Showing posts from July, 2006

Advocacy and coalition development

I feel like everyone I talk to these days talks about advocacy. Half the time I am not sure what they actually mean by advocacy and/or i have to remind myself that there is no consesnus on what it really is in Japanese.

The common questions that come to me:
* Why do NGOs need to do advocacy work?
* Why don't more NGOs in Japan do advocacy work?
* Isn't advocacy work dangerous and/or too political?
* How do you do it?

Another area of discussion I have a lot is about why coalitions do not work in Japan - I am still looking for the answers to this. Some of the ones I have been given:
* NGOs are too philososphical and can not compromise thier mission
* Lack of organizational capacity
* Charismatic leadership issues
* Lack of staff interest
* Desire or pressure for consensus
* Lack in understanding of the need and or purpose of coalitions.
* Lack of NGO interest or understanding of the citizen role in the democratic process.
* Lack of trust between specific group leaders
I am not sure if these r…

The Asia Foundation Tanabata BBQ

I helped with the coordination of a Tanabata BBQ introducing the new Japan Director of The Asia Foundation, Arseny (aka Chuk) Besher, to the nonprofit-NGO and CSR communities.

It was a good start for the development of a network of diverse groups interested in collaboration for a better future in Asia.

The weather on July was cooperative after all so we were really lucky.

The first photo features Tomoko Shiroki from ACE, Dawn Tattersall from the PSC and Namjoon Kim from Deutsche Bank (and a friend from SIPA days) with Chuk.

It was a good chance for people involved in different types of work to meet up, share ideas and find possibilities for future collaboration.
People joined from such diverse organziations as IMADR, National women's Education Center, JOICFP, the PEPY Ride, Japan Society, Misai Center, TELL, Shinsei Bank and Boeing.

The party was filled with so many interesting people - enjoying both serious and not-so-serious discussion.

I spent most of the night introducing people - bu…