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Volunteering and influencing policy(makers)

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Volunteering and influencing policy(makers)

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

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