19 June 2011

19 June morning

Julian Filochowski: Networks and Advocacy

Click here to read the pdf file of the presentation: Julian Filochowski: Advocacy and Networks

Legitimacy and credibility

Legitimacy and credibility are fundamental, reflecting aspirations of the people on whose behalf we speak

17,900 Jesuits in 112 countries but legitimacy cannot be taken for granted. No-one has “elected” the representatives of the GIAN networks, so the quality of the response is most important.

Credibility just by being a Jesuit, because of reputation (honesty, intellectual rigour). Can be seriously damaged if argument faulty. Credibility has to be earned and maintained. Our credibility depends on quality of research, depends on demonstrable links to people on whose behalf we are acting.

Accountability: example: campaign in Bolivia.


Day-to-day life of network: managing tensions, should recognise these:

Centre – periphery, policy – campaigns, complex reality – simple messages (esp. with researchers at university, need simplification but not simplistic, coherent with findings of the research), clarity vs. fudge (difference between negotiators/government officials: form of words – and lawyers: exactly what it means), compromises.

Different cultures of network members: national, professional, church-cultural differences. Real disagreement or default position? Example: no embarrassment in East Asia. Example: among Jesuits – promoting excellence (universities) vs. urgency of the moment (social centres). Advocates have their own culture, uniform, and civil society advocates are expected to conform, have to be chameleons. Clerical collar, shirt and tie… (don’t have “some other agenda” that may undermine the advocacy work).

Advocacy has to be embedded, need buy-in from provinces and institutions, needs to be common interest. Not a Sunday-afternoon piece of entertainment! “Oh, it would look good if we were involved in this…” – not to be instrumentalised. Expectations need to be set in advance, so that tensions can be reconciled. Only few people will do advocacy work in Society, but they should not be regarded as “annoying” by the rest of the Society. Advocacy needs support by EVERYONE in the Society.

Tension between grassroots people (frustrated, want faster solutions) & advocates (working in the “art of the possible”, will look like “sell-out”).

Who is who in advocacy

Activists at the grassroots, analysts, researchers, strategists, policy groups (will say: “it’s more complicated than that”), campaigners, media people (will say: “give it to us in a soundbite”), basic education, delivery of advocacy – interaction with governments (presenter, show diplomatic skills).

Allies are good, broaden base away from “usual suspects” (e.g. always the same Catholic groups): it’s when we can forge an alliance with someone surprising that we can make more of a difference: trade union, collaborate with those whose interests coincide with yours, maybe only in this one case. Careful negotiation, not compromising too much on own aims. To start, go with groups that are closer, it’s easier (e.g. Church groups). Example: if meeting with UN agency, need to prepare incredibly well, have a pre-meeting, craft together joint advocacy message, everybody “on message”. Nothing more counterproductive than public disagreement!

How is authority to be exercised? Inclusiveness vs. participation; power with executive; how is governance and leadership to be exercised. Difficult especially in changing circumstances, requires readiness to make decisions.

Hubs and peripheries

What are the hub functions in GIAN? Receives and distributes information, processing to make it digestible, accessible, useful. Don’t forward every single email… proper filter with integrity, extract “juice” from information, especially complex stuff. Distribute intelligence and knowledge that originates in the North, and give due attention to knowledge from the South. Maintain overview of the issue. Make sure that periphery is and feels included – manage consultation process. Feed back information from hub to grassroots. Biggest problems of networks and coalitions is communication and information. Keeping people informed is essential; transparency should be the default but there are confidential pieces of information that need to be managed. Requires thought and sensitivity. Incredible difference in spoken and written word. Irony etc. perceived as insulting, questioning your ability, your professionalism. Important self-censorship! Best: face-to-face, free interaction. Next best: video conference, perfect for 5-6 people (take minutes!). Next: teleconference (discipline, chair, organised, minutes), next: email (paper trail, minutes). Personality profiles (e.g. Myers-Briggs) help in managing people – E and I is very important for communications. “E” thinking out loud, resolve questions in an open forum, “I” send them an email, don’t confront them with a question. The more you know, the better you communicate, facilitate decision making. Enneagram could help, too. Time spent on at the outset on clarification, objectives, measure, roles is NEVER wasted. Last but not least: no email and telephone is ever secure.

Networks CAFOD has been part of

Permanent networks: Caritas Europa – some successful advocacy, example: EU subsidies of cotton; CIDSE. Fixed term networks, coalitions: Jubilee 2000; Make Poverty History – inclusiveness at the expense of clear policy goals, Millennium Development Goals. Examples for campaigns: CAFOD mining campaign.

