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External evaluation of the Ban Advocates (BAs) Initiative Summary of findings and lessons

Ruth Mayne

C L U S T E R

M U N I T I O N S


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Summary Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 03 Summary of findings

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1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 04 2. Achievement of goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 05 3. Achievement of policy change objectives: the BAs’ contribution 4. Outcomes of the Oslo Process

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5. How change happened: change factors/drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 A tactical alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 Shifting the negotiations to a more favourable forum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 Centring and framing negotiations around a compelling humanitarian principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 Effective strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 Political courage & leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07 External circumstances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07

6. Obstacles to change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08 7. The effectiveness and quality of BAs’ advocacy

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Design of the BA strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Implementation of strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Effects of BA advocacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quality of BA advocacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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8. The BAs’ satisfaction with HIB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 9. Looking ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Prognosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 BAs’ future role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 HIB’s future support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

10.Lessons for involving affected people in civil society campaigns Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson

1 – Rationale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 – Replication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 – Levels of involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 – Payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 – Logistical support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11. Lessons for how change happens Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson Lesson

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1 – Soft power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 – Emotional engagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 – The power of direct experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 – Being positive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 – Civil society relations with governments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 – Copy and adapt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 – Sustain the effort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Glossary Ban Advocates Initiative – a project developed by Handicap International Belgium (HIB) to support and ensure the participation of a group of individuals from around the world affected by cluster munitions in the negotiation, promotion and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The individuals are known as the Ban Advocates. Phase 1 of the Ban Advocates Initiative was implemented between September 2007 and December 2008 with the objective of ensuring and sustaining the participation of the Ban Advocates from affected communities in the negotiations for the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Phase 2 of the Ban Advocates Initiative is currently being implemented. The goal of Phase 2 is to ensure and sustain the participation of Ban Advocates from affected communities in the promotion and follow-up of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (signature, ratification and implementation). Cluster Munitions (CMs) – a cluster munition is a container with lots of tiny bombs, called bomblets (or sub munitions) inside.

organisations from more than 80 countries. It may be merged with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in the future. Oslo Process – this is the name for the process that led to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The process was named after the city, Oslo, where the Norwegian government launched the call for the Convention in February 2007. It is an open and time bound diplomatic process that included States, members of the CMC, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN. The core group of states – this includes the initial government proponents of the Oslo Process - Austria, the Holy See, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and Peru. The Like Minded Group – this is the name given to a group of about twelve countries including Germany, France, UK, Canada and Denmark who joined the Oslo Process but during the negotiations initially sought to water down the Convention.

Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) – the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW or CCWC), concluded at Geneva on October 10, 1980 and entered into force in December 1983, seeks to prohibit or restrict the use of certain conventional weapons which are considered excessively injurious or whose effects are indiscriminate. Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) – the treaty to ban cluster munitions. It prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions and provides groundbreaking provisions to support the victims. The Convention was adopted in Dublin by 107 states on 30th May 2008 and signed on 3rd December the same year. The Convention enters into force six months afer the 30th state has submitted its instrument of ratification. Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) – the international civil society coalition works to protect civilians from the effects of cluster munitions by promoting universal adherence to and full implementation of the CCM. It has a membership of around 300 civil society

About the author – Ruth Mayne is an independent free lance consultant. Her contact details can be obtained from HIB - stephanie.castanie@handicap.be. Thanks to Jim Coe for his insightful comments on the draft report and his assistance with the evaluation methodology, interview questions and analysis.

EXTERNAL EVALUATION BAN ADVOCATES

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Summary of findings 1. Introduction

This independent external evaluation was commissioned by HIB and funded by The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund (the Fund). It comes a few months after the signature in Oslo of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). The CCM emerged from years of efforts by a growing number of NGOs rallied under the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), a ‘core group’ of states, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The report is based on an understanding built up by the evaluator from 23 interviews with external and internal respondents including diplomats, NGOs, media, independent experts and the BAs, and a desk review.

2 This is perhaps because the convention had already been agreed, and they felt there was little to gain by engaging in this review.

