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What World Tracker 2010 Year in Review Introduction


Welcome to the first annual review Tracker where we look

What a difference a year makes. One year ago, 2010 was

back at the events of the year from the launch of the Robin

forecasted to be a pivotal year for development with a se-

Hood campaign at the beginning of the year to the Cancun

ries of high-profile events and some auspicious milestones.

meeting in December, including all the highs and lows in be-

In the end, the year did not live up to expectations. There

tween before concluding with some predictions for the key

were some successes, some advances to the global advocacy

moments and priority issues in 2011.

agenda, but also serious setbacks and key deadlines were missed.

The genesis of the Tracker came from a

The Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods dominated in

reporting project from

terms of media coverage. These two massive disasters devas-


tated the countries and created a flurry of fundraising activi-



foundation help-

ties in the NGO community. There were advocacy outcomes

ing share informa-


from these disasters as the international community can-

tion and mapping of

celled the debts of both countries at the IMF. Petitions were

the global campaigns

handed over the G20 Finance Ministers in Canada’s frozen

and advocacy initia-

north asking the group to end the debt obligations, marking

tives. This turned into

one of the first wins of 2011.

the monthly Tracker

But aside from the humanitarian assistance, the aid debate

which was distributed

went into reverse as international donors, with a couple of

to a selected list of

exceptions, slashed their ODA budgets. The Gleneagles com-

organizations and co-

mitments, which came due in 2010, were missed by a wide

alitions. In 2011, the

mark but such has been the impact of the financial crisis,

Tracker will become a bi-weekly paper distributed by sub-

that it was unremarked by the global NGO community in-

scription for all those interested in getting the latest news

cluding the celebrity supporters of the 2005 Make Poverty

and commentary on the industry. The bi-weekly Trackers

History campaign.

will put out all this information in a concise and eminently readable fashion.

The G8 and G20 instead moved the agenda from stimulus to austerity with a priority on reversing ‘uncontrolled govern-

The aim of the Trackers have been to capture the range

ment spending’. Tax became a dirty word.

of activities of the global campaigning industry from new campaign launches, advocacy ‘wins’, people in the industry

The Korean government did put development on the G20

and tracking what is trending in regard to the 100 or so top

agenda for the first time, and by doing so, outmaneuvered

NGOs, coalitions and groups. Please follow the links in the

the Canadian government, which had set an unambitious

box below to become a subscriber. In the meantime, here are

G20 agenda and then failed to meet expectations. Indeed,

some of the highlights of 2010 and a peek into the future of

it was not a great year for the Canadian government, which

campaigning in 2011.

failed to garner substantial support for its Muskoka Initia-

Have you heard the news? The Tracker is now available for subscription. Get the latest campaigning and advocacy news all in one place. Sign-up now and, starting in January, the Tracker will be delivered to your inbox every two weeks. Discounted rates are available until December 31st. Subscribe now at or email


© 2010 What World Strategies Ltd.

What World Tracker

tive for child and maternal health and then lost the election to the UN Security Council to Portugal – the first time since

What’s IN

the founding of the UN that Canada lost such an election.

What’s OUT

The NGO community welcomed the G20’s Seoul Development Consensus as the initial step in putting development on the agenda and looked to France to deliver concrete development advances in 2011. For the NGO community, the UN MDG Summit was the main






event of 2010. With over 100 side-events, the meeting certainly created renewed momentum for the MDGs amongst member governments.

Corporate campaigning

On the issues, the maternal health groups had a good year

Social network campaigns

by putting health on the agenda and getting the Muskoka Initiative from the G8 and the Joint-Action Plan agreed at

Gov’t spending crisis

the UN Summit. Water and sanitation campaigners saw

Stimulus Gov’t lobbying INGO campaigns Financial crisis

water become a human right and the agreement of a global framework for water and sanitation for all. The education campaigners used the World Cup to great effect to raise the profile of basic education but did not manage to convert this

trous Gulf oil spill and the renewed attention on environ-

to strong political outcomes. Debt campaigners saw Haiti

mental concerns. As a result, there were a number of events

and Pakistan debt cancelled and advances in areas such as

in the closing months of 2010 that lead to good outcomes

clipping the wings of vulture funds.

from the COP16 in Cancun. Endangered species were high on the agenda and with tigers benefiting from the Chinese

The climate groups suffered a long six months of backlash

calendar as the 13 nation Tiger Summit agreed and partly

from the climate science scandal and the failed Copenhagen

funded an action plan to reverse the decline of the tiger pop-

meeting. The tide turned in their favour following the disas-

ulation. Meanwhile, campaigns to halt the devastation created by the palm oil industry in Indonesia had significant wins as major corporations such as Nestle changed their buying standards.


