Monday, 27 September 2010

The truly Global Call for Action Against Poverty

It’s late on Friday in New York, and unfortunately for me I’m not in Manhattan, but waiting at JFK to catch the flight back home after an eventful, exciting and ‘interesting’ week in the USA for the MDG Review Summit.

The Summit was an extravaganza, with NGOs calling for attention to their causes, presidents whirling around town to various meetings and End Water Poverty and its members making a noise about the sanitation crisis – in very creative ways!

Gladly, after the Summit, we were privileged to attend the Global Assembly of the Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP) - the network of campaigners working tirelessly against inequality across the world, and famous for their first campaign action, Make Poverty History, in 2005.

The Global Assembly takes places every few years and gives campaigners a chance to look at, and learn from, past campaigns and an opportunity to intensely plan joint global campaigns and strategies for the coming years.

It’s an exciting and passionate bunch of 140 people from everywhere – I had conversations with people from Bolivia, Italy, Canada, Senegal, India, Nicaragua, Portugal and many more. Some are from international mega NGOs, some from human rights organisations, and others from grassroots campaigns. And they work on a huge array of issues – gender, land rights, health, education, climate change, corruption – and with a variety of foci - the G8, G20, G77, the World Social Forum, MDG processes, COP 16 - so the challenge was how to ensure space for all these campaign issues in a very busy calendar.

Attending was useful for me because as a coalition working on water and sanitation, it’s really important that we’re engaging with development campaigns both within our sector (WASH United, Dig Toilets Not Graves) but also outside so that we can ensure as many voices are calling for Sanitation and Water for All. And furthermore, so that we’re supporting other development initiatives because working together can ensure all the MDGs are met, and not just the MDG issues that have the loudest voices or the most sparkly superstars backing them.

So the Global Assembly is not only a chance to find ways of working together and link our campaign planning, it’s also an opportunity to learn from this broad network and share best practice. And being in a room with such enthusiastic and impassioned people can’t help but reinvigorate after a busy and sleep-rare week!

But now to feast on airline food (now a not so secret love of mine!) and we’ll keep you updated here on how we begin to work with GCAP in the months and years ahead.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

International aid and NGOs alone will not end water poverty in Africa. For Africa specifically, there needs to be a change in leadership first in order to really tackle this problem. Leadership from the inside has to rethink its historic behavior patterns before anything can really be solved, including water poverty. Sanou Mbaye explores this idea: “Africa faces a crisis of leadership and governance, owing to a dysfunctional ethos. If Africans want to change this, they cannot spare themselves a collective debate about their elites’ complicity in widespread impoverishment.” I found this article very interesting. Check it out here: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/mbaye13/English

Daisy said...

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