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The evaluation covers Phase 1 of the Ban Advocates Initiative from September 2007 to December 2008. Its purpose is to: Provide a conceptualisation of the BAs’ advocacy strategy Assess the effectiveness of the BAs’ advocacy strategy Assess the effects of the BAs on decision and opinion makers Assess the personal satisfaction of the BAs Provide detailed practical recommendations to HIB to help them adapt and adjust the project to the implementation phase of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) Draw out lessons for other campaigns/movements The report is based on an understanding built up by the evaluator from 23 interviews with external and internal respondents including diplomats, NGOs, media, independent experts and the BAs, and a desk review. The report’s findings do not reflect the views of governments critical of the Convention as those we approached did not make themselves available for interview2. Draft findings were presented to the BAs and HIB staff and their comments and feedback taken into account in the final draft. Comments were also solicited from the Fund. A full report, with detailed recommendations, has been submitted to HIB and the BAs. Ban Advocates statement, Oslo Signing Conference, 4 December 2008.

© STÉPHANIE CASTANIÉ

The Ban Advocates (BAs) Initiative is a project supported by Handicap International Belgium (HIB) to promote the involvement of individuals affected by cluster munitions (CMs) in the negotiation, promotion and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).


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© FEDERICO VISI

2. Achievement of goals The findings from the evaluation suggest that the two main goals of Phase 1 of the Ban Advocates Initiative have been largely achieved, which were to: Support international efforts to rid the world of cluster munitions, and Raise awareness in the negotiations (known as the Oslo Process) for an international ban on cluster munitions (CMs) of the human impact of cluster munitions

Soraj Ghulam Habib, Ban Advocate, congratulates the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Oslo, 3 December 2008.

3. Achievement of policy change objectives: the BAs’ contribution

However, as one BA noted, ‘the process is not finished: it is just beginning. Without implementation it is just a piece of paper and fine words’.

The Ban Advocate Initiative did not have written policy change objectives or priority target audiences against which to measure achievements. These were decided in coordination with the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) on a conference by conference basis and during country tours. However, the findings from the evaluation show that the Ban Advocates (BAs) were a vital factor contributing to the success of the Oslo Process. Their particular contribution, as part of the wider civil society campaign, was to help:

© FEDERICO VISI

CMC campaigners, Oslo, 4 December 2008.

Increase the legitimacy of the Oslo Process (along with affected countries) Strengthen the power of the humanitarian argument in favour of a ban Influence diplomats understanding and views of the issue, and in some cases contribute to a change in government policy Strengthen the text of the convention, particularly on victim assistance Secure high profile media coverage for the Oslo Process Motivate campaigners and diplomats As one respondent said ‘The involvement of the BAs was a massive morale boost for the whole campaign – it was incredibly motivating’.

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4. Outcomes of the Oslo Process

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The CCM was widely regarded by respondents to: Be a strong and significant convention Contain strong and clear definitions of what constitutes a cluster munition Set high standards for victim assistance

5. How change happened: change factors/drivers

A tactical alliance Between the core supportive governments (see glossary), the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), the Ban Advocates, affected states, and international organisations such as the UNDP and the ICRC. As one respondent noted: ‘The outcome couldn’t have happened without civil society and the BAs – but equally they couldn’t have done it without the core governments’. Shifting the negotiations to a more favourable forum i.e. a forum that offered the prospects for a stronger agreement and more favourable conditions for proponents, including participation by civil society. However, shifting the forum was also a gamble, and hence ‘the involvement of the Ban Advocates and the affected states, was crucial in providing legitimacy to the Oslo Process’, as one respondent commented.

strategy: ‘The BAs got us away from victims as numbers which do not mean much on a human level. It was much more powerful that the BAs were present in the form of living people’. Effective strategy A key factor contributing to the successful outcome of the Oslo process was the effective strategy of, and coordination by, the tactical alliance. The BA Initiative and wider civil society campaign were an important element of the overall strategy. The BAs constituted a semi-autonomous group within the wider civil society coalition. While they participated in CMC briefings when possible, they also met separately to plan and implement their own advocacy activities. HIB mediated relations between BAs and the CMC to ensure coordination. © STÉPHANIE CASTANIÉ

The successful outcome was driven by a combination of the following actors and factors:

Centring and framing negotiations around a compelling humanitarian principle That strengthened the moral force of the argument for a ban, and nullified some of the negotiating advantages states have because of their expert knowledge. The BAs were widely acknowledged to have made a major contribution to the success of this

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Ban Advocates lobbying delegates, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, May 2008.


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It was beyond the scope of this evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the wider civil society campaign. However, some of its strengths and weaknesses are outlined here in order to provide the context for the assessment of the BAs’ specific contribution which is outlined in Section 7 below.

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The involvement of the Ban Advocates and the affected states, was crucial in providing legitimacy to the Oslo Process.

