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The Christian International NGO: Direction, Value and Impact in 2025

EU-CORD Special Event 28-29 May 2013

Contents Introduction


Some Key Reflections


The Development World: From Now to 2025


Christianity and Development: A Changing Dynamic?


Role for International NGOs


Christian NGOs: Making a Difference


Panel Discussion: Our Development Future and the Future for NGOs


Way Forward for EU-CORD


List of Speakers and Panellists Mr Huib Huyse, Head of Research Group on Sustainable Development, HIVA/KU Leuven Ms Helen Stawski, Deputy Secretary for International Development, Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury Mr Henk Jochemsen, Director, Prisma Mr Claus Sørensen, Director General, DG ECHO, European Commission Ms Dicky Nieuwenhuis, Executive Board Member, Woord en Daad Mr Olivier Consolo, Director, CONCORD Europe Ms Kornelia Kinga Kiss, Policy Officer, DG DevCo, European Commission The event was moderated by Randall Zindler, Consultant in leadership and governance

Who We Are EU-CORD is a network of European Christian non-governmental organisations from 12 European countries engaged in relief and development activities. Founded in 1997, the network has a Secretariat based in Brussels.

Our Vision A world without poverty, where people are no longer excluded and all have a voice in shaping the future.

Our Goal Through mutual cooperation to make a significant and recognisable contribution towards the eradication of poverty and social exclusion, and to enable the voice of people living in poverty to be heard.


Introduction European development NGOs are working in an increasingly complex and complicated environment. New development actors are leaving civil society organisations in a position of having to fight for recognition; the general public and supporter base in Europe can be increasingly cynical and critical of the way in which NGOs work; donors are continuing to call for evidence of results, greater impact, value for money, transparency and accountability; climate change and other factors are leading to an increase in the number of disasters worldwide; the face of poverty is changing as countries graduate to middle-income status whilst large sections of their populations remain poor. In a quickly changing environment, what does the future hold for development? How can European Christian NGOs navigate such an environment? What is our distinctiveness and how can we show it? EU-CORD’s Members and EU-CORD itself were born during a different era in international development discourse and practice. Much has changed in the world in the sixteen years since EU-CORD was formed. The changes of the last sixteen years, and the changes that we will see in the next sixteen, provide both opportunities and challenges to organisations working in relief and development. It is clear that we will not be able to continue working in the same way. The EU-CORD special event “The Christian International NGO: Direction, Value and Impact in 2025” (28-29 May 2013, Brussels), which brought together leaders of EU-CORD, had these questions and reflections at its heart. It gave EU-CORD Members a chance to look at the implications of such developments for their own organisations and for the network. The conference was born out of recognition of different trends, a desire to move towards more intentional collaboration within the network, rethinking of advocacy and reflections around the nature of faith-based organisations. The focus of the conference allowed participants to look at how the above trends affect us and how they will affect our interactions with others in Europe and in our partner countries. Speakers were asked to be deliberately challenging in order to help move these discussions forward. The event is not the end of these discussions. Although no clear outcomes were foreseen from the beginning, thoughts and reflections taken from the conference will feed into the work of Members and of EU-CORD. Through reflections on the future of the development world, we spent time focusing on projection and how to respond with hope. Faith, hope, projection and planning are interlinked ideas, based on the future and things that we cannot see. As it is written in Hebrews 11:1, “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. We have confidence that we can play a small part in alleviating poverty and achieving social justice. We have assurance that the part we play can continue to be relevant, effective and in solidarity with those living in poverty and affected by disasters. But we know that the way we play this part will have to change, much as the world is changing and the development paradigm also needs to change. How can we adapt to a new and ever-changing world order, anticipate trends and help to change that world order while remaining true to our values, our vision and our mission? Looking to the future, projecting and planning are important but we must do this with faith and hope. This document provides an overview of the ideas and discussions during the conference, and is designed both for participants at the conference and for external readers who are interested in the content and discussions.

