years: health vulnerability, economic precarity and social emergency. This essay analyses this context, in which new challenges are appearing for INGOs concerning how they can influence the public sphere and policy-making, with the collaboration of new allies and partners.
©  , , |:./-
      () -
How Inuential Are International s in the
Public Arena?
José María Vera
Oxfam International, Nairobi, Kenya
José María Herranz de la Casa
University of Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, Spain
Received: 2 July 2020; revised: 30 August 2020; accepted: 21 September 2020
International non-governmental organisations have, for some time, been operating
as diplomacy actors in the national and international public spheres. There has been
an increase in their inuence in the local areas of intervention of their programmes
and in broader spaces where polices about the environment, inequality and other is-
sues are decided. However, their inuence has been threatened by the emergence of
social movements and a exible style of individualised activism that promotes their
demands, as well as by questions around their independence and legitimacy that some
of their actions generate cyclically. -19 has brought into the public sphere some
old challenges that international non-governmental organisations (s) have been
working on for years: health vulnerability, economic precarity and social emergency.
This essay analyses this context, in which new challenges are appearing for s
concerning how they can inuence the public sphere and policy-making, with the col-
laboration of new allies and partners.
non-prot organisations – activism – international non-governmental organisations
(s) –advocacy – communication – accountability – trust – public diplomacy
        ?
      () -
1 Introduction
During the rst days of the lockdown to prevent the spread of -19, a taxi
driver from Nairobi said to an Oxfam colleague: ‘This virus will starve us to
death before it infects us’.
The traditional response of a non-governmental organisation () to this
type of challenge would have been to provide basic food or monetary assis-
tance to prevent that family from succumbing to hunger. Today, an ’s re-
sponse would probably combine direct aid with a public action designed to
scale up the impact of that aid, demanding that governments and institutions
ensure food security, and advocating for it by speaking out, making proposals,
gathering knowledge and applying public pressure. Indeed, rst and foremost,
ghting poverty is about honouring rights rather than providing aid.
And that makes international non-governmental organisations (s) an-
other actor in the battles of ideas, the development of public policies as an
honest intermediary and the major international agreements or responses to
challenges such as inequality or the climate emergency. All of this is in addi-
tion to their work monitoring and overseeing the business and government
sectors in negotiating a new point of view to generate social, environmental
and economic values. Thus, they play a part in ‘public diplomacy’, reproduc-
ing some highly institutionalised aspects, since they have a structure that we
could call ‘bottom-up diplomacy’ which connects people and communities
with issues and public policy-makers. This essay looks at the evolution of the
public advocacy role of s, the tensions they experience, which have been
heightened by the coronavirus crisis, and the dilemmas and decisions they
must grapple with.
2 The Evolution of s in Public Life: From Charity to Advocacy
s cannot be easily characterised but this essay is mainly talking about
those dedicated to humanitarian action and the eradication of poverty. These
include Oxfam, Save the Children and Action Aid. Some trends outlined in this
text are also applicable to key organisations in elds such as environmental
protection (Greenpeace) and human rights (Amnesty International).
These types of organisations were born and grew with the aim of engag-
ing in direct action to tackle poverty and hunger in countries referred to until
Beloe and Elkinton 2003.
      
      () -
recently as the ‘third world’, sending money, people and goods to alleviate suf-
fering. In only a few cases — of which Oxfam is one example — was the advo-
cacy component present from the outset. Created by a solidarity committee in
Oxford with the aim of alleviating the famine in Greece, which was under siege
by the Allies in 1942, and sending food, Oxfam conducted political advocacy to
encourage the Allied command to allow convoys of food to pass through, to
ensure the survival of the Greek people.
Since then, some organisations have limited their action to running qual-
ity programmes with good context analysis and awareness-raising work in the
places where they operate, while others have begun a process of change that
has led them to use their knowledge and legitimacy to operate at the commu-
nity level to advocate for changes in bigger causes.
Little by little, beginning in the 1990s various s started setting up ad-
vocacy oces in Washington, New York and Brussels to pressure internation-
al institutions on adjustment plans, conict prevention and resolution, and
European development policies. Field knowledge was soon complemented by
the recruitment of researchers and lobbyists specialised in defending their ob-
jectives. As a result, in the European Union s became the second most ef-
fective organisations in their pressure and lobbying activity (46 per cent), after
business associations (51 per cent), especially in the eld of the environment.