The following strengths of the civil society campaign were cited by respondents: Effective coordination of an increasingly large and diverse group of NGOs at the negotiating conferences Clear policy briefings, and lobbying guides for each conference Effective day-to-day coordination of advocacy strategy at conferences Effective and flexible mix of influencing approaches including: - tactical targeting & lobbying of key decision makers - effective mix of expertise/evidence - both humanitarian and technical - public monitoring & reporting of government positions - media coverage

Respondents cited the following areas where there was room for improvement: Limited public mobilisation – this was in part due to lack of time (as the campaign moved very quickly), low public awareness of CMs (compared to landmines), and few civil society networks working on the issue, and capacity Limited national advocacy – this was also in part due to lack of time and capacity Resentment from some governments about civil society’s role in the process – this was possibly inevitable Some criticisms of the NGO name and shame campaign in Wellington At times, a somewhat ‘top down’ coordination style, by the CMC - however given the large numbers of NGOs and the fast pace of negotiations this was understandable up to a point

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© STÉPHANIE CASTANIÉ

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Survivor panel, Oslo Signing Conference, 3 December 2008.

P o l i t i ca l co u r a g e & l e a d e r s h i p The courage and leadership of the following actors were also mentioned as key success factors by some respondents: The initial NGO proponents who promoted the ban when the idea was still considered unrealistic Norway and the core governments who took the political risk of launching the Oslo Process The BAs – as one respondent said: ‘It must take a lot of courage to stand up and speak in diplomatic conferences in front of the high and mighty’.

E x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n ce s Israel’s use of cluster bombs in Lebanon publicly underscored the need for a ban.

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6. Obstacles to change There were strong opponents to the ban but:

Ban Advocates United States speaking tour, briefing at Obama Headquarters, October 2008.

The United States, China and others remained outside the process – which weakened their influence over the process The group of governments within the Oslo Process who were seeking a weaker agreement, known as the Like Minded Group, were divided and on the defensive States were not captured by a powerful commercial lobby – which increased the prospect of a successful outcome and made the alliance’s job easier (in comparison to other international negotiations such as trade).

7. The effectiveness and quality of BAs’ advocacy Overall, respondents felt that the BAs’ advocacy was effective and of high quality. As one diplomat said: ‘The BAs did an extraordinary job and HIB did an extraordinary job in supporting them’.

Design of the BA strategy The Ban Advocates Initiative had a clear rationale, aim, change assumptions and mix of influencing approaches. However, the Initiative did not develop an overarching written advocacy strategy, or specific policy change objectives or priority targets. These were decided by HIB and the BAs on a conference by conference basis in coordination with CMC. On the one hand this allowed the BAs to respond flexibly and quickly to a fast changing policy and advocacy environment. But on the other, it meant that the BAs did not learn how to conduct their own power analysis, design their own advocacy strategy, or contribute fully to strategic planning. The BAs were not involved in the strategic design or planning of the Oslo Process or the civil society campaign.

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Implementation of strategy The main focus of the BAs’ activities during most of the review period was on making conference interventions and media advocacy. Participative ways of working meant that the BAs could choose which activites they got involved in. Most only got fully involved in lobbying diplomats towards the end of the process. While some BAs may not have felt ready to engage in lobbying early on without support and training, others could have played an effective role earlier on. National advocacy was not an objective for Phase 1 and hence was not prioritised, although BAs were encouraged to apply for small grants from the Fund’s Local Voices, Global Ban grants scheme for national advocacy work. Effects of BA advocacy Respondents indicated that the BAs: Had a powerful and positive effect on the way diplomats saw and understood the issues: - ‘The BAs brought their [the diplomats’] humanity to the fore – and were very powerful in doing so’


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- ‘The BAs brought moral force to the negotiations – they were bearing witness in a very direct way …. Involving them in negotiations kept everyone in the real world and not just the world of negotiations’ - ‘The BAs put them [the diplomats] in a dilemma – they either looked really bad or agreed with the BAs. The BAs simplified things down to the bare bones and changed the ‘rules of the game’ for the diplomats’ Contributed alongside other actors/factors, including the wider civil society campaign, to changing the positions of some key governments e.g. United Kingdom & Afghanistan Influenced some elements of the text e.g. on victim assistance, but their role was limited by barriers to participation in the Working Groups Played a very important role in securing media coverage

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Quality of BA advocacy

CMC, and the effort invested did not necessarily correlate with outcomes Learning – although the BAs received useful training in advocacy and communications skills, they were not trained to design their own advocacy strategy or undertake a power analysis, nor were they involved in strategic design or planning of the civil society campaign. This was not a critical gap in Phase 1 but it will be important in Phase 2 of the Initiative which will prioritise national advocacy Lack of in-depth technical knowledge for some BAs – the BAs’ power and influence was widely recognised to be derived largely from their direct experience of the issue (although some BAs were also technical experts). However, some respondents, including some of the BAs, felt that improved technical knowledge could increase their confidence and ability to tackle counter arguments Language skills – language was felt to be their most critical barrier to effective advocacy and communication by many BAs, rather than advocacy skills per se.