Decisions to be made & best practice considerations

Structures needed: to lead to ownership and trust in networks. Delivery with passion and persistence.


Julie Edwards: Grassroots activism – is this what we call “advocacy” in this meeting? Is what you have presented a higher level of advocacy? Question about being international, what is the point of doing this internationally? Your opinion.

Julian Filochowski: These are not well-structured campaigns – they all started in the same way that we are starting here. The analysis led us to see that there was a problem at a higher level, e.g. Debt campaign. Empower ourselves, not intimidate – we have to start small. E.g. Jesuits publish a well-argued letter on something. Try to say what is our Jesuit contribution.

Solomon: Experience of Dominicans and Franciscans with Vatican? What keeps them going?

Julian: Set up an office together in Geneva to bring people to UN Human Rights Commission, tribals etc. Meetings are very open to observers. Very limited part of advocacy. Archbishop Tomasi in Geneva is very good, likes to work with organisations.

David Hollenbach: If we hold up Jubilee 2000 as an example of what we’re here to plan doing, I think we’re not at a point where we can plan anything like that. But there are some extraordinary resources that Jesuits have that we are here to find out how to bind together. Not sure what the issues could be. We are not trying to replace the local stuff that’s going on but to think about what’s the global capacity. Tap resources from where we already are. Will take careful self-exploration, before committing resources. Need to become much more clear where we are going with this.

Julian: Jubilee 2000 was a global success, but let’s take ecology: what we need to start with is mapping so that we don’t do anything in isolation. Who are we going to work with – Fr General: have to work with others. Something will emerge in the area of ecology in the next 5 years, something which may be similar to Jubilee 2000, of which we will want to be part, and we will be proud to be part of this. And we’ll bring our research and analysis to the campaign. Or JRS contribution to migrant crisis in Europe. Sooner or later, there will be a crisis and we can give an important ethical input. WHEN we join them, we will have something to contribute.

Pedro Walpole: Grassroots activism for last 20-30 years in the social apostolate plus research plus increasing networking in the last few years. World Social Fora have been beneficial. All this before we are even getting to advocacy on global level. Hope we’ll strengthen linkages on this ladder to be formed. What are we going to advocate for? We are not coming here with a blank sheet of paper. How to bring stronger linkages to existing themes. Level of networking is important, build confidence here and with others and allow advocacy issue to emerge from that without jumping into “this is what we must do”, over next 2-4 years. Learning how to do it.

Julian: Where is the agenda being set? Top down or bottom up? It’s both – how we manage that is a key tension here. We have to do it sui generis, but without re-inventing the wheel.

Kalubi Augustin: So clear that it brings some confusion. There is a lot of diplomacy for being effective without hurting anyone – consequences of being at the frontiers. Can’t do advocacy without hurting somebody.

Julian: We should not be guided by fear, but we should be creative. Prudence is a good virtue, harmonious relationship with rest of church is the idea. Not find ourselves in unnecessary conflict, good to know what the bishops’ conference is doing. Need to be on the frontier while looking to an horizon (Fr General).

Tom Greene: Experience of the US Jesuit Conference

The pdf of the presentation can be found here: Tom Greene: Advocacy of the US Jesuit Conference

Example: 12-year old in court – it’s their story. Stay close to the grassroots, it’s their story we are trying to tell.

In the US, ‘Focus areas’ that the provincials decide: Immigration, domestic poverty, Africa (geographical priority), war and violence. Latitude within the areas, e.g. predatory lending. JCSIM: international priority & domestic priority & piece that has both & inter-Assistancy priority (e.g. Orissa, Japan, Haiti). Revisit issues every four years (presidential cycle) – again next year. Timeline: September questionnaire to all provinces, through SIM delegates, what are the issues on the ground, where could the conference help you with advocacy; March SIM committee of provincials meeting, gives feedback to Washington office; May provincial meeting discussion of areas = year-long process of determining issues. Goes out to non-Jesuit centres as well.

Constituents: provincials, SIM committee, groups we work with in DC, e.g. Justice for Immigrants campaign.

Prioritizing levels of advocacy, we can’t be all things to all people therefore three-tiered approach, otherwise spend every day in meeting:

Tier-1 issue: we have expertise, we take the lead, hill visits, state department, do talks, visit embassies

Tier-2 issue: work through coalitions, activate base if vote in congress (less energy into it because other do it and they do it well)

Tier-3 issue: we monitor it from the office

Advocacy to whom?

In the social apostolate, we are great listeners: meet once a year, deliver report. Where can we move things?