Leif Zetterlund, EU-CORD Chair Ruth Faber, EU-CORD Director Stephanie Beecroft, EU-CORD Advocacy Officer


Some Key Reflections What We Have Learned The direction, value and impact of Christian international NGOs in 2025 will depend on… 

Reclaiming and shaping a holistic vision of development which includes faith and spiritual wellbeing as an integral part of the development narrative.

Working in partnership to build global citizenship and local society for a just and sustainable world for all.

Recognising that a sustainable world requires a radical rethink of the norms of lifestyle and consumption.

Equipping and promoting the role of local and international faith groups and organisations.

Putting values back at the heart of what we do and pushing for dialogue with other stakeholders on the question of values.

Talking about faith with partners to reach more holistic partnerships and overcoming viewpoints where faith is used as a barrier to change rather than a driver.

EU-CORD will continue to reflect on the questions and challenges posed by the event as they relate to the themes of: relevance, advocacy, networking, partnership and values.

Panellists for the discussion: ‘Our Development Future and the Future of NGOs’

Conference participants

Audience participation


The Development World From Now to 2025 Where will the development world be in the year 2025? So much can change in a little more than a decade, as highlighted by Huib Huyse, Head of Research Group on Sustainable Development at HIVA/KU Leuven. It is imperative to continually reflect on how we can adapt and respond to the changing world. There are many possibilities for what the world will look like in 2025. The HIVA Research Chair produced research finalised in 2012 on scenarios for the development world in 2020, with three different imagined hypothetical scenarios, known as Cold Green, Lonely Neighbours and Paradigm Shift. The main ideas of these scenarios are as follows: environmental sustainability but significant social problems; regional blocs and a lack of global responses to global issues; a shift in paradigm and diversity of actors experimenting with alternatives. In all three of these scenarios, existing practices in development cooperation would be fundamentally challenged as traditional North-South relations are changed. There are many different drivers of change that will influence the direction of the development world in the future. Unforeseen events could also have a dramatic impact on the future. The way the world looks in 2025 will depend to a large extent on which drivers of change are paramount. Unexpected or unprecedented events will affect the direction of political will to force certain drivers of change into the limelight. We can see the basis for these drivers of change already. We cannot, however, predict the events that will be sufficiently alarming for public opinion to create a demand for change and alter the course of history. Huin Huyse, HIVA/KU Leuven Research Chair

By 2025 will we see a change of the dominant development paradigm? Until today, the basic global economic power structure has stayed the What does the future development world mean for the EU? same throughout the history of development Discussions at the event turned towards the EU and the cooperation. Development aid has been implications of the future development world for this disbursed without genuine critical consideration of the basic power structures in political and economic body which is also a significant donor for development cooperation and humanitarian the world and their impact on development aid. Various speakers expressed views on this subject. A potential. As presented by Henk Jochemsen, proliferation of new donors and new development actors Director of Prisma, within these power structures, economic growth has primacy. The raises some important questions for the EU. Some of these donors, for example China, work from very different dominant role of the market and development and cooperation models and there is anthropocentrism at the expense of the evidence to suggest that governments in various nations environment are other features of these power structures. In the current development are finding themselves attracted to models offered by these alternative donors. It is important for traditional world, economic growth is seen as a development donors like the EU to listen to partner prerequisite for social justice, when in fact justice should have primacy over growth. Life governments, but also local civil society, in a genuine fashion. The means available to the EU in its international should be organised around the core values cooperation are decreasing. It is possible that the EU will of social justice and environmental have a relatively smaller role in development cooperation stewardship. Growth would no longer be the be all and end all that it is today. Do we have in the future. However, working towards sustainable development through all policies can have a greater the conviction and the confidence to stand effect on the development world than larger aid budgets. up for this and the world we want? The EU will need to work on its smart power in a global context if it is to have an impact in the world. This should put international solidarity at its core, focusing on longterm and value-based partnerships with responsibility at their heart. Rights and development should go hand in hand, and here the EU has an added value and can engage in this around the world. The EU needs to be a political actor that creates an environment for sustainable development and respect for fundamental rights through Conference participants the whole spectrum of its policies. 5

