Volunteering and influencing policy(makers)

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  • 1. Volunteering and influencing policy(makers) A practical approach Eva Hambach VSVw vzw 6th of July 2010
  • 2. Introduction
    • Importance of volunteering is clear
      • Research
      • Public opinion (partly)
      • Policymakers
    • Volunteering brings added value
      • In general
      • In particular also towards decisionmaking
  • 3. Volunteering & policymaking
    • Volunteers and their organisations do contribute
      • Directly
      • Indirectly
    • Key-issue: volunteering belongs
      • To everyone
      • To no-one
      • > affects influencing policymakers
  • 4. Volunteering & policymaking
    • Challenges:
      • Find the keyperson/keypersons to whom to direct to
      • Formulate the issue in a clear way
      • Translate “problems” into “solutions”
      • Find consensus
        • between organisations themselves
        • Find consensus between volunteers
        • Find consensus at all
  • 5. Volunteering & policymaking
    • Develop a strategy
      • To convince policymakers/ political parties
      • On how to communicate what we want
      • By agreeing on essential vs. extra demands
      • How to react on set backs
      • Use your network or create a new one
    • Ongoing follow up and communication
    • Don’t forget the policymakers
  • 6. Best practices
    • Basis of the choice made
      • Different levels of ‘influencing’
      • Different types of organisation
      • Different policy levels
      • Involvement or not of volunteers
    • Best practices:
      • Daedalus
      • Toad action
      • Volunteers’law
      • EYV2011 Alliance
  • 7. First best practice
    • Group Daedalus
      • Citizens engaged in organisation
        • Mostly higher educated persons (mostly only volunteers)
      • Against night flights over Brussels
      • What did they reach.
        • Flying ban at certain hours
        • Possible sanction if the ban is broken
        • To influence the debate on political level
        • To get a lot of media-attention
      • Core-element: twist
  • 8. Second best practice
    • Toad action
      • Started as a one person action
      • Gained support form
        • Other volunteers
        • Environment movement
        • Community/ loacal authorities
      • Core-element: co-operation
  • 9. Third best practice
    • Protection of volunteers within volunteers law
    • Action from sector of volunteering “against“ insurances-lobby
    • Result: settlement developed by politicians
    • Core-element: lobby and counterlobby
  • 10. Fourth best practise
    • Declaration of the EYV2011
    • Action of CEV: Manifesto
    • Actions taken by EP
    • Creation of a large Alliance of Eungo’s
    • Influencing EC, until decision and declaration
    • Core-element: building up case, strong file, cooperation and lobby
  • 11. Conclusions
    • To be successful in influencing, it requires:
      • Knowledge of content
      • Knowledge of procedures
      • Networking
      • Finding ‘friends’ – support
      • Discretion
      • Knowing whom to address to
      • Knowing possible ‘enemies’
      • Being persuasive