Respondents pointed to the following strengths of the BAs’ advocacy:

Signature of the Convention on Cluster Munitions by Afghanistan, witnessed by Afghan Ban Advocates, Oslo, 3 December 2008.

However, some diplomats were reportedly irritated at losing control of the issue.

© STÉPHANIE CASTANIÉ

© GUNNAR MJAUGEDAL

Moral force and legitimacy derived from their direct experience of the issue, and from their positive and constructive approach Powerful and moving conference interventions Effective targeting of decision makers adapted to changing circumstances Powerful engagement with diplomats on a human/ emotional level Important role in getting media coverage Good advocacy and media skills, which improved over time, including a good balance between criticism and proposition Good mix of people and skills Respondents cited the following areas for improvement: Coordination – overall coordination between the BAs, HIB and the CMC was good but there were some unresolved tensions about the BAs’ separate status within CMC, and some lost opportunities for coordination and learning for BAs National advocacy – there were some important efforts at national advocacy by the BAs, but it was not an objective for phase 1 and was therefore not prioritised. Some respondents mentioned that national efforts were not fully coordinated within the

Media interview, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, May 2008.

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8. The BAs’ satisfaction with HIB

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The BAs’ rated HIB’s support highly in relation to most of their following objectives and/or principles. As one BA said ‘HIB were very effective in providing support – and very careful that they were not using the BAs’. Nonetheless, the BAs identified a numbers of areas for improvement, which are outlined in the full report, and reflected in the detailed recommendations.

9. Looking ahead Challenges

Most respondents were fairly upbeat about the prospect of achieving more signatures and getting the 30 ratifications needed for the convention to come into force. Many also felt optimistic that as the pace of ratification of the Convention gathers momentum, its international recognition and influence would extend to those who have not signed.

Respondents cited the following future challenges:

© STÉPHANIE CASTANIÉ

Prognosis

Residential training programme, Germany, June 2009.

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Keeping up the momentum as attention turns elsewhere Promoting ratification – 30 ratifications are needed for the convention to enter into force – although ratifications may initially happen quickly they may then die out Promoting implementation – as many respondents noted without implementation the convention is just a piece of paper. International financial assistance will be required for clearance and victim assistance Encouraging more governments to sign – the US will be a big challenge, but there was no consensus on whether this should be a priority focus or not Promoting stigmatisation to make it unthinkable for any government to use CMs whether they are signatories or not Addressing specific challenges in affected countries – the BAs outlined a range of different challenges they face in their countries Ensuring continued funding for CMC, key NGOs and the BAs


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The BAs’ rated HIB’s support highly in relation to most of their following objectives and/or principles.

Public awareness on the Convention on Cluster Munitions in a Tajik school.

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BA’s future role For Phase 2 of the BA Initiative, HIB and the BAs have agreed to continue the Initiative and: Prioritise national advocacy, for signature, ratification, implementation, and monitoring of the treaty; and Engage in lobbying at regional and international level to promote signature, ratification and implementation of the treaty In order for the BAs’ advocacy to be effective and sustainable at national level, it is vital that the BAs’ work is coordinated effectively with local civil society organisations and networks, as well as with the CMC.

© UMARBEK PULODOV

HIB’s future support HIB and BAs have agreed to retain the current structure of the Initiative, and reinforce it if needed. In particular HIB has agreed to:

© SULIMAN SAFDAR

Make available small grants to support the BAs’ national advocacy Continue to ensure coordination with other relevant actors including the CMC Provide financial support for language and computer training through small grant schemes which BAs can apply for Support interested Ban Advocates to collect data to monitor implementation Provide individual coaching sessions to help BAs identify a plan for their own personal and professional development. (These sessions were provided in June 2009 during a residential training in Germany)

Interview on the Convention on Cluster Munitions with Afghan media.

A number of recommendations for HIB support, training, funding and coordination with the CMC are outlined in the full report and detailed recommendations.