In this context, the proximity of advocacy work between s and govern-
ment or supranational institutions reduced the efectiveness of the changes.
The advocacy style of s began to align with those at whom the advoca-
cy was directed and to employ the same technical language. Even when this
achieved results, they rarely brought about efective changes in the everyday
reality of the most vulnerable people.
Consequently, in recent years it has become clear that it is necessary to
connect more with concrete situations, localise advocacy, connect with pro-
grammes and, especially, work in partnership with local networks and social
leaders who have been waging the public battle for the same objectives for de-
cades. This work has spread to inuencing other international organisations,
such as the African Union, giving s an important consultative status in
many of them.
s have also become aware that their strength cannot lie solely in the le-
gitimacy of their causes and their expert knowledge but that it also needs to be
Black 1992.
Jordan and Van Tuijl 2000.
Burson-Marsteller 2013.
Hudson 2002.
        ?
      () -
backed up by their ability to enter the media and the public citizenship agen-
das. Their inuence has increased in the local areas of intervention of their
programmes and in broader spaces where polices about the environment,
international trade and other issues are decided. When the computer servers
were still fragile, a simple action by Oxfam to defend the price of cofee paid
to Ethiopian producers led to the collapse of the all-powerful Nestlé’s server
within two hours.
In the second decade of the 2000s, with the economic crisis destroying
public policies and decent jobs, and a global civil society increasingly artic-
ulated around multiple causes, the role of s was threatened and even
began to decline. That happened in spite of their strengths and growing in-
vestment in that ‘public diplomacy’, which was intended to bring about large-
scale structural changes to several issues such as climate change or inequality.
Nevertheless, in many cases the strategic use of communication and social
mobilisation, and their impact in the real and digital worlds, maintains their
position as key actors.
3 Pre- Trends: The Risk of Irrelevance
In recent years, four broad trends have converged to mark the work of s,
while also threatening it.
3.1 The First Trend Is Associated with Social Advocacy in a Polarised
Political Space
The discrediting of mediocre, polarised formal politics contaminates every-
thing that touches it. Engaging in parliamentary lobbying, which was some-
thing ground-breaking twenty years ago, has now become dangerous for
s, particularly with the growing risk of co-optation or manipulation,
which occurs more frequently in the heat of social media.
In a tense political climate, plagued by fake news and insults, many actors
which venture into the public arena to inuence it can be accused of being
radical or even a ‘terrorist’, however indisputable the ideas it is promoting such
as the ght against poverty and inequality or assistance for migrants. s are
associated with specic political parties, and all sorts of political and media
Herranz 2014, 45.
See Lovejoy and Saxton 2012; Schwarz and Fritsch 2014; Herranz, Álvarez and Mercado 2018;
Namisango, Kang and Rehman 2019.
Keating and Thrandardottir 2017.
      
      () -
tactics and techniques are used to condition and silence — something those
organisations are not used to.
s have worked on inuencing the main global processes associated
with the environment and international trade. However, international insti-
tutions, including the UN agencies, are weakened and questioned. So, the
focus has become on rescuing the agreements to tackle climate change —
Conference of the Parties () of the UN Climate Change Conferences — or
progressing with the UN’s 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals,
which are still important for s.
s primarily operate in the global arena, seeking to inuence issues
that play out in other countries. However, the interest is centred on domestic
concerns, spurred on by sovereign nationalism. There is an overvaluing of bor-
ders, that can be closed just like hearts and minds. And that leaves no room for
universalist discourses or political action that require an appreciation of the
global public good. That said, s have to continue pushing for an interna-
tional agenda. As an example, and during the -19 crisis, Oxfam and 21
other s have signed an open letter to the UN Security Council calling on
its members to take action to bring about an immediate ceasere in Yemen,
end the humanitarian crisis and support the UN Special Envoy’s eforts to-
wards an inclusive political solution to the conict.
3.2 The Second Trend Is Related to the Institutional Dimension
New ways of doing politics are arising that, in many cases, hint at a growing
openness in the actors involved. Institutions are in crisis with regard to how
they are perceived by the population. s are part of civil society, are simi-
lar to social movements and are rooted in the community. However, they are
perceived as institutions. They have salaried teams of professionals, have been
set up with legal status, have oces and most of them have received some
form of public funding. They are viewed as more ethical than businesses, gov-
ernments and the media but less competent than businesses. Therefore, it
is easy for them to be perceived as defending their own sustainability, using
public inuence to safeguard their futures. Added to that is the low value given
to the role of intermediation. An  is an intermediary of its members’ and
funders’ yearning for solidarity, the implementation of public policies and the
population’s feelings about a specic issue in public life, which speaks out and
makes proposals to those in power.