Christianity and Development A Changing Dynamic? The current dynamic within the development cooperation sector shows a disconnect between the local church and the mainstream development sector. Such were the opening remarks from Helen Stawski, Deputy Secretary for International Development at the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In spite of this, many of the values inherent in development cooperation are Christian values. The mainstream approach to development however, is slow to recognise the sector’s Christian roots. And yet, this mainstream approach is far from value-free. Henk Jochemsen, General Director of Prisma, highlighted that all organisations involved in development cooperation bring their own faith or worldview into their work. Nevertheless, secular organisations may not recognise or acknowledge this. In the quest for acceptance and professionalism Christian NGOs have moved too close to the mainstream and have become unwitting disciples of Helen Stawski, Office of the Archbisthe modern approach and paradigm. There has been a separation of hop of Cantebury mission and development and the Christian community has largely lost its unique approach of marrying spiritual, physical and material development and wellbeing. Some Christian organisations however, are starting to bring these elements back together. It was noted that Christian NGOs had separated the practice of mission and development in order to avoid accusations of proselytism, and to be recognised as professional development actors by institutional donors and other organisations. It will be important, therefore, to monitor the impact of bringing mission and development together again. Religion itself can also be viewed with suspicion. We need to be acknowledge that religion can have a negative impact and that a country's history and experience will inform its perceptions and practice. Faith-based organisations are sometimes viewed with suspicion because of an impression of preaching to others without putting their own house in order. In fact, positive change occurs when churches and faithbased organisations accept that the world’s problems do not only stem from outside. The Church operates from a position of brokenness and from that position it can work better for change. The Church should not present itself as the solution to all problems. In reality, according to a Christian way of thinking, the idea of permanently and completely solving the problems of poverty and inequality is an illusion. Evil and disorder in the world cannot be overcome by development cooperation, aid and technology. Poverty has many facets and goes beyond lack of money. Even the eradication of absolute income poverty in the world would not mean that each person would enjoy holistic and sustainable development. However, this should not discourage development actors from doing their utmost to achieve sustainable development and social justice. For Christian organisations, involvement in development cooperation allows development actors to demonstrate signs and indications of the Kingdom of God through our work. Despite the avoidance of the question of faith by many development cooperation actors, faith is in fact at the heart of development. Meaning, and the quest for meaning, can be as important to people as food. Spiritual Henk Jochemsen, Prisma aspects should be addressed alongside material aspects of poverty. Nevertheless, it is important to consider faith within culture and not in isolation. Faith is not the defining identity of any one person. Within the context of development, faith should be considered. It should not be set apart, but rooted within the culture of the society. This is not happening enough. Faith has not been taken enough into account in theories of change. Just as faith should not be removed from culture, so people of faith and faith-based organisations should not be apologetic about thinking beyond or differently to the secular view of development. But nor should people or organisations always have to highlight their faith background. Most faith-based organisations are also very professional organisations that carry out well-respected work in the fields of relief and development cooperation, and this should be highlighted.


