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global grass roots

Geplaatst door: krijvenaar in Lobby-praktijk

In the United States, activating those affected by a public policy proposal has long been a useful tactic for bringing about the changes organizations want to see. But now more than ever, grass roots efforts are expanding beyond U.S. borders and going global, presenting new opportunities for success as well as innovative solutions.

Momentum is a major factor in global grassroots. When one country takes action, says APCO Worldwide’s Evan Kraus, it’s highly likely that another will soon follow suit.

Bob Chapman of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says the process parallels that which occurs in the United States, where policy movement at the federal level occurs only once community after community and state after state act. Kraus and Chapman shared their unique perspectives and case studies on grassroots in a November Council webinar.

Even with momentum at work, flexibility is key, notes Kraus. He says that throughout the world, “Tactics are often the same, but nuances can be incredibly different.”

For example, in Mongolia, Kraus’ global integrated, creative, digital and social media practice team worked to increase support for Rio Tinto’s mining of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits. APCO worked largely under the paradigm of “study, listen, learn” — even seeing criticism as “an invitation to conversational engagement,” Kraus says.

By doing extensive research on its target audiences — Kraus has dubbed them “stakebrokers” — APCO was able to educate these key constituencies and grant them “permission” to communicate the positive effects of mining to friends, family and neighbors.

By using these tactics and other more traditional grassroots strategies like print and online collateral, APCO overcame cultural biases against foreign investment and helped broker a multibillion-dollar deal with the government, which brought the country some $700 million in taxes before the mine opened, granted it 34 percent of mine shares and raised the Mongolian GDP by 30 percent.

Meanwhile, under Chapman’s leadership, ACSCAN took a different tack. The organization capitalized on its grassroots networks around the world to push for a greater focus on the frightening increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases in developing countries.

To further the argument, ACSCAN established and trained a cadre of global advocates — 80 grassroots “ambassadors” and 45 journalists from around the world, representing 44 countries — which then converged on 40 U.N. missions in New York to spread the word to high-level diplomats. When advocates returned home, they built coalitions, publicized their efforts through online and traditional media and sought to convince national leaders of the moral and economic imperatives of slowing the spread of non-communicable diseases in their countries.

Eventually, and in large part due to ACSCAN’s efforts, the World Health Organization set nine voluntary global targets for 2025, including several directly related to cancer prevention.

Source: PAC

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