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Alliance 21: Making Another World Possible
Evaluations, Visions, Proposals, and Projects
Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World
April 2003

The first three parts :

- Evaluation and Vision of the Future
- Proposals and Projects
- Report on the Participatory Process Used for the Evaluation and Future of the Alliance :


- The second stage of the Alliance

 

Part Three :

Report on the Participatory Process Used for the Evaluation
and Future of the Alliance

EIFE and delibera.info-alliance e-forums, and Porto Alegre Meeting
March 2002 - April 2003

6. ON COMMUNICATION AND PARTICIPATION

Interpretation of the 35 appraisals and 29 comments.

A large majority agreed that the strength of the Alliance in the field of communication and participation has been in the methods it has developed, particularly the multilingual electronic forums. Also, the Directory of the Alliance has been an important achievement for the construction of the Alliance.

In the new stage, there was a large consensus on the need for a qualitative improvement in the degree of information dispensed to the Allies. Communication should be permanent and should have someone specific to stir it up and organize it. Some comments qualified this statement by pointing out the need give more priority to the relevance and quality of the information than to its quantity. One possibility to do this would be through the Web site as has been done so far, but also through the timetables, final documents, and testimonies of the workgroups, etc. The aim should be a decentralized management of the content on the Web site, although some still underscore the need for organization of the content.

Moving in this direction, we should look for the easiest way for everyone to receive information. Sometimes it is not necessary to receive the same information by e-mail and by regular mail.
There was also some discussion about the Alliance's need for decentralized communication: we not only need common or compatible tools and methods, they also have to be able to be managed mostly in a decentralized way. Among the comments, however, there were some who insisted that it was essential that communication should be shared and that it was necessary that the groups write up their information (a correspondents' network) and that a central summarization unit collate the information.

Also, the immense majority believed that we should increase participation and improve the participation methodologies (according to one comment: as much in the Internet forums as in the preparation and holding of meetings, as much for the basic themes as for organization-related decisions).

With one unfavorable appraisal, the training of cross-cultural facilitators to improve participation and meeting processes was deemed necessary. Beyond this agreement, there was also a comment underscoring the importance of evaluating the role of the facilitators and of establishing contract specifications and a Charter of Principles for them.

There was also much agreement on the idea that every group and every active Ally should find the means to improve their capacity for remote discussion and meetings, through the Internet, so as not to be always conditioned by the difficult and expensive financing of trips and meetings. Moving in this direction, there was emphasis in a comment on the need to help groups of Allies who don't have the technical and financial means to do this.

There was also agreement on the idea that the backers who wish to support the Alliance process should focus their support on the groups of Allies trying to develop an autonomous but articulated form of such communication and participation tools. One comment also underscored that physical meetings are also important and complementary.

Although there was no actual opposition, there was a majority that took no stand (“I don't know/I do not understand”) for the following points:

- To continue distributing Caravan regularly to everyone. The possibility of distributing it to the Allies who request it was suggested.

- To continue defining methodologies for a strong cross-cultural dialogue. The doubts seemed to be mainly about the immediate election of persons in charge of doing this.

- A paradox: just as the FPH announced that it was time for the different groups to gain more autonomy, the management of some tools such as the online Directory and the Web site were put back in the hands of the same FPH.

(In November 2002 an International Coordination Committee of the Alliance Web site was constituted to work through an electronic forum [webteam]. Furthermore, a more decentralized management of the Directory is underway. The electronic forums work autonomously).

 2001 Alliance pour un monde responsable, pluriel et solidaire. Tous droits rZservZs.