Role for International NGOs Now is a time of flux for European development NGOs, as stronger civil society in the South and an increased involvement of other actors in development bring into question the role and added value of European NGOs. More generally, space for civil society seems to be shrinking and this is a trend we are seeing in many areas of the world. It will be important for international NGOs and civil society actors to try to counter this tendency. The scenarios for the development world in 2020 presented by Huib Huyse suggest a civil society that is paralysed and split. How can international NGOs empower citizens so that the dignity of the individual can be valued and rights upheld? Throughout the conference, the role of international NGOs was evoked by various speakers. Dicky Nieuwenhuis put forward the possibility that the role of international NGOs will be smaller in 2025 and presented this as something we should embrace, rather than try to fight against. If European NGOs became smaller, it would put us on a more equal footing with partner organisations and would make us more responsive and targeted. Civil society and institutional donors working in development cooperation need to think more deeply about how to partner effectively and respectfully with organisations in the South, including sharing power more equally and communicating around shared challenges. Involvement by NGOs in service delivery was recognised by speakers as important for advocacy, as it helps to give NGOs the legitimacy to call for change. However, this does not mean for the future that international NGOs should continue to be involved in direct service delivery, which should be controlled and implemented by Southern organisations. It was, however, suggested that partner organisations in the South should not be expected to take the lead in all aspects of partnership. It is important for European NGOs and their partners to discuss the issue of leadership together. Practical leadership could vary depending on the project or issue and the expertise of the different partners involved. The involvement of international NGOs in development cooperation should support the process of development, helping people to establish and aim for their society’s own definition of wellbeing. NGOs can play a role in empowering citizens, providing training and supporting them to achieve this. NGOs should thus play a brokering role, linking people to other structures that could be a resource for them in their own quest for wellbeing. A brokering role for international NGOs could also involve bringing in and connecting various different actors, including perhaps a socially responsible private sector. However, it is important to mention that involvement of the European private sector in development cooperation activities is not universally welcomed and should certainly not be seen as a panacea. International NGOs can also broker relationships that link the local level to the global and link people horizontally at local level, for example through fostering South-South cooperation. International NGOs in development cooperation may become smaller over the next decade or so, but should not disappear entirely. There is a clear need for reinvention, however. Professionalisation of international NGOs was necessary, but this has gone too far and disconnects NGOs from their local societies and supporters. There is a need for international NGOs to find a new sense of relevance in their own societies and to return to their roots if they are to remain important in global solidarity efforts. Moving away from the jargon used in the effort to appear professional and attract funding from government donors would be a step towards this. Even the word development is easily misunderstood by the general public. Solidarity has more resonance and is also at the heart of Christian and NGO values. The challenge will be to encourage institutions to conform to our values and language, rather than the other way around. Greater self-confidence and better story-telling will be important in the attempt to achieve this. Re-engagement of international NGOs with their own local society is also crucial for critically challenging the global impact of unsustainable lifestyles in the North. Citizens in regions such as Europe cannot continue living and consuming outside the planet’s boundaries and in a way that risks infringing the rights of citizens of other countries. European NGOs need to realise that the roots of poverty and inequality worldwide are tied to their own societies. International NGOs are well placed to increase their role in supporting citizens of their local societies to better comprehend the impact of their actions on the poorest and most vulnerable countries and populations around the world, and to hold governments, companies and other actors to account for their actions through advocacy and awareness-raising.

