NGOs, A powerful force forpolitical reformStudy on the paper of Kim Eui-young.Subject: “Political change in Republic of Korea”
Agenda• Pressing for reforms• Participation in policy reform• The recent DECLINE of NGOs standing• Difficulties of Korean Republics NGOs• Methods to regain the credibility of NGOs• Suggestions for Government
Pressing for reforms (1)• Since 1987, NGO efforts:– Monitoring the election process.– Increasing political participation.– Decreasing political corruption.– Monitoring the legislative process in the NationalAssembly.– Increasing its transparency.– Pushing for democratization within politicalparties.
Pressing for reforms (2)• “Blacklist Campaign” in 2000 General Elections– 900 civic organizations.– Blacklisted 86 corrupt and incompetent individuals.– 60% to 90% of the Korean people supported.– 59 out of the 86 politicians on the list were defeated.(equal to 68.6%)– 95% of those listed by the Citizens Solidarity.– This outcome as a "voters revolution“.
Participation in policy reform (1)• Kim Young-sam:– Support NGOs financially.– Consider NGOs policy proposals seriously.– Enact some of NGOs recommendations into law.
Participation in policy reform (2)• Roh Moo-hyun:– Established a new position of senior Secretary tothe President for civil society in the Blue House.– Recruited civil society leaders to the presidentialoffice and other government agencies.
Participation in policy reform (3)• Kim Dae-jung:– Best alliance between NGOs and the government:• Separation of the prescription and dispensing of drugs byPHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY REFORMS program.– NGOs played an active role in the whole policyprocess. (From the agenda-setting stage to theenactment process)– Incorporate the input of civil society into the policyprocess.– Integrate the support of civic groups into the reformprocess.
The recent decline of NGOs standing (1)• The danger of over-politicization.– Damage of the image of NGOs neutrality, andcredibility.– People want NGOs to remain uncontaminated bydirty politics.• The advent of numerous politicized NGOs– Damaging the appearance of neutrality anddevotion to the public interest..
The recent decline of NGOs standing (1)• The danger of over-politicization.– Damage of the image of NGOs neutrality, andcredibility.– People want NGOs to remain uncontaminated bydirty politics.• The advent of numerous politicized NGOs– Damaging the appearance of neutrality anddevotion to the public interest.
The recent decline of NGOs standing (2)• NGOs are getting so close to the government– Make the credentials for independence and autonomyare weakened or lost.• NGOs are considered an ally of the government,rather than as an independent force.• NGOs were criticized for both lacking expertiseand NEGLECTING their DUTY.• NGOs are now stigmatized as being overlypoliticized and potentially being co-opted by thegovernment.
Difficulties of Korean Republics NGOs• Korean NGOs poor resources base withoutfinancial support from the government.• The danger of the government politicizing theallocation of government subsidies.
To regain the credibility of NGOs (1)• Stay away from outright partisan politics.• Concentrate on more indirect and neutralactivities.• Maintain at least some autonomy in NGO-government relations.
To regain the credibility of NGOs (2)• NGOs need to work on their own structureand character so as to enhance:– Accountability.– Transparency.– Democracy.– Expertise.• Avoid the danger of politicization, whilemaking good use of government funding.
Suggestions for Government (1)• The government should adopt more indirectmodes of subsidizing NGOs:– Tax-exempt status.– Postal and internet discounts.– Free use of public facilities and land– Provision of state-sponsored internships– etc.• Encourage and provide various incentives forcitizens donations and volunteer work.
Suggestions for Government (2)• Establish a private foundation to manage theallocation of government subsidies (In anindependent and rational manner).• Government leaders in Korea NEED TOREALIZE that co-optation strategies DO NOTWORK to their advantage, in the long run.