| français (original) | Español |

www.alliance21.org > What is the Alliance? > History of the Alliance > The Allies in the World Today

Elements for Consideration and Proposals

This overall, and most certainly incomplete view allows us to draw some conclusions on the experience and the future of the Geocultural Branch of the Alliance.

- While we can observe some slowing down of the activities of the Allies in the different regions, due most probably to a lesser central presence of the FPH, we can note at the same time that groups of Allies have remained active and are seeking to regroup. These groups, these initiatives, are facilitated as much by former Allies (those who have been active since the beginning of this adventure) as by new ones (some only learned of the Alliance in Lille in December 2001).

- The Geocultural Groups of the Alliance have a large diversity of profiles: from those that were constituted at the scale of a city and include a few dozen people representing a variety of socioprofessional networks (the São Paulo group for example) to groups constituting a network on a subregional scale (several neighboring countries).

- Activities on a geocultural scale integrate the two other branches: the socioprofessional and the thematic ones. The Allies in a city, a region, or a subcontinent are from many different socioprofessional categories. They are very rarely only academics or NGO activists. Most of them include people from several socioprofessional categories and try explicitly in their activities to promote multi-socioprofessional participation.

- Similarly, the Allies in the different regions work simultaneously on several themes. It is also very unusual for a group to be specialized in only one question. The thinking and the proposals are also multi-thematic, ranging from economic issues to social and cultural or environmental ones. This requires devising a complex articulation of a variety of topics, depending on the region’s thematic priorities. The Allies in West Africa, for example, have stressed issues of regional governance and child trafficking, whereas those of the South Cone are focusing, among others, on regional integration and solutions to the present economic crises.

- In the geocultural dimension, the Alliance is seen mainly as a forum, a method, a place to share thoughts and experiences outside of any rigid institutional framework. The people involved come together mostly because they are convinced that their vision is common, or at least convergent and shared. In general, groups of Allies acting on a regional level are organized in a very flexible, informal way, without any order of rank. Responsibilities are based mainly on the service offered, in particular the circulation of information. Some groups have set up systems through which contacts can be made and thoughts and information can be shared. For example, some groups have dynamic Web sites, set up electronic forums, and/or publish newsletters. Groups located in one city organize meetings or common activities, but don’t set up any formal, institutional, legal entity. Some groups are associated with a nonprofit organization or an NGO, such as Pipal Tree in India or the CINEP in Colombia, which usually provides a meeting point or centralizes and circulates information.

- It should be noted, however, that even at the level of a Local Group and all the more so at the regional level, facilitating contacts is difficult. It requires quite a lot of time and therefore some pay. This being said, Allies tend to avoid turning the Alliance into an institution. Financial resources are used mainly to implement the initiative or the project. Generally speaking, there has not been much of an effort to break down the compartmentalization among Geocultural Groups on the one hand, and between the Groups and the Alliance as a whole on the other. A few specific electronic forums have made room for dialogue, but their results are rarely circulated beyond the working circle. The Web sites have become a means of information for those who log on regularly, but they are not interactive. They need to be updated by the facilitators. After Lille, the eforum of the Enlarged International Facilitation Team (EIFE) was the only means that the Alliance facilitators had at their disposal to stay collectively informed. Despite the difficulties inherent to working remotely and thanks to the e-forum facilitators’ steadfast efforts to elicit participation, the first, summarized elements of a collective assessment were produced and have also been provided as a major contribution to the second stage of the Alliance.

- Despite their weaknesses, the Geocultural Groups, with all of their diversity, can constitute the fertile ground of renewal for the Alliance in its second stage. Their autonomy and their articulation among themselves and with the Thematic Workshops and Socioprofessional Networks can provide a new momentum. They should certainly rely mainly on their own strength but they will need a range of financial resources, not only to carry out their activities, but also to strengthen their autonomy. We are still a far shot from organizing and holding Regional Citizens Assemblies, but the perspective is an open possibility for a few groups that have greater social penetration. Facilitating the flow of information and contacts among the groups will require unrelenting work.

- Finally, an obstinate search for partners in the vast regions where the Alliance has little or no presence will be necessary: North America, Northern Europe, Central Asia, to mention only some of them.


Go !Latin America - by Gustavo Marin
Go !North America
Go !Africa
Go !Asia
Go !Europe
Go !Middle East


1999-2009 Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World Legal Notices RSS Keeping in touch with the Web site