Oxfam 2020.
 Charity Commission for England and Wales 2018; 2019.
 Edelman 2020.
        ?
      () -
3.3 The Third Trend Is Related to the Rise in New Social Movements
and Distributed Activism
This intermediation work is also being questioned in the areas of political ad-
vocacy and social mobilisation. Fresh and exible new social movements have
emerged, rooted in causes of general interest that use the digital world to com-
plement a strong presence in the street or to eschew the growing government
authoritarianism. These new ‘movements of the squares’ that have appeared
around the world have their roots in the Arab Spring, the Spanish Indignados
Movement and Occupy Wall Street. The feminist movement and the ght
against climate change currently have the greatest global inuence. The for-
mer has a transformative capacity that extends beyond gender justice, while
the latter (which had been agging for a decade despite the eforts of envi-
ronmental organisations after many decades of commitment) has gained re-
newed vigour thanks to the action of a young Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg.
It must be borne in mind that some changes or the advocacy impacts can take
a long time to materialise.
It is not only individual activists — mostly young women like Greta
Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai — who mobilise millions behind a struggle.
Although they may not attract the same level of attention, today anyone can
champion a cause and operate in the public arena on policy issues and corpo-
rate actions. Interconnected global activists may support a cause or action of
an  but will not ally themselves exclusively to that organisation or any
other. In fact, it is rather the other way around: they will promote their own
ghts and hope that organisations back them up.
In this context, Oxfam has been working with youth movements and their
leaders on the streets in places like Bolivia. Oxfam supported youth organisa-
tions in the Bolivian municipalities of El Alto and Sucre and in the department
of Tarija, and decided to work together to inuence local laws that better t
those organisations’ own views and address their specic issues through the
project ‘It’s Time … Build Your Law!’
 Vicente-Mariño, Papaioannou and Dahlgren 2020.
 Gerbaudo 2012.
 Anduiza, Cristancho and Sabucedo 2014.
 Hanegraaf 2015.
 Castells 2009.
 Oxfam 2019.
      
      () -
3.4 The Fourth Trend Is the Tension between Desire and Reality in the
Context of Fundraising
The political attacks that s receive, the polarisation of society and the
inevitable political stance that organisations must take — however rigor-
ously non-partisan they may be — generate a tension between s and
their social base, especially if it has been built up over decades according to
a strict principle of ‘non-political charity. s walk a ne and tense line
between nancial viability in a fundraising market that in many countries is
quite mature, and the need to enter the arena of causes and inuencing on
public issues which is also essential for connecting with younger segments of
society. This problem is less pronounced in organisations that opt to limit their
public action to more neutral and innocuous aspects, although they also have
less impact.
These factors raise the need to promote a culture of transparency and trust,
which citizens are now demanding. Accountability is not an optional extra
but rather an essential element for an organisation’s continued existence and
it must be integrated within the strategic management process.
Having said of all that, s have acquired public relevance and weight
in many countries and in the global arena. That is why they are now being
monitored, which is reasonable for any public actor, and virulently attacked
from positions of power and privilege. For instance, when Berta Cáceres was
killed in Honduras for speaking out against the hydroelectric companies that
were stealing the land, water and lives of her people, it was organisations like
Greenpeace and Oxfam that rallied behind the family and indigenous groups.
That support led to the production of reports that were used by the justice sys-
tem to sentence the killers and prompted international investors to withdraw
from the hydroelectric project.
4 The Impact of -19 on the Public Action of s
Coronavirus has deeply changed the world’s social life and political life. It is
also having a devastating impact on the planet’s most vulnerable populations.
The crisis has accentuated some of the trends outlined above, making it nec-
essary for s to take decisions while also responding to the situation of
health and economic vulnerability.
 Lewis 2001; Ebrahim 2003.
 Edwards and Hulme 1998.
 Kearns 1996.
        ?