Conference participants


Christian NGOs Making a Difference There are many ways in which Christian NGOs can make a difference in development cooperation and in interactions with various stakeholders. Six main ideas were identified during the event. Build global citizenship and local society: Christian NGOs should help to build a global citizenship where we realise that we are part of a common destiny and future. This will involve working more and better with supporters and constituents in Europe, as well as building strong connections between civil society worldwide. Christian NGOs need to focus on connecting the local and global, challenging the notion of charity and promoting social justice. Our understanding of the world is not full unless others share in what we have and we take responsibility for our actions in our local societies and on a global scale. European Christian NGOs are well placed to promote involvement in global development and international solidarity as a part of a lifestyle choice and to offer opportunities for involvement. It will be crucial to engage supporters and citizens in alternative ways and encourage activism. Sharing the complexities and dilemmas in development cooperation work will be important steps towards this. Focus on people, empowerment and responsibility: Development cooperation should focus on the positive possibilities of people, not on finding solutions to problems identified by donors and other external actors. A focus on people and their potential should be central to the approach of Christian development NGOs. This involves considering both rights and responsibilities. Are the people we work with, both in the North and the South, ready to take up their responsibility as a creation of God? Do governments take up their responsibilities for marginalised people within their populations? Christian NGOs should focus on supporting populations and governments to take up their responsibilities, based on human dignity and empowerment. Put forward a holistic vision of development: It is crucial that Christian NGOs push for and engage in discussions around the meaning and nature of development. We must demonstrate that the current paradigm and economic structures do not work. This will involve moving away from practices that perpetuate them and taking a leading role in dialogues on development beyond growth. An understanding of and focus on the structural causes of poverty and injustice are required for this, as well as advocacy for dramatic change. For this to happen, it is critical for Christian NGOs and faith leaders to understand the overriding development agenda and debates around alternatives. This implies promoting mutual faith and development literacy for faith leaders, development actors, constituents and faith communities. Promote the work of faith groups and organisations on the ground: There is a role for Christian NGOs in investigating and promoting the added value of faith-based organisations. Local faith-based organisations are often doing interesting work but without a connection to national governments, local authorities or other local organisations. European Christian NGOs should be involved in linking local organisations with other development actors in the local area and supporting better communication of the positive work of such organisations. Faith groups often have access to areas where even other civil society organisations cannot work. Christian NGOs can liaise with these faith groups easily and work on building their capacity and effectiveness as well as supporting their involvement in policy and practice discussions in-country. Talk about faith and overcome the barriers it presents: It is important for European Christian NGOs to talk about faith with partners and to bring partners into a genuine dialogue on the subject. Faith-based organisations should not be afraid to talk about faith to reach more holistic relationships and mutual understanding in partnerships. In today’s dominant development agenda, faith is sometimes seen as a barrier to change as it can encourage ideas of fatalism and dependency in communities. Christian NGOs can work to overcome these barriers where they exist, using theology to encourage a different view, for example by incorporating questions of environmental stewardship when working in areas affected by natural disasters and climate change. Return to values: Christian organisations were among the first to promote a more positive image of those living in poverty. It is important to return to this positive image and communicate it. Christian NGOs need to come back to our roots, value and mission of working with the poor and most excluded in solidarity for holistic wellbeing and justice that help us to see an alternative for the current development paradigm. 8

Panel Discussion Our Development Future and the Future for NGOs The event included a panel discussion between representatives from the European Commission and civil society organisations, focusing on the development future and our future as NGOs. The debate drew on some of the themes which had already been discussed during the key note addresses and allowed a significant amount of time for interaction between the conference participants and the panellists. Mr Olivier Consolo, Director, CONCORD Europe The development world is a complex one, and few actors can truly handle the complexity. We need to feel more comfortable moving between sectors and break out of the silos separating them. The fact that politics seems to be returning to the centre of the EU’s international relations may go some way towards achieving this by providing many different tools for relations with countries outside of the EU. But it is crucial that long-term development is prioritised, and that other tools are coherent with development objectives. For NGOs, the complexity and changes in the world make it imperative to reinvent ourselves, return to our roots and put values back at the core of what we do. Panellists deep in discussion

Ms Kornelia Kinga Kiss, Policy Officer, DG DevCo, European Commission Continuing with the theme of complexity in the world, fragile states are certainly complex environments to consider. By 2015, half of the world’s poor will live in fragile states. Global poverty is increasingly concentrated in fragile states, as are most global conflicts. While certain of these countries acknowledge that they are fragile, others do not, creating very different dynamics in relations with these countries. If the problems faced by fragile states are to be adequately addressed within the development agenda, it is critical for peace and security to be included in the post-2015 development framework.

rethink partnership and make it clear to partners that we share some of the same challenges if we are to remain relevant. Mr Claus Sørensen, Director General, DG ECHO, European Commission Responding to the provocation, there is still a role for the EU and NGOs. For DG ECHO, NGOs are the natural way of working. However, it is true that while disasters and conflicts are increasing, the EU’s means to respond are getting smaller. As the EU’s financial weight diminishes, it will be important to be in dialogue with new donors. But as a humanitarian donor, DG ECHO must stay out of politics and can only work in impartiality and neutrality. Returning to the theme of values, the humanitarian principles are very rooted in Christian values. There is not a contradiction between a value-based or faithbased approach and professionalism. All organisations carry the baggage of their civilisation, but it is important for humanitarian actors to remain as neutral as possible.

