Transnational NGOs coalitions face unique challenges in designing decision making processes that reflect NGO norms and values. Based on my participant observation research, I analyze the decision making process of a transnational women's peace coalition that formed during the NGO Forum on Women 1995, a conference parallel to the Fourth UN World Conference on Women (FWCW) in Beijing, China in 1995. The coalition attempted to include all of their constituents in setting the agenda for the coalition but instead ended up marginalizing some of the very participants they hoped to include. To understand this issue, I focused my analysis on the coalition's agenda-setting process. The coalition leadership chose to use consensus, a non-hierarchical decision making process, in order to address unequal relations among coalition participants and to maximize participation. However, the use of consensus heightened rather than transformed power imbalances. I conclude that the consensus process did not facilitate NGO values of inclusion and empowerment.
Snyder, A. (2002), "Critiquing consensus: an analysis of processes designed for non-governmental collaboration", Coy, P. (Ed.) Consensus Decision Making, Northern Ireland and Indigenous Movements (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 31-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-786X(03)80020-4Download as .RIS
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