      () -
The way -19 has afected developed countries has brought attention
rmly onto domestic issues in the short term — precisely when international
co-operation and multilateral action is most needed to tackle the virus. At the
moment, anyone who wants to talk about the situation in Yemen to people in
Spain or the United Kingdom will have a hard time being heard. The thematic
agenda has also changed. Today, it is harder to discuss climate change or femi-
nism when so many people are faced with the possibility of unemployment
and hunger.
The political polarisation and radicalisation of discourse have also in-
creased, with the space for civil society being severely reduced amid the emer-
gency and lockdown. Harassment of social leaders and violations of civil and
political rights have become commonplace in a growing number of countries
that are moving towards authoritarianism. Fears are being fuelled, generating
anxiety in vulnerable people who face precarity and poverty.
-19 represents a global public health emergency and afects everyone
but it is experienced unequally by people living in poverty; people of colour;
women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning) and inter-
sex individuals; and the elderly. Measures taken in response to the virus must
respect individual rights. Oxfam has joined other organisations advocating for
a response to the pandemic that protects human rights by launching the ‘10
Principles for a Rights-Respecting Response to the Corona Crisis’.
The digital world has become practically the only sphere of interaction for
some months and social media has been buzzing with the search for whoever
was responsible for the deadly impact of -19, as well as thousands of
enriching transformational initiatives for life after the pandemic. It is hard to
predict where this social energy and drive for change will take us. But there is
no doubt that it will be vibrant — extreme in the need for safety on the one
hand and the longing for a better world on the other.
Finally, the nancial crisis is hanging over s. The shift of focus to the
local level and the loss of purchasing power and even jobs, combined with the
predictable cutbacks in social policies, will give rise to a need to restructure
and prioritise donor retention and fundraising over other areas of activity.
Despite this context, s have been able to react and demand the suspen-
sion of the external debt of poor countries this year, campaign for a -19
vaccination to be ofered as a free universal public benet and promote forms
of food assistance and minimum income provision that curb hunger.
 Oxfam 2020.
      
      () -
5 Proposals for Political Advocacy in the Upcoming Scenario
In the coming months or years, s will have to address various dilemmas
and tendencies that, as indicated above, could erode their relevance as politi-
cal actors in the public sphere. Those dilemmas include:
1. Maintaining expert knowledge, being referenced thanks to their proxim-
ity to crucial situations of rights violations and their capacity to trans-
form that knowledge into speaking out and making proposals. At the
same time, new, more innovative and transparent forms of advocacy
need to be developed that are connected with society and are open to
the direct participation of activists, especially the people and communi-
ties afected, without always acting as ‘intermediaries for the voices of …’.
Political advocacy and lobbying actions must be extended to inuence
values and ideas, imaginations and social attitudes. The cultural battle
is much deeper, longer and more relevant than the short-term political
battle; indeed, that is where the future of civil, political, social and eco-
nomic rights will play out.
2. Being faithful to the organisation’s roots and strategy. In times of polari-
sation and extremist attacks, they must demonstrate now more than ever
their non-partisan stance and the strength of their policy positions, root-
ed in their rigour and operations. Co-optation, which has always been
harmful, could now be fatal.
3. Connecting causes and spaces. Avoid being swayed by the ‘let us take care
of our own, rst’ arguments of people who really do not care that oth-
ers’ rights are being violated. On the contrary, ensure the relevance of
the cause in the domestic sphere to strengthen it at the global level. Tax
fraud through tax havens undermines public nances in Europe, as well
as in Peru or Kenya; there are thousands of men who kill women in any
country and the climate emergency is global.
4. Develop more sophisticated communication and social mobilisation
strategies, anticipating trends in the digital sphere through in-depth
audience analysis based on how each generation (X, Y or Z) uses this
5. Opening alliances, not only with peer organisations or local partners but
also with other actors and sectors, including academia, businesses and
        ?
