From the bottom to the top

Civic Action22 Jun 2009Frans Bieckmann

Having visited the morning sessions of a series of workshops about Civic Driven Change (CDC) in The Hague – see for a first impression Thea Hilhorsts blog – I am now on my way to Brussels, to visit the High Level Policy Forum about After 2015 that takes place on Tuesday 23 June. My train ride takes some hours, which I really need to make the symbolic transition. From a thinking experiment (CDC) that is characterized by its bottom up approach, by emphasizing local civic action to achieve change by the poor and other citizens themselves, by its broad and integrated starting point in the real political, economic and social processes in society. Towards a topic (the MDGs) that is essentially a manifestation of service oriented, sectoralized, top down aid provided by donors for the poor.

The Broker has played and is playing its role in both debates. In the coming weeks a summary of the CDC debates will be online at the website. We have written about it last year in a Special Report titled Deep Democracy and a corresponding debate with many interesting comments.

And currently we are hosting a debate online and have some guest bloggers expressing their views about where to go (with or without the MDGs) after 2015. It is much too early to summarize the After 2015 debate, but I can detect already a tendency towards a more integrated and bottom up approach: either within the MDG paradigm, or as an alternative to it. This is where the two thinking initiatives – CDC and After 2015 – might meet, or maybe first at least touch and weigh the other perspectives.