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10. Lessons for involving affected people in civil society campaigns Lesson 1 – Rationale

Lesson 3 – Levels of involvement

Involving affected people in change campaigns is both a moral imperative and a powerful and effective way of contributing to policy change. As one BA said, ‘It is vital to involve the voices of affected people, and make decision-makers face the victims. Where there is a distance, decision-makers don’t have to face the consequences of their actions and so can make decisions that are so wrong, even though they are generally good people’. As another BA pointed out, ‘It is very important to involve ordinary people who suffer the consequences of human stupidity in future treaties and campaigns. Diplomats believed the BAs because they were talking from the heart, not just the mind. People can tell whether someone is talking sincerely or not. Even with bad English, this is more powerful’.

It is important to develop, and adhere to, clear principles about how to involve affected individuals in campaigns.

Lesson 2 – Replication

© STÉPHANIE CASTANIÉ

Involving affected people in campaigns is a highly replicable idea. Respondents suggested that it could be extended to campaigns on white phosphorous, small weapons, nuclear weapons, various forms of discrimination, human rights abuse, and to campaigns for change generally.

Speaking to the Irish Foreign Minister, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, May 2008.

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HIB developed the following principles which were endorsed by the BAs: Initial consultation and discussion with the BAs to agree on the objectives and content of the project Supporting BAs to choose the ways in which they could get involved in the campaigns Supporting BAs to express themselves, rather than imposing their own views Providing the BAs with the necessary training and support to succeed in their advocacy Building relationships with the beneficiaries on the basis of respect and confidence Supporting the development of a team spirit among the beneficiaries to promote solidarity between each of them Other campaigns may also want to consider empowering affected people to participate in strategic decision making, although the desirability of this will depend in part on their interests and capacity. One respondent suggested, for example, that individual BAs should have been on the CMC Steering Committee. In addition, various BAs expressed interest in working together to design an overarching international advocacy strategy for their own activities. Another important principle that the BA Initiative adopted, although it was perhaps not clearly enough articulated to other elements of civil society, was the creation of a separate and independent space for the BAs to share experiences and support each other. The practice of having separate sections for minority groups within broader coalitions draws on a long history which, if understood, can enrich rather than weaken organisations or coalitions.


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There are also numerous examples of affected people who have gone one step further and established their own independent organisations, and engaged in campaigning on their own behalf or as part of wider coalitions e.g. organisations of the displaced, the disabled, victims of political violence or human right abuses, workers, peasants, indigenous people, women, gay people, ethnic minorities etc. In these cases a separate set of principles will apply to NGOs or coalitions that campaign ‘for’ or ‘on behalf’ of these groups. These may include:

© MARY WAREHAM

Reviewing, and if necessary, enhancing their accountability to the affected organisations Providing capacity building to strengthen the capacity of affected organisations to advocate in their own right Involving and augmenting the voices of affected organisations in campaign alliances/coalitions Providing financial and logistical support to ensure affected organisations can participate in decision making forums that affect them Promoting research and information, and recruiting allies to support and legitimise the concerns of affected organisations

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Lesson 4 – Payment It is also important to have clear principles about paying affected individuals or ‘beneficiaries’ for their involvement in campaigns. HIB gave the BAs per diems (at a rate that allowed them to take some money home) rather than paying them a fee. It was felt that if they were paid for their participation this may weaken their perceived independence and hence their legitimacy and power. HIB also wanted to be consistent with existing practice of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the CMC, both of which pay per diems to participating volunteers. Good practice from some organisations suggests that a broader principle may be relevant i.e. that affected people should not be financially disadvantaged as a result of their involvement. This suggests a range of possible responses may be appropriate depending on the circumstances including providing per diems, paying them as consultants, or at least compensating them for any loss of income incurred in the course of their involvement in the campaign. The appropriate option will depend in part on the role and expertise of the ‘beneficaries’. If affected individuals are being involved because of their direct experience of an issue, this could be regarded as ‘expert knowledge’, in which case contracting them as short term consultants may be appropriate. If they are being involved in a campaign to demonstrate their support for a cause, for instance to participate in a demonstration, then paying them per diems would be more appropriate. Another important principle is to be transparent about what you decide.

Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, May 2008

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Lesson 5 – Logistical support A major lesson arising from the Ban Advocates Initiative is that facilitating the involvement of a diverse group of affected individuals in a campaign requires sound logistical support and adequate resourcing if it is to be done properly. Necessary support may include:

“Vantastic”, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, May 2008.