      () -
entrepreneurs who want to promote change. While multi-actor allianc-
es are time consuming and require compromises to be made, they take
organisations out of their natural space and expand the reach of their
6. Recognising the primacy of social movements when channelling and
inuencing the drive for change. This does not mean disappearing but
rather collaborating without occupying the space or dictating the strat-
egy. s must learn to provide value without needing to lead the ac-
tion. Sometimes, they may add their image and brand, alongside allies,
networks and movements; other times, they may be behind the scenes,
open to listening to what is needed and changing how they act in the
interest of generating larger mobilisations.
s should engage in public and policy-related actions. Saying this at the
end of this essay may seem like stating the obvious. However, there are man-
agers and governance bodies that question this approach, or rather want to
limit it to the most obvious areas that have no colour or edge and that reduce
the risk to zero. That is all well and good but it should be borne in mind that
that decision will erode the organisation’s relevance in the process of shaping
the world in which we live. Organisations should be prepared to take risks —
sometimes in the corridors of power, and always through activism and on the
streets — to tell the truth about power and privilege, starting by acknowledg-
ing their own. This may require them to reduce in size and establish a diferent
form of relationship with a changing social base. It will also be the only way
not just to stay alive but to renew themselves so that they are more inuential
in future — a role that is more necessary now than ever.
Anduiza, Eva, Camilo Cristancho and José María Sabucedo. ‘Mobilization through
Online Social Networks: The Political Protest of the Indignados in Spain’. Information,
Communication and Society 17 (6) (2014), 750-764.  10.1080/1369118X.2013.808360.
Beloe, Seb and John Elkinton. The 21st Century NGO: In the Market for Change (London:
SustainAbility, 2003).
Black, Maggie. A Cause for Our Times: Oxfam The First 50 Years (London: Oxfam,
Burson-Marsteller. A Guide to Efective Lobbying in Europe: The View of Policy-Makers
(New York: Burson-Marsteller, 2013).
      
      () -
Castells, Manuel. Communication Power (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
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Commission for England and Wales, 2018).
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(London: Pluto Press, 2012). Donor Trust Report: State of Public Trust in the Charitable Sector (Arlington,
VA:, 2019).
Hanegraaf, Marcel. ‘Transnational Advocacy over Time: Business and NGO Mobiliza-
tion at UN Climate Summits’. Global Environmental Politics 15 (1) (2015), 83-104. 
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Casademunt (Hershey, PA:  Global, 2014), 36-55.
Herranz, José María, Ángels Álvarez and María Teresa Mercado. ‘Communication and
Efectiveness of the Protest: Anti-fracking Movements in Spain’. Zer 23 (45) (2018),
35-56.  10.1387/zer.19543.
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Agenda’. British Journal of Politics and International Relations 19 (1) (2017), 134-151.
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(London: Routledge Studies, 2001).
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How Nonprot Organizations Use Social Media’. Economic and Social Impacts of
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        ?
      () -
Oxfam. ‘Youth Bill of Law in Bolivia: How Empowering Youth as Active Citizens Can
Contribute to Political Advocacy’. 1 April 2019. https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository
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José María Vera
was appointed as Oxfam International Interim Executive Director, begin-
ning on 25 October 2019. After having studied chemical engineering and vol-
unteering in Peru, he rst joined Oxfam Intermon as Campaigns and Policy
Director before spending six years at the Ibero-American General Secretariat
coordinating programmes of its Heads of State Summits. He rejoined Oxfam
Intermon in 2012 as Executive Director and has since worked closely with
Oxfam International senior management on Oxfam’s transformation process
that has seen the confederation become more aligned and globally balanced.
He has represented Oxfam internationally, reecting his experience in long-
term development, humanitarian responses and high-level advocacy. He also
jointly founded Ingeniería sin Fronteras (Engineers without Borders) in Spain.
José María Herranz de la Casa
is a Tenured Professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, Spain,
in the School of Communication where he teaches Specialised Journalism
and Corporate and Organisational Communication. He has published pa-
pers and research about: communication and transparency in social organ-
isations and non-governmental organisations; business and organisational
communication; social responsibility and Sustainable Development Goals;
and innovation and specialised journalism. He has worked as a journalist for
the most important sports newspaper in Spain, MARCA. He has also taught
at the Catholic University of Avila and at the European University Miguel
de Cervantes. At both, he was the Director of the Oce of Communication
and Marketing.
... Por último, (3) la capacidad de incidencia, derivada de la disposición relacional. Este punto final resulta de interés particular, ya que no logra un impacto inmediato, pero sí juega un papel determinante a futuro (Vera & Herranz de la Casa, 2020). ...
... La escasa canalización de la participación que supone este modelo implica una merma en la capacidad de movilización de recursos y personas de las comunidades en las que están implantadas. Al mismo tiempo, pierden legitimidad como interlocutores (Rodríguez Cabrero, 2005;Rodríguez Fernández, 2016;Vera & Herranz de la Casa, 2020). Este modelo ha evidenciado claramente sus límites en el marco COVID-19. ...
