Linking the global with local – ‘inclusive development’ for both North and South

13/09/2011 at 10:24 am 1 comment

By Hans Zomer

This weekend I attended the CIVICUS World Assembly, to get a sense of current thinking among civil society actors from across the globe, and to help us strategise for the coming years.

Under the heading “Civil Society and Global Governance: Doing It Better“, the assembly focused on four overall themes – Development Effectiveness, Climate Justice, Connecting People through Technology and Civil Society and Democratic Space. Four themes that are directly relevant for NGOs in Ireland too.

We in Ireland need a national conversation on the shape and values of the new society we want to build on the ruins of the “Celtic Tiger”. A conversation that results in clear proposals for the type of “Development” we want: the type of economy, politics and values that “enhance people’s well-being and enlarge people’s choices” (= Dóchas’ working definition of what Development means).

This conversation, which is starting in Ireland through initiatives such as Claiming Our Future and the National Citizens’ Assembly and this week’s Sharing Responsibility in Shaping the Future, neatly mirrors similar discussions in many other countries – rich and poor.

(One speaker at the Civicus Assembly asked for sympathy for people in Europe as, he said, we have now woken up and realised that we are not living in a “developed” country, but that the process is on-going and that, as a consequence, we are living in a “developing” country.)

This merging of the “Development” agendas in rich and poor countries is a great opportunity.

For our part, Dóchas will continue to engage with our international partners, and with representatives of Ireland’s domestic civil society, to shape this new Development framework.

And there are many opportunities for us to apply our new thinking to influence governments:

– In November, Irish NGOs and the Government will participate in the Busan summit to improve the effectiveness of global aid.

– In December, governments from around the world will meet in Durban to negotiate the basis of a new climate change treaty.

– In June 2012, governments will meet in Rio de Janeiro to take stock on progress since the 1992 Rio conference on sustainable development.

– In January 2013, Ireland will take over the Presidency of the EU – giving us a unique opportunity to influence EU decision making.

– In September 2013, the member states of the UN will meet to decide the common development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.

More on each of these later.

For now, the important thing is to put our thinking caps on, and to start discussing: What kind of “Development” do we want to see in Ireland? And in Europe? The world?

Plenty to start with!


Further reading, relating to the CIVICUS World Assembly:


Entry filed under: Development Effectiveness, MDGs, NGOs. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Getting ready for the Irish EU Presidency in 2013 NGO overhead costs

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Colm Regan  |  13/09/2011 at 11:42 am

    Thanks Hans
    But you will not build that conversation on what kind of Ireland (world) we want while Dochas continues to avoid its obligations re development education – you want a national conversation, it has to be built up over time and consistently. If NGOs want to be at the centre of that conversation, they must support Irish citizens in engaging meaningfully in such a conversation.



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