Relief, Rehabilitation and Development: effective linking by 2025? The panel discussion brought up this question. For a network such as EU-CORD, which brings together both relief and development agencies, this is naturally an important subject. EU-CORD has to juggle the dynamics of the two sectors, which can sometimes be dramatically different. Conversations about resilience seem to be bringing relief and development closer together, but the two will need to go evermore hand in hand in the future. This is one of the main challenges ahead. Relief and development actors operate within the same geography and, according to Claus Sørensen, Ms Dicky Nieuwenhuis, Executive Board Member, should do more to share common risk and Woord en Daad vulnerability analyses. Kornelia Kinga Kiss argued From a provocative stance, stronger civil society in that relief-focused NGOs should consider how to the South means that the role of European NGOs will become development actors, even in the context change fundamentally. With new actors appearing, of immediate response, ensuring that aspects of we will need to embrace a smaller role. In this capacity-building and state-building are prioritised scenario, it is likely that the EU would still be a donor, with the relief efforts. Knowledge and expertise but would have a much smaller role. Cuts in the EU’s should be transferred to local populations to budget will make policy influencing and the need empower them to respond better in the future. for policies to be coherent with development More prevention and preparedness will be objectives all the more important. In reality, necessary as disasters and conflict situations however, the world will not be poverty-free in ten proliferate, and this will require those involved in years’ time, so we can argue that there is still a role relief, rehabilitation and development work to think for European NGOs. It is nevertheless important to and do differently. 9

Way Forward for EU-CORD Many of the possible scenarios for the development world and development cooperation have implications for development NGOs, whether Christian or not. As the world changes rapidly, so will the way in which organisations work. The onus is on each individual organisation to reflect on whether, and how, they respond to the changing environment in order to meet their particular vision and mandate. However, there is a clear role for network organisations like EU-CORD in supporting change. As we stand in solidarity with each other as a network, how can these transitions be supported? Membership of the network is not about forcing an organisation to change, but rather providing a space which enables Members to look beyond the day-to-day work, to anticipate trends and together reflect on what they might mean. During the second part of the event, conference participants focused on the implications and way forward for EU-CORD. Together, EU-CORD Members identified five key themes from the conference for EU-CORD to reflect and focus on. These topics will be taken forward and discussed within the context of the network and its work. Relevance Relevance is a dynamic concept. What is relevant today may not be relevant tomorrow. In order to remain relevant we will need to keep informed and in step with society, while staying true to our identity. The relevance of an organisation is apparent in and depends upon its mission, vision, relationships and targets. To remain relevant, organisations need to add value for their stakeholders and those they work and interact with. This includes partner organisations, those living in poverty and social exclusion, and supporters, amongst others. Different dynamics are required in the interaction with each stakeholder but organisations need to remain relevant to all. The same is true of EU-CORD. The network needs to continue to serve the purpose of its members if it is to be relevant. However, it is important to find and pursue a common relevance; what is relevant for one organisation will not be relevant for all. EU-CORD’s relevance does not only focus on Members, however. Stronger relations with Southern networks, bringing in and communicating more opinions from the South, and achieving a more coherent, unique voice would support EU-CORD in maintaining relevance with external stakeholders. The relevance of EU-CORD as a network is linked to a strong, clear identity as a collective. EU-CORD needs to be open to innovation, flexible and adaptable. There is a role for EU-CORD in scenario mapping, reflecting on the future and identifying trends. Work around this would be both a way for EU-CORD to remain relevant to Members and a way to help Members to have continued relevance in their work, their partnerships and their society. It should be the role of EU-CORD as a collective to challenge the status quo of individual organisations. Advocacy Advocacy was identified as an area where EU-CORD should focus more. The work of EU-CORD and its Members can only be truly effective when it aims to change behaviour, attitudes, actions and policies. We need to be more self-confident in the voice and experiences that we can share. We can help bring the voice of those in poverty to the corridors of power, to which we have greater access. It is imperative that we listen well to the voice of those we speak for, and encourage them to use their own voice. We need to ensure that the voice of the poor and socially excluded is being heard. There is a role for EU-CORD in helping Members to achieve that. EU-CORD should also concentrate on speaking out about the priorities of the poor, rather than simply responding to the agenda set by others. Can we be prophetic in our advocacy? To do this we also need to be more present and visible in debates about international development and its meaning and nature. Can we question the paradigm that dominates in development, economics and politics? Should we advocate for a different meaning of development? Networking Networks must help build relationships, appreciating the strengths and expertise of different organisations and bringing them together to make them stronger than the sum of their parts. This idea is important for EUCORD. EU-CORD can facilitate the building of consortia and the coming together of different members Copyright 2012 European Union