In Washington DC: US Government (30-50 with Jesuit education), Congress (10% Jesuit education plus Jesuit chaplain), State Department, Embassies (active presence, esp. Central America, situation of detainees), Multinational Corporations (National Jesuit Corporate Responsible Investing – each province invests 2000 dollars in a company to have right to go to shareholder meeting; typically environment & extractives, effective way of getting companies to the table – with Chevron, 5 years engagement and they implement Human Rights policies, now following up if they actually implement it), [Courts of Law]

In the Church/SJ: immigrants, our schools, our parishes, retreat houses (inner-city working group how we can make our apostolates more social, e.g. retreats for the homeless, now in 4-5 retreat houses). A lot of advocacy needed with Our Own. All the other areas really form our men, but they don’t find out much about advocacy work we are doing.

Advocacy with whom: US provinces, key collaborators,. USCCB, ISN, JVC, JFL etc., SJ network, other Assistancies and Conferences (e.g. Colombia)

Key aspects of our advocacy

Intersectoral (e.g. law clinics for immigrants – give us information about conditions in detention centres); inter-Assistancies; inter-faith (challenge to find more Islamic groups to work with); grounded in reality of the poor, telling their story and not ours.

How we do our work

Capwiz – paid program that sends email to people in parishes, universities who sign up to receive email alerts (3,000 subscribers). Program also alerts to upcoming vote in Congress. Also used to keep people informed. NJCIR, Hill visits, coalition meetings, website/Facebook (college intern), workshops, humans! (bring people to the Hill because they don’t want to hear it).

Examples of advocacy we’ve done:

Immigration: letter to President Obama signed by all US Provincials (first time they agreed on one thing) plus over 200 SJ communities signed on, forcing the conversation in communities, some presidents of universities convinced their boards and wrote op-eds; ISN teach-in (not Jesuit but Ignatian, now moved to Washington DC, 1,200 mostly students, 500 students went to the Hill to meet with their representatives) – this year advocacy issue will be Africa.

Domestic poverty:  Inner-city working group, biggest problem: loss of jobs – finding best practices, organised webinar for Jesuit inner-city parishes to share best practice

Africa: CEPAS (John Kleiderer), conflict minerals in Ivory Coast, Dodds Act.

War and Violence: Colombia, CINEP, death threat to Pacho de Roux – response within a day from government!


Proper use of Capwiz, too many alerts – find right balance. Overnetworking: ISN, Jesuit Advocates, NCIJR, all send advocacy alerts. Point of networking is to get out of silo, but if you are overwhelmed, you get back into silos. Working across sectors (challenge); resources (3.5 people in SIM office); choosing the right partners who can stay on message; celebrating “failure” (e.g. on DREAM Act) – important for social apostolate; maintaining hope – how can I not have hope if the immigrants have hope. Attitude: we can do everything vs. we can do little or nothing.

DM Solomon: Different Types of Networks

This is the extended version of the same presentation (by Christina Kheng, April 2011)

Click here for a pdf version of this presentation: DM Solomon: Three Types of Advocacy Networks

Three models of advocacy networking, not exactly water-tight, but we can apply elements to our own networks. Example: Orissa. How to partner as religious?

Transnational alliance

For specific local issue – potential solution lies in different geographical area. Specific alliance for specific change. Starts with local problem but solution may be 1000s of km away, need partners there. Alliance has limited lifespan, to solve local problem, global campaign needed. Process/steps: define problem (e.g. people did not get paid, need to listen to situation); who are the others, what have they been doing , what has worked and not worked – holistic, systemic analysis; SMART objectives; teamwork of generating and strategise changes – know structure of alliance; bring the Ignatian to the advocacy; enlist others, give incentives, plan of action rooted in accompaniment of people. Best practices: clarity of role of members and leaders; communicating well; decision making processes; continuous dialogue; balance of participation of victims, bring them forward to make demands vs. professionalism; long-term institutional commitment; know how to break communication deadlock between alliance partners (through trust and sense of equality, mutually enriching process).

Peer network

For local issues, forming communities, carrying out small, simple problems, can carry on into global coalitions. Mutual learning and support, deepening understanding of the topic; loose membership, minimum coordination; over time may generate interest in common project. Example: not being aware of others’ agendas. Needs to be clear what benefit people derive from network. Processes and steps: Building community, information, learning; local organisations are looking for link to global network. Promote Gospel vision, evaluate.

Global advocacy coalition

International institutions, influence outcome at global decision-making platforms. At the same time, do local and global advocacy. Processes and steps: members working the same issues; good systemic analysis, including voice of affected people; how to bring about linkages, smart targets, viable solutions, new ways of understanding; roles and structure; funding; communications. Best practices: teamwork and dialogue; regular communication, how to resolve conflicts, mobilising masses & advocacy at top level, not one without the other; make technology your ally; common goal, but flexible to local context; good internal governance, reflect values; keep adding good practice.


