Over the past few years I have worked with quite a few international NGOs, which have been endeavouring to build a global campaign on their key issue, and I’ve just returned from Rome doing just that, and for me in those discussions two key factors tend to emerge from any such discussions…
Firstly, I have been interested to observe how much time is spent in trying to agree one message that will resonate across the globe, and how difficult such a task can be! I spent months trying to get the Red Cross in Europe to agree on one advocacy message in response to the challenges on migration. In the end it was impossible to agree on one message in this one continent without even trying for a global message.
Based on that experience, and similar experiences, I have come to a much more relaxed view on messaging for global campaigns. I just don’t think you can impose from the centre one message about policy or practice change for the whole world. Well maybe you can, but life is just too short and some of the problems we face are just too urgent.
Instead I am more attracted now to agreeing a menu of key asks, based on a common vision, values or principles, conscious that not all of those asks will be relevant in all countries and that the relevance of the proposed asks will be assessed in each country. I think to develop a common framework that is then applied in a manner consistent with the individual national context is so important. While the campaigns may sound different in each country, there is a common thread based on the overarching goal or principles. I like the idea of global campaign framework working with tailored national campaigns.