Way Forward for EU-CORD around a common goal. Acting as a catalyst for further networking could be part of the role of EU-CORD, including by encouraging more networking of EU-CORD Members in the field. The role of broker could be important for EU-CORD, taking responsibility for brokering regional networks and linking up networks in the South. Although networking and linking up with other organisations are of utmost importance, the increasing proliferation of networks can make it difficult for organisations to work effectively and in a concentrated way. As an established network, EU-CORD could have a role in encouraging closer working with other networks, more collective efforts and connections with other organisations. Sharing and learning, and facilitation of this, should remain central to the work of EU-CORD, ensuring that there is a practical purpose to the relationships within the network. EU-CORD should also be dynamic and avoid becoming too institutional, continuing to rely on the efforts of members to drive the work forward. Partnership Partnership comes as a result of effective and purposeful networking. Within the EU-CORD network, the common ground that members have in Christ and the trust that this brings helps to build good partnerships among and between members for effective working and support. Partnerships can certainly bring challenges as independent organisations try to adjust and align with one another. It is imperative that the word power does not feature in partnership. Organisations must respect each other’s positions and opportunities, and make each other stronger through the relationship. Partnership also involves looking outside the network. Partnership outside EU-CORD could mean interacting with many different organisations, with other actors in Europe or with organisations in the South. Different types of partnership can be envisaged, both for EU-CORD Members and for direct partnership of EU-CORD with other organisations and networks. Could we use the critical mass of EU-CORD to connect to nontraditional development actors such as trade unions and universities? EU-CORD as a collective should play a role in identifying opportunities for collaboration and partnership both within and outside the network. There is also a need and a potential within the EU-CORD network for learning focused on different types of partnership and how to ensure these are effective, fruitful and meaningful. Considering partnerships where money does not feature, and the unique characteristics of this, will also be important. Values The theme of values was identified as an overarching idea, set slightly apart from the other issues. Values should be apparent in everything we do. The common ground is values, and common values among EUCORD Members should lead to a common attitude in our work. We need to be conscious of our values at all times, communicate them to stakeholders and live them unashamedly. The challenge is to include values in a professional way of working and a way that respects the people we are working with. This can be accomplished by taking pride in craftsmanship as one of our core values. This combines a value basis with professionalism. For EU-CORD, it will be important to look more closely into the values that Members share and how communication around these values does and can take place.

Group discussions

Randall Zindler, Moderator

Listening to Henk Jochemsen

Group feedback


Ruth Faber Director +32 (0)2 234 38 77 Stephanie Beecroft Advocacy Officer +32 (0)2 234 38 74 Published in August 2013 by EU-CORD, Rue Joseph II, 166, 1000 Brussels, Belgium Editor: Stephanie Beecroft 12

EU-CORD special event report  
EU-CORD special event report  

Conference on 'The Christian International NGO: Direction, Value and Impact in 2025