Walter Fernandes: Global advocacy coalitions: we have not enough information about each others, e.g. email from John Sealey just before going into a meeting – if I had had questions before, I could have answers. If we don’t know enough about each other, alliances become difficult.

David Hollenbach: Tom’s networks seem to be more transnational alliances, very valuable, fair amount of this happening with Jesuits already. Global advocacy coalitions, question: is the nation state system changing, evolving? Lesser role for nation state, more important role for advocacy networks. SJ is in a position to address more international structures, how do we think about those kinds of larger structure – where we may be in a distinctive position to do something new, that is has not done before.

Luis Arancibia: Question to Tom – do you have any engagement with international bodies?

Tom Greene: That’s the next level that at the moment we don’t engage with.

Solomon: At the back of our minds we need to keep assuming some of the situation that are there in the world at the end of the great recession: how international institutions are moving national government. We need to keep analysing – are they in a type of flux? Like WTO? Some yes, some no.

Trevor Miranda: State of caution and fear of those who get contributions from government and foreign countries/organisations. Under new act on foreign contributions,  funding can be stopped every 5 years if you rally, demonstrate. Government is putting pressure.

José Ignacio García: Inter-conference work, we have had request from Orissa, too. Lack of experience in Brussels need rapid response. Could there be a way of learning together, doing together.

Tom Greene: Established protocol for rapid requests, e.g. where money should be channelled, very helpful, used for the first time in Japan – happy to share practice. Hard part: interruption by emergency need.

Muhigirwa Ferdinand: Can be enriching to do transnational advocacy while keeping working on the grassroots level. Was called to Washington to share about work in Congo, discussion was sharing with member of State Department but at the same time make them think about American engagement in DC. Since then, CEPAS is invited to meetings for grassroots insights, e.g. Dodd Act. US Embassy in DRC is now talking to CEPAS as partner, who can give insight. So now we are both linked to US State Department and local Embassy, plus the Bishops’ Conference saw importance and sent 3 Congolese bishops to US to do advocacy through CRS. Which did in fact make a difference to the final Act. Allies also bishops.

Julie Edwards: Presentation – three ways we should consider our networks?

Solomon: need to leave up to the group. Keep in mind that there is no one model, depends what analysis of situation is.

Xavier Jeyaraj: Liked the way of prioritising the issues, the methodology that Tom’s Conference follows. If it would be an international issue, would it not be necessary to involve other Conference, move to other level (international) level of thinking?

Tom: yes.

Rafael Moreno: I agree that each network needs to find its own way. We need to work on practical mechanisms on how to raise awareness, how to educate the public.

19 June afternoon

Sharing at the end of the day

  • Progress of different networks
  • Get fresh ideas for our own networks

Right to Education Network (Lucía Rodríguez)

Vision […]

Strategy – outside SJ, within SJ […]

Some possible steps […]


Julie Edwards: This is lifelong education, not just school education

Lucía Rodríguez: Basic education at all life stages, formal and informal education.

Denis Kim: How many members do you envision?

Lucía: The result of the mapping will give us some ideas. As for the budget for our meeting, we are thinking about 15 members.

Pedro Walpole: Quality education in East Asia is about education in their own language.

Lucía: Quality has many elements, e.g. physical access, quality of teachers, language…

Julian Filochowski: Right to basic education of quality for everybody, the word you choose must make it very specific what the “right… for all” is. I think we need to think creatively for another expression.

Lucía: Right to basic education, formal and informal, for all. Not whatever education, but quality education. Guaranteed to all, not just to those studying in our institutions.

Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (DM Solomon)

Vision […]


We emphasised the universal dimension of our vocation, universal response to GC35. We have to move from local to universal. Many sparks – one fire. Ranchi meeting sowed seed for network; brought experiences from the field, felt that network could be formed, particular structure: two people from each Conference part of Core Group, one leader and one assistant to animate network. Met people from CPAL last year in Bilbao (had not been present in Ranchi). Core Group for South Asia Conference to assist implementation of network in South Asia. Mapping of conflicts around extractive industries.

Focus in coming months

  • Mapping and contacting organisations to establish network, first internal, then external
  • Mapping of conflicts
  • Pooling the knowledge of sustainable practices [depends on Core Group]

New members of Core Group: CPAL, Alboan (Europe), still outstanding: USA

Strengths and weaknesses […]

Not an either/or approach but move forward from local to regional to international

Collaboration with other sectors


Julian: Suggestion for people from north America: ask Canadian provinces.

