New York Times: “Lobbying for the Greater Good”

Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google)

sam headshotNew York Times columnist David Bornstein wrote a profile this Wednesday on Microcredit Summit Campaign co-founder Sam Daley-Harris and two other organizations he has founded or coached. Sam is currently heading up the Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation, which he founded in 2012.

Read the article to learn more about how he has worked to create the political will through citizen lobbying to end poverty. And please share it with your network.

An excerpt from “Lobbying for the Greater Good” by David Bornstein:

Earlier this month, scientists reported that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had reached 400 parts per million. It’s an alarming milestone, to be sure, but, alas, there is no shortage of dire warnings about global warming. What is lacking is the political will to address the problem. The big question is, what useful steps can citizens take to build that will?

If you pose that question to the leading climate scientist James E. Hansen, he’ll tell you to connect with the Citizens Climate Lobby (C.C.L.). “They have the potential to be extremely effective,” he said. “That’s why I  [leading climate scientist James E. Hansen] recommend them in my speeches. They’re doubling in size each year. And they’re pursuing the right policy.”

To understand C.C.L., it’s necessary to understand Results, which remains one of the best-kept secrets in development. Since the 1980s, Results has played a unique role in helping to direct billions of dollars of government funding toward child survival, microfinance, education and health. It has done it with an army of volunteers and almost no fanfare. “Results has such a lean and efficient model that nobody knows about them,” explained Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank. “They’re incredibly dedicated and very knowledgeable about the issues. It’s remarkable how much they’ve done and how few people have any idea about it.”

He saw two big problems to overcome:

First, citizens didn’t believe they could directly influence public opinion or policies. It never occurred to most people that they could initiate a meeting with a member of Congress or a newspaper’s editorial board and shape the outcome.

Second, citizens needed a structure to be effective. Results developed a platform to embolden volunteers, providing them with information, coaching, role-playing, action plans and practical feedback. “It’s not about staff in Washington or celebrities,” explained Joanne Carter, the group’s executive director. “It’s about individuals in their communities who are supported and have educated themselves to a point where they can be triggers to make policy happen.”

Read more here.

David Bornstein is the author of “How to Change the World,” which has been published in 20 languages, and “The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank,” and is co-author of “Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know.” He is a co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, which supports rigorous reporting about responses to social problems.

One thought on “New York Times: “Lobbying for the Greater Good”

  1. As a member of RESULTS Australia since we commenced in 1986, I remain inspired by the people I’ve met and the results of which we’ve been a part.

    I was privileged to have heard Jim Grant of UNICEF speak in Washington just before the 1990 World Summit for Children in New York.

    He was a passionate man – about the future of our planet and its children. It was a passion shared by Sam Daley-Harris, Professor Yunus formerly of the Grameen Bank, Jim Wolfensohn formerly head of the World Bank and many other volunteers here in Australia and elsewhere.

    The UN Development Programme recently reported the main poverty eradication target of the Millennium Development Goals has been achieved, ahead of time before the target date of 2015. It was very good news that the proportion of people living on less than US$1.25 a day plunged from 43 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 2008.

    However, 1.3 billion people continue existing on US$1.25 each day. That’s about one-third of what we willingly pay for just one cup of coffee.

    In this “silent emergency”, much more remains for our passion to share our wealth and achieve results.

Comments are closed.