Logistical support including help with visas, travel, accommodation Training in advocacy, media and other skills English language training Translators who are briefed on the policy issues and have an understanding of the campaign Psychological support

11. Lessons for how change happens The BA Initiative and wider Oslo Process illustrate the following lessons about how change happens (not in order of importance):

Lesson 1 – Soft power It was possible for ‘weaker’ states (i.e. states with limited ‘hard’ power) and civil society to achieve major international policy changes by working collectively to maximise, and make effective use of, their sources of ‘soft’ - or ‘persuasive’- power. In the Oslo Process, their soft power was derived from the authority and legitimacy of the core actors, the moral force of their argument, their technical and practical expertise, and an effective strategy to drive change3. The involvement of affected individuals (and states) in the Oslo process greatly added to the legitimacy, moral force and ultimately power and influence of the proponents.

Lesson 2 – Emotional engagement When people who were directly affected by an issue, in this case the BAs, engaged on a personal, emotional and human level with diplomats, it made a powerful difference to the way officials and diplomats understood and viewed the issue. In some instances it also contributed, alongside other factors (including the wider civil society campaign) to influence government positions. However, experience from this and other campaigns suggests that emotional engagement is unlikely to be sufficient on its own if there are strong opponents, if states are heavily influenced by powerful vested interests, if the issue is highly contentious, and/or if there is lack of public support. In such cases high profile media coverage, public mobilisation, or other forms of pressure will also be necessary to achieve change.

3 The terms hard and soft power are used in international relations. Hard power relates to the use of military and/or economic coercion to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies. Soft or persuasive power comes from an actor’s capacity to win others over to their cause, without the use of coercion i.e. winning hearts and minds. It may involve appealing to reason, shared values, empathy, common humanity, duties or legal obligations i.e. the winning of hearts and minds. Its effectiveness rests on the actors’ authority, reputation, knowledge, individual charisma, reward or position power.

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Lesson 3 – The power of direct experience Direct personal experience of an issue is an important, but sometimes undervalued, source of expertise and soft power. As one diplomat pointed out ‘The BAs were experts in the human effects of CMs … they brought specific experience which helped in the elaboration of the Victim Assistance clause … I learnt a lot from them as they could tell me how things work on the ground and they raised several things I hadn’t thought of’. When direct experience is combined with technical expertise (whether from the same source or combined with other sources of expertise) it can become an even more powerful and effective force. Lesson 4 – Being positive The moral force of affected individuals is increased when they come across as people who are positive and proactive, and want to help others, rather than just being victims to be pitied.

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Lesson 5 – Civil society relations with governments The formation of tactical alliances between civil society - including affected people - and progressive elements in governments can be crucial to achieving change. However, lessons from other campaigns suggest that civil society actors should be wary of entering into tactical alliances with states unless there is a clear agreement on objectives and strategy. They should also retain their independence and capacity to exert pressure on governments when necessary. Lesson 6 – Copy and adapt Successful policy change can occur through copying and adapting previous good practices or precedents. In this case the Oslo Process successfully modelled much of its strategy on the Ottawa Process. Lesson 7 – Sustain the effort The Convention on Cluster Munitions is a significant achievement, but a proactive campaign will need to be sustained to ensure that it is implemented and has a positive impact on people’s lives. This will require:

© STÉPHANIE CASTANIÉ

Continued commitment from key actors including the BAs Donor funding for implementation and victim assistance, and Donor funding for civil society campaigns including the CMC, key NGOs and the BAs

Ban Advocates demonstrating with the CMC, Dublin, May 2008.

The moral force of affected individuals is increased when they come across as people who are positive and proactive, and want to help others, rather than just being victims to be pitied.

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In 2009, the Ban Advocates Initiative received support from the governments of Australia, Ireland, Netherlands and Norway, as well as from The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The external evaluation of the Ban Advocates Initiative has been funded by The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund continues the Princess’ humanitarian work in the UK and overseas. By giving grants to organizations, championing charitable causes, advocacy, campaigning and awareness raising, the Fund works to secure sustainable improvements in the lives of the most vulnerable people in the UK and around the world. www.theworkcontinues.org

Ban Advocates Information and contact: Handicap International ASBL-VZW 67 Rue de Spastraat - 1000 Brussels, Belgium Phone : +32 2 280 16 01 Fax : +32 2 230 60 30 E-mail : policy.unit@handicap.be www.handicap-international.be www.banadvocates.org

The Ban Advocates participants at the Oslo Conference, December 2008


External evaluationof the Ban Advocates