In the end though, 2010 may be remembered more for the

It was not all joy and bliss in 2010 - there were some embarrassing moments for the NGO community as well. Oxfam and Greenpeace had to apologise to the Saudi government for an ‘incident’ involving a name plaque at the Bonn Climate Summit in early 2010. The ONE Campaign was targeted by a New York newspaper for the money they spent on press packs that were distributed to highlight the issues of poverty during the MDG Summit. The campaign vigorously defended its actions. And finally, the UK climate campaign group, 10:10:10, had to defend its video promoting its day of action that graphically depicted people, including school children, being blown up because they refuted climate change.

changes in the campaigning industry than the actual outcomes. The growth of social networking in advocacy continued to revolutionise the industry. The Gulf oil spill created a large spontaneous movement of people working together through Facebook and other online sites without guidance from the large traditional NGOs. Over 1 million people signed onto the Facebook page in just two months. Online campaigning sites like expanded in the year and Avaaz grew from strength to strength using its lists in new and innovative ways such as pressurizing the Brazilian government to adopt new legislation on corruption. Online organising and social justice became mainstream as Silicon Valley icons joined in launching sites like and summits such as Mashable’s Good Summit was held dur-


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

ing the UN MDG Summit and which brought together the

line attacks on Visa, Paypal and Mastercard by hackers fol-

UN, bloggers, and established companies like Turner Media

lowing these companies withdrawal of service to Wikileaks,

and Facebook to discuss social media’s contribution to social

while extreme, unveiled new era of corporate activistism.


2010 was therefore an eventful year for global campaigners,

The other important change in 2010 was the shifts of tra-

with highs and lows, wins and losses. Given the enormous

ditional lobbying targets. The emergence of the new powers

changes in the realm of economics and politics, the com-

of Brazil, India and China opened up new avenues for influ-

munity did well to respond and make some advances, but

ence, most notably, the online communities pressuring Tur-

the impression is that the industry needs to shift up a couple

key and Brazil to intervene to stop the Iranian government

of gears in 2011 if it is to keep the agenda and the pressure

stoning to death a women accused of adultery. The targeting

on governments, corporations and multilaterals to prioritise

of corporations again became an effective way of influencing

development, climate and rights.

on issues such as regulation and freedom of speech. The on-

2010 Wins Here are a number of the wins that were recorded in the Tracker in 2010. This, of course, is not a complete list, nor does it capture wins at the national level, but it gives a feel for some the advances made this year.

Vulture funds Palm Oil Cancun Climate Conference? Haiti Debt Relief Pakistan Debt Relief Muskoka Initiative/UN Joint Action Plan UNWomen G20 Seoul Development Consensus?


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

web review | The Year in Review 2010 Why is this important? The websites of the NGO community are the heart of many of the activities they are asking their supporters to get involved with. It is a good indicator of the priorities that the INGO community is working on and helps to highlight trends in campaigning when compared month-to-month. The Tracker reviews the websites of 100 of the most influential INGOs, coalitions, campaigns and networks working on global issues.

Top issues based on number of references. (In order to highlight campaign and advocacy issues, this year in review wordle does not include humanitarian issues such as Haiti and Pakistan.)

Word tag from


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

January The month was dominated by the Haiti earthquake with the calls on government to drop the countries multilateral debt obligations. The fall-out of December’s failed climate talks was a feature of many of the NGO discussions as the environmental groups struggled to regain support for climate outcomes. Maternal health groups got a boost when the Canadian government announced its plans for an initiative on maternal health at the June G8 Summit.

February The Robin Hood tax campaign was launched in the UK and Germany in February with a well-managed campaign that caught the attention of the international media. The G20 finance ministers meeting in Canada’s frozen north were handed a joint petition on Haiti debt and Canada said it would freeze its ODA budget in 2010. The 1GOAL Education for All campaign announced its tie-up with global phone companies to raise awareness of basic education in the run up to the 2010 World Cup.


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

March The lights were turned off the Empire State Building, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Arch de Triumph to mark Earth Hour on the 27th of March. Meanwhile tens of thousands of people took part in the longest toilet queue to mark World Water Day and the lack of access to sanitation for millions of people. Greenpeace launched a video and campaign targeting the food giant Nestle concerning the company’s activities in purchasing palm oil. A G(irls)20 Summit to take place prior to the G20 Summit in June was announced and Kofi Annan’s Global Humanitarian Forum shut its doors.

April April was a busy month for campaigners. The World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings and accompanying meeting of G20 Finance Minister’s were targeted by financial transaction tax supporters while the G8 Development Ministers faced rallies by unions, student groups and environmental organizations when they met in Canada. WWF’s Earth Day celebrated its 40th anniversary and activists met in Cochbamba, Bolivia for the ‘Woodstock’ of climate change. Malaria groups rallied celebrities to support Malaria Day on the 25th while the annual global Education Action Week featured a ‘big lesson’ with some 50,000 students participating in India and another 30,000 in South Africa. Meanwhile, an explosion on a BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and started what was to become the largest oil spill in US history.


