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Movements%20

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Movements & Organizations Unraveling the relationship Srilatha Batliwala Scholar Associate, Building Feminist Movements and Organizations (BFEMO) Initiative, – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Movements%20


1
Movements Organizations Unraveling the
relationship
Srilatha Batliwala Scholar Associate, Building
Feminist Movements and Organizations (BFEMO)
Initiative, AWID (Association for Womens Rights
in Development)
2
What are organizations?
  • At its simplest, an organization can be defined
    as a group of people joining together
    intentionally and creating a structure to
    accomplish a common set of goals.
  • In business management language, organization is
    defined as A social unit of people,
    systematically structured and managed to meet a
    need or to pursue collective goals on a
    continuing basis. All organizations have a
    structure that determines relationships between
    functions and positions, and . delgates roles,
    responsibilities, and authority to carry out
    defined tasks. Organizations are open systems in
    that they affect and are affected by the
    environment beyond their boundaries.
  • (see http//www.businessdictionary.com/definition
    /organization.html)

3
In the social movement context
  • Organizations have most of the above
    characteristics, but in addition, must be seen as
    sites from which movements are built, supported,
    serviced and governed and sometimes, destroyed!
  • They are also the structures in or through which
    movement leaders, activists, and members are
    organized, trained, capacitated, and protected to
    pursue the transformational work of their
    movement

4
So to sum up, social movement organizations are
  • Structures intentionally created by a group of
    people to accomplish particular social change
    goals
  • Sites from which movements are built, supported,
    serviced and governed they are essential
    infrastructure for movements
  • Spaces in which movement leaders and activists
    are located, trained, capacitated, and protected
    while they perform the transformational work of
    movements

5
Some critical facts about organizations
  • Organizations are NOT rational entities, that are
    invariably logical, equitable and efficient
  • They are microcosms of the social / power
    relations contexts in which they are created
  • Consequently, they reflect and reproduce the
    power relations (inequalities, discrimination,
    hierarchies) of the societies in which they are
    located
  • So gender-biased and socially-unequal societies
    produce inequitable organizations, though these
    imbalances are often hidden, in what is called
    the deep structure (the invisible structure of
    the organization )
  • But organizations are also sites from which power
    relations are challenged, internally an
    externally they are also the only way we know to
    organize our

6
Assumptions about power in feminist
organizations
  • Because were all women, we dont have to worry
    about power in our organization (yes we do)
  • We dont have any hierarchy (because you have a
    hidden / invisible one)
  • We are all equal here (no, were not there are
    always hierarchies of age, ability, experience,
    class, education, sexual orientation, etc. etc.)
  • Formalizing decision-making power and systems is
    patriarchal and bureaucratic (no, its often more
    democratic, accountable and transparent)
  • I dont have to be accountable to you because I
    am accountable to the movement (Which one?
    Where? How?)
  • If you are a feminist organization, you should
    allow me to get away with murder (come to work at
    any time I please, not meet deadlines, spend all
    my time on facebook or twitter, mope instead of
    work because my personal life is a mess, etc.
    etc.)

7
What are Organizational Deep Structures?
  • Invisible / informal decision-making processes
    that influence / lead to formal organizational
    decisions (think of an example)
  • Informal groupings, cliques, that become sites
    of influence or hold/exercise informal power
    (think of an example)
  • How different work and roles are valued and
    measured
  • The hidden vs formal work culture working late
    hours, weekends, etc.
  • Sites of building / damaging peoples
    credibility, reputation, etc. (gossip, smear
    campaigns, etc.)
  • More positively, sites where conflict / tension
    gets mediated or resolved informally

8
Organizational Deep Structures
Work culture / informal norms
Informal power / influence groups
Cultural distance walked from personal/informal
biases to formal organizational norms
Valued work / behaviour
Informal / invisible decision-making processes
Positive influences / personalities
9
Relationship of organizations to movements
  • Organizations are not Movements, but movements
    are built, supported, managed, and sometimes
    destroyed, by organizations
  • Movements contain two types of organizations
  • Formal organizations (legally constituted)
  • Informal organizations not legally constituted,
    but often equally powerful, and can be highly
    sophisticated and organized!

10
  • Formal Organizations
  • Informal Organizations
  • legal entities regulated by laws and financial
    accountability
  • Can be external to movements, or created by them,
    and may be focused on
  • Building movements movement-building
    organizations
  • Serving movements movement-serving
    organizations
  • Not legally constituted - Networks, womens
    collectives, savings/credit / self-help groups,
    etc.,
  • Usually an organizing structure within movements
  • May exist alongside formal structures such as
    federations, unions, etc.
  • Informal doesnt mean simple, disorganized, less
    effective, or inferior to formal organizations!

11
Roles organizations play in movements
  • Services to movement members (education, child
    care, health care, etc.)
  • Strategic Support ideas, political and policy
    analysis, strategic advice, convening spaces
  • Capacity-building leadership development,
    need-based training, organizational development,
    advocacy skills
  • Advocacy

12
Key types of movement-organization relationships
  • Movement created organizations i.e.,
    organizations set up by movements to promote
    visibility, democratic representation, voice, and
    decision-making, manage services, and to
    negotiate movement members interests and
    priorities with other actors
  • Movement-building or supporting organizations,
    which stand in relationship to the movement, may
    even be taking or giving direction to it, but not
    created by it

13
Key types of movement-organization relationships
  1. Organizations joining together to form movements
    - with greater or lesser levels of grassroots /
    constituency base.
  2.  Organizational allies of movements including
    political parties, academic / research groups,
    feminist organizations of various kinds, other
    NGOs, and even UN agencies or donors

14
Movement-Organization Relationship Dynamics
  • Can be of the following types
  • Equilateral / circular / symbiotic (existing for
    each other)
  • Paternalistic / instrumentalist / clientelist
    (using, leveraging, exploiting)
  • Short-term, issue or goal-specific
  • Long-term, agenda-related
  • Can fall anywhere on a continuum of formal to
    informal.
  • Is based on the strength of the glue that binds
    the relationship (loose coalitions, tighter
    networks, tightly bound alliances, etc.)
  • Is often also based on the financial relationship
    between the two!

15
Movements organizations a relational view
(hypothetical)
Service providing NGO (health, micro-credit,
child care, etc.)
Grassroots womens movement
Grassroots womens federation (registered)
grassroots womens informal collectives
movement-building NGO
Intl grassroots womens federation (informal
network)
National womens federation (registered)
16
A real case GROOTS
Formal International network organization
GROOTS International
Movement-building supporting NGOS
COMITE Honduras
SSP India
GROOTS KENYA
MINE Europe
KDVE Turkey
GRASSROOTS WOMENS MOVEMENT
Grassroots Womens Groups
Community Mothers Centers
17
Exercise
  • Pick an organization (it could be your own, or
    one you know well)
  • Map / Analyze the organizations relationships
    to a movement or movements
  • Which category does it fall into in terms of its
    relationship to movement building?
  • How would you advise that organization to
    strengthen its role in movement building?
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