Walter Fernandes: Among the negative points, you mentioned absence of Jesuits. Maybe we should not look where they go but what’s the value system, e.g. more and more are coming with middle class value system, they are comfortable with consumerism. Localisation is important but needs link with global.

Ecology network (José Ignacio García)


Identified dynamics already at work and others that are not yet at work. Trying to encourage those. Discussed relationship with GNMR, some members asked to become one network, makes more sense. We found good arguments to work together – we will meet with them in the next few days. In the future, there will probably be strong collaboration, try to be supportive.

Communication: since November 2010, newsletter has become way of connecting people, Jesuit-related activities. Most important is the newsletter in English and Spanish. At the moment, produced in Brussels and Manila. Collaborators will also shortly come from Latin America, waiting for Africa and South Asia. Promoting vision, sharing experiences, education.

Work out how to make concrete the idea of promoting reflection, e.g. position papers on Climate and Justice, Sustainable Development (alternative ways), more concrete.

We are now in the moment in the process of talking about topics and then find the advocacy connection. Look for alliances that are already doing advocacy, collaborate with them. Ongoing discussion.


Xavier Jeyaraj: Combine with GNMR, then you said you wanted to build alliances with others? Both dynamics are going on?

José Ignacio: Dynamic of relationship with GNMR; dynamic of strategy/activity in relation to newsletter. Envisioning a team in each Conference, takes time to find people who can commit themselves etc.

Walter Fernandes: Collaboration was discussed in GNMR group. We have to find a common ground for collaboration since Ecology is much wider than GNMR. We need to look beyond the newsletter.

José Ignacio: Those are two different dynamics.

Denis Kim: Munich institute is already working on Climate and Justice?

José Ignacio/Pedro Walpole: They are much more interested in the academic side of things but not in doing advocacy. Collaboration for advocacy could go through Misereor.

Migration Network (Rafael Moreno, presenter: Luis Muñoz)

We don’t start from scratch, there is JMS, JRS, we have met in Quito for Jesuit pre-forum on migration. We have built on what we discussed in that meeting. Some of our Core Group will be changing in the future, so that introduces an element of fragility. Different dynamism of human mobility in each of our Conferences, and different levels of attention that Society pays to migration in different conferences. Our focus is on migration and internal displacement (important in South Asia), human mobility. Our relationship with JRS which is also an international network doing advocacy.


Intersectorial network that specialises in…


We would like to become a transnational alliance, moving towards global coalition. Established criteria for membership of networks: specialised institutions with clear criteria or programs in migration. Should be committed to Ignatian way of doing advocacy. Institution needs to adjust to flexible priorities that the network may be deciding. Depending on the Conference, these may be different. We should try to look for global common aspects. To accept to communicate with certain flexibility. Participate in activities proposed by the network.

Peace and Human Rights network (Leonard Chiti)

Got to know each other better, didn’t go into the business of deciding on network until today. Challenge to work out what our network could look like and could do. All of us are doing good things, but very little overlap. Lot of discernment needed to find common issue. To try to create network of people around the world because of diversity. Human rights is a very complex issue, compromising our ability to make a decision. Will the network put new demands on what we do, nervousness about extra work. Why are some networks that are very good at Human Rights, e.g. JRS, are not present here.

Moved on to brainstorming on what we could do together as a network. Discovered a number of networking activities are already happening, e.g. CEPAS & Washington & OCIPE – related that with transnational alliance network. Possibility of identifying common issues by talking to social centres. We are already doing some preliminary mapping by sharing about our activities in our Conferences, concrete examples.

Tried to narrow down field to activities that are already taking place: e.g. right to food, right to housing, right to peaceful living in India. In Boston, right of refugees. Congo: civil and political rights; JCTR: Economic, social and political rights into Bill of Rights (Constitution).

We didn’t say much about peace dimension of our work, although CINEP works in this field. We tried to think about other social centres that were working peace – e.g. centres in Northern Ireland, Nairobi, Zaragoza. Important to do mapping and bring these centres into the network. Not moved into concrete activities.


Solomon: Government guarantees human rights through political institutions – if there are violations, should we not also take up these issues into these networks?

Leonard Chiti: Maybe create an arrangement of alerts for wider network, could be picked up in Washington or New York.

MK George: What we talked about was the specific issue in Kandhamal, with EU successful advocacy.

Ferdinand: GNMR is clearly linked to human rights abuses & lack of peace. Same in all of sub-Saharan Africa. Way of linking the two networks?

Leonard: this is a problem also in Peru, India, Colombia.

David Hollenbach: Same with migration. Part of our group’s difficulty is to find a distinctive approach that is not overlapping with other groups. We need to continue reflecting about that.



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