... Se observa que ni la sociedad civil organizada, ni los modelos de intervención socioeducativa, son reconocidos como actores legítimos desde el plano institucional, cuando lo son efectivamente entre la población. Esta desconexión entre ciudadanía e instituciones que se deduce de este particular, supone un riesgo triple: déficit en el aprovechamiento de los recursos comunitarios que todo territorio predispone; marco de desafección de la ciudadanía ante momentos de desigualdad fruto del extrañamiento mutuo entre ciudadanía e institución (Dalton, 2017), e inoperancia de respuesta ante las eventualidades o crisis (Vera & Herranz de la Casa, 2020). ...
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El 25,3% de la población española se encontraba en situación de riesgo de pobreza y/o exclusión social en 2019, en Asturias el 24,6%. El virus COVID-19 desencadena una crisis social, que intensifica esta situación de exclusión social estructural del sistema social. En este contexto, la Red Europea de Lucha Contra la Pobreza y la Exclusión Social en Asturias (EAPN-AS) desarrolla un dispositivo de coordinación intersectorial y multinivel de respuesta a la emergencia social en Asturias (región al norte de España de aproximadamente 1 millón de habitantes). El dispositivo articula la intervención del Tercer Sector de acción social y las administraciones públicas competentes. Con una metodología investigación-acción, este artículo expone el diseño e implantación del dispositivo durante el periodo de confinamiento, y presenta una evaluación de su desarrollo. Se muestra, así, que el recurso ha facilitado la colaboración y coordinación entre actores implicados en la emergencia social, favoreciendo escenarios de certidumbre en una situación de inestabilidad. Evidencia el papel cohesionador de la sociedad civil organizada, y su capacidad de innovación en contextos de crisis. Subraya el potencial de intervenciones de base socioeducativa para lograr propuestas pragmáticas y flexibles, y la necesidad de avanzar a políticas sociales garantistas e integrales, frente a fórmulas condicionadas.
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This chapter analyzes the digital interventions of various ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) in five broad areas which MFAs have prioritized during the pandemic: crisis management, international collaboration, foreign policy continuity, countering disinformation, and digital innovation. The pandemic has posed new questions for diplomats in each of these areas. After outlining broader themes of research in global trends of diplomatic adaptation during COVID-19, each of the areas above will be discussed in turn, drawing on illustrative examples and summarizing key lessons. This chapter will conclude with recommendations for the collective reform of diplomacy in the post-pandemic period.
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The declining informal collaboration corresponds to less civic engagement, political equity, solidarity, trust, and tolerance as well as associational life. In 2020, a case study of two NPOs revealed that one was adopting a strong entrepreneurial orientation, while the other integrated the traditional community orientation with more professionalization, confirming to partial marketization tendencies. The NGO-ization of society, visible in the increasing number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) at the national and transnational level, tend to somewhat contradict Putnam’s thesis. On the other hand, the number of NGOs is not per se revealing of the quality of citizen participation in those organizations. The terms NGOS and nonprofit can be applied to the same organizational forms – some authors tend to consider the former as a type of nonprofit. Interestingly enough, in the diversity of approaches, and even definitions of this object, there is a common use of the excluding element to classify it: nongovernmental and nonprofit.
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This handbook brings together multidisciplinary and internationally diverse contributors to provide an overview of theory, research, and practice in the nonprofit and nongovernmental organization (NGO) communication field. It is structured in four main parts: the first introduces metatheoretical and multidisciplinary approaches to the nonprofit sector; the second offers distinctive structural approaches to communication and their models of reputation, marketing, and communication management; the third focuses on nonprofit organizations' strategic communications, strategies, and discourses; and the fourth assembles campaigns and case studies of different areas of practice, causes, and geographies. The handbook is essential reading for scholars, educators, and advanced students in nonprofit and NGO communication within public relations and strategic communication, organizational communication, sociology, management, economics, marketing, and political science, as well as a useful reference for leaders and communication professionals in the nonprofit sector.
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A pandemia da Covid-19 veio alterar o mundo de um modo imprevisto e inédito em tempos recentes. Para além das óbvias consequências na saúde pública, a pandemia é responsável por um choque sem precedentes na economia global, causando a maior recessão da história da União Europeia (Verwey & Monks, 2021). A rápida propagação do vírus e a sua elevada letalidade obrigaram os governos a adotar fortes medidas restritivas, muitas das quais limitam os princípios democráticos fundamentais (Guasti, 2020). Em consequência, os decisores políticos foram confrontados com o dilema de ponderar os objetivos de saúde pública e as normas democráticas, direitos e liberdades, sendo este trade-off jogado sobretudo a dois níveis: primeiro, a necessidade de reação rápida criou fortes incentivos para concentrar o poder nos executivos nacionais e assim enfraquecer outras instituições políticas, reduzindo os mecanismos de responsabilização horizontais (executive aggrandizement) (Petrov, 2020). Segundo, as medidas para controlar e mitigar a propagação do surto pandémico, ao implicarem o distanciamento físico e social, obrigaram também restringir direitos e liberdades fundamentais, tais como a liberdade de movimento ou de reunião, sendo questionável por muitos a legitimidade de tais medidas (Edgell et al., 2021). O presente relatório analisa a importância que a pandemia desencadeada em 2020 terá tido em várias dimensões do sistema político português, em especial na atuação dos partidos políticos e nas atitudes e opiniões políticas dos portugueses. Foram considerados sete tópicos de estudo, que correspondem a linhas de pesquisa em relação às quais a pandemia poderá ter promovido mudanças de relevo, a saber: o apoio ao regime democrático, o processo de tomada de decisão política, o eurocepticismo, a retórica populista, a polarização política e ideológica, assim como a desigualdade política.
Public diplomacy entails the management of international political communication in accordance with the interests of foreign action and policy. The discipline originated in the United States, and its school of thought and models have influenced a multitude of chancelleries. This article investigates the existence of an original and distinct Latin American public diplomacy, although it shares the theoretical foundation of soft power and international public relations for a global audience. It can be concluded that no unique school of Latin American public diplomacy exists. There are two trains of thought and foreign policy—conservative values and Chavists—which complicates a united action. Furthermore, the presidentialism system make the professional profile of public diplomacy complex, resulting in delays in the development of international communication conducted by chancelleries. La diplomacia pública consiste en la gestión de la comunicación política internacional conforme a los intereses, la acción y la política exterior. La disciplina nace en Estados Unidos, y sus escuelas de pensamiento y modelos han influido en multitud de cancillerías. El artículo investiga la existencia de un modo distinto y original de diplomacia pública en América Latina, aunque comparte las bases teóricas del poder blando y las relaciones públicas internacionales para una audiencia global. Se concluye que no existe una escuela única de diplomacia pública en la región. Se observan dos líneas de pensamiento y acción exterior, una basada en valores conservadores y otra vinculada al chavismo, hecho que complica la unidad de acción en la región. Más aún, el sistema presidencialista dificulta el perfil profesional de la diplomacia pública, lo que conduce al deterioro de la comunicación internacional dirigida por las cancillerías. 公共外交涉及按照外交行动及政策的利益进行国际政治传播管理。此学科起源于美国,并且其思想学派和模式已影响了一系列外交大臣。本文调查了原始且独特的拉美公共外交的存在,尽管其在软实力和国际公共关系(针对全球受众)方面的理论基础是一致的。结论认为,不存在关于拉美公共外交的独特观点。存在两派思想和外交行动—保守主义价值观和查维兹主义—它们使联合行动复杂化。此外,总统制让公共外交的专业形象复杂化,导致外交大臣的国际传播发展出现滞后。
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Given the huge challenge imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, countries have stepped up actions aimed at citizen security. At the same time, driven by different purposes, citizens are also involved in actions, which have had international repercussion, such as the development of citizen diplomacy. From the standpoint of public diplomacy, citizen diplomacy is a source of soft power. This research debates how citizen diplomacy performs under sharp power, and highlights the impact on foreign policy. Working within constructivism, the paper uses the case study method and is aimed at identifying the fight against the covid-19 pandemic by China, Portugal, and Brazil. To this end, the key concepts are operationalized, namely public diplomacy, citizen diplomacy, soft power, and sharp power. Then, a matrix of variables and attributes of soft and sharp power is built. The matrix guides collection of quantitative and qualitative data by content analysis. The news agency, Reuters, is the source of news collected from February 1 to April 30, 2020. After presentation and discus sion of results, the last session presents conclusions, including recommendations for public policies, and opportunities for future developments.
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Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are undergoing an alleged crisis of trustworthiness. The past decades have seen an increase in both academic and practitioner scepticism, particularly given the transformations many NGOs have undergone in size, professionalism, and political importance. The accountability agenda, which stresses transparency and external oversight, has gained a significant amount of traction as a means to solve this crisis. But the causal link between the implementation of these recommendations and increased trustworthiness among donors has never been considered. This article bridges this gap by drawing on theoretical innovations in trust research to put forward three arguments. First, the proponents of the accountability agenda are implicitly working with a rational model of trust. Second, this model does not reflect important social characteristics of trust between donors and NGOs. Third, this mismatch means that the accountability agenda might do more to harm trust in NGOs than to help it.
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on analyzing how communication management can improve transparency and trust in nonprofit organizations. Several examples of Spanish and international nonprofit organizations that are developing effective communication plans and actions to improve their engagement and reputation with citizens are explained through case study methodology. Fund raising, the use of Internet and social media, advocacy, new narratives, and how to spread their activities are the areas where civil society organizations are developing their innovative communication actions. The analysis is made under a model of three objectives or levels: marketing, information, and participation, and under the perspective that transparency is a value that a nonprofit organization should use as the same way as communication management. If transparency and communication management are added, the result could achieve notoriety, trust, and reputation for nonprofit sector.
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The rapid diffusion of "microblogging" services such as Twitter is ushering in a new era of possibilities for organizations to communicate with and engage their core stakeholders and the general public. To enhance understanding of the communicative functions microblogging serves for organizations, this study examines the Twitter utilization practices of the 100 largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. The analysis reveals there are three key functions of microblogging updates-"information," "community," and "action." Though the informational use of microblogging is extensive, nonprofit organizations are better at using Twitter to strategically engage their stakeholders via dialogic and community-building practices than they have been with traditional websites. The adoption of social media appears to have engendered new paradigms of public engagement.
The first edition of this book was published in 2001 by Routledge and was the first academic text on the important new emerging field of NGO management. It sets out the field for researchers with a new and original conceptual framework, contains a comprehensive review of existing literature from a variety of disciplines (including management, development studies, and social policy) and provides wide-ranging examples from the author's own practical and research experience. New to this edition: twelve new detailed case studies of NGO management issues and challenges new discussion points, lessons learned and questions for debate to guide the reader through each chapter definitions of key terms highlighted key ideas to illustrate each chapter. Revealing the distinctive organizational challenges faced by NGOs this second edition provides a fully updated and revised text that will prove invaluable to all those studying or working in NGOs, the voluntary sector or development studies.
NGOs are acknowledged by many to more effective agents of development than governments or commercial interests. This book critically examines the role of NGOs, which have increased considerably in number and importance over the last decade. It describes how NGOs must improve the way they measure and account for their performance if they are to be truly effective. The book is presented in three sections: conceptual frameworks; case studies, and ways forward. Specialist contributors examine key issues under the main theme of NGO performance and accountability. Specific areas addressed are: NGO autonomy and accountability within the new policy agenda; European NGOs and democratisation in Central America; NGO accountability in Bangladesh; a view of NGOs from below in East Africa; participatory methods for increasing NGO accountability, a case study from India. Policy implications and suggested ways forward are included in the final section. -after Publisher
Mobilization through Online Social Networks: The Political Protest of the Indignados in Spain
  • Eva Anduiza
  • Camilo Cristancho
  • José María Sabucedo
Anduiza, Eva, Camilo Cristancho and José María Sabucedo. 'Mobilization through Online Social Networks: The Political Protest of the Indignados in Spain'. Information, Communication and Society 17 (6) (2014), 750-764. DOI 10.1080/1369118X.2013.808360.
A Cause for Our Times: Oxfam -The First 50 Years
  • Maggie Black
Black, Maggie. A Cause for Our Times: Oxfam -The First 50 Years (London: Oxfam, 1992).
A Guide to Effective Lobbying in Europe: The View of Policy-Makers
  • Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller. A Guide to Effective Lobbying in Europe: The View of Policy-Makers (New York: Burson-Marsteller, 2013).
Accountability in Practice: Mechanisms for NGO s'
  • Alnoor Ebrahim
Ebrahim, Alnoor. 'Accountability in Practice: Mechanisms for NGO s'. World Development 31 (5) (2003), 813-829. DOI 10.1016/S0305-750X(03)00014-7.