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

May Maternal and child health groups in North America used Mother’s Day to promote their cause as well as launching publicity campaign featuring midwives as superheroes. Both DATA and the African Progress Panel launched reports reviewing the progress, or lack of, towards meeting the Gleneagles commitments. Bob Geldoff and Bono guest edited a Canadian paper focused on innovation in Africa. The Robin Hood tax campaign held a week of action and climate change groups claimed victory as companies announced they would be changing their buying standards for palm oil.

June The International Whaling Commission met and decided to retain its 24 year old ban on whaling to the relief of the 1.2 million people who signed Avaaz’s petiton. Women Deliver, a VIP event profiling maternal health, took place in Washington in early June but the main highlight of the month was the G8 and G20 Summits in Toronto. The G8 announced the Muskoka Initiative which featured new money for maternal health but fell well short of expectations. The G20 announced it would be looking at development for its Seoul meeting while embracing a new mantra of austerity.


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

July The World Cup was won by Spain for the first time and the 1GOAL campaign also won as the South African government convened the first ever political meeting at a sporting event as leaders came together to discuss basic education. Maternal health was front and centre of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa and the IMF agreed to write off Haiti’s debt while the UN recognized water as a human right. Food speculation came under the spotlight as speculative purchases of food stuff featured in the press and activists launched a campaign targeting the issue of food as a commodity. BP faced increasing public pressure to increase its work to halt the Gulf oil spill and Greenpeace activists undertook protest against BP petrol stations in London.

Pakistan August Pakistan suffered its greatest flooding in memory deplacing millions of people and creating the second major humanitarian emergency of 2010. The campaign against the Vedanta Mine in India claimed victory as an Indian court ruled against the mine citing the impact it would have on local communities although the company could appeal. The US Congress passed a bill mandating US listed companies report their sources of ‘conflict minerals’ as part of trying to limit the revenue from these resources fueling the conflict in eastern Congo. Finally, the Iranian government dropped its plan to stone to death a woman accused of adultery although it continued with its death sentence placed on her.


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker



The UN held a special summit to review the international community’s progress on the MDGs. There were a number announcements made at the meeting including a Joint Action Plan on maternal health with some $49 billion in funding and additional funding for basic education. Overall, NGOs thought the meeting generated a lot of noise supporting the MDGs but little action. The Financial Times was disappointed that development campaigners did not challenge the ‘cynical made-for-the-media announcements’ that come out of such summits.

Pakistan Floods October 10:10:10’s Global Work party took place in 188 countries profiling the need for concrete action to tackle climate change. Civil society groups met in Seoul for the first ever Civil G20 that brought together G20 Sherpas and NGO policy specialists in a two hour roundtable. World Food Day was celebrated while the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF passed by with little notice.


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

November The G20 meet in Asia for the first time and published the Seoul Development Consensus that was widely welcomed by civil society although some organizations pointed out the lack of financial or political commitment to tackle poverty. Russian Prime Minister Putin organized a Tiger Summit of leaders from 13 countries with tiger populations which concluded with an action plan to reverse the decline in numbers. A campaign calling for a boycott of Botswana and its diamonds in solidarity with tribal communities was launched with the support of celebrities. UK former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, teamed up with Avaaz to call on President Sarkozy to put forward a jobs plan for the 2011 G20 Summit.

December The Cancun meeting resulted in small but important gains on the climate front to the relief of campaigners. The Wikileak furor escalated with online groups attacking the corporations that pulled their payment services to the organization. Human Rights Day was celebrated with a campaign encouraging people to walk barefoot for the day and World Migration Day meant a number of organisations featured this issue.


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

LOOKING BACK | 2010 In Pictures

Robin Hood Tax, new campaign video

Robin Hood Tax campaign action, Glasgow, Scotland

G8 and G20 Summits Fake Lake

Avaaz campaign billboard

Photo: Greenpeace

Activist climbs on arctic oil rig

Actionaid Media Stunt at UNMDG Summit


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

G20 Media Stunt

Wateraid Poo Media Stunt at UN MDG Summit

Photo: M. Cowan│ Survival International protest

Mosaic Earth │

Photo taken from campaign video at

Photo: | Sunrise over New Zealand on 10:10:10 9

Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

WWF Ice Bear at June G20 Summit

Oxfam G8 Summit media stunt

World Longest Toilet Queue day of action

Greenpeace ballon at Cancun climate meeting

Greenpeace action at a BP Camden petrol station. Photo: Greenpeace


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

LOOKING FORWARD | 2011 Predictions 2011 is the year of the Rabbit and What World can comfortably predict that NGOs will not be campaigning on the endangered regal rabbit and Prime Minister Putin will not be hosting the Rabbit Summit – unlike 2010’s Year of the Tiger. Other than, it is difficult to predict what will be top of the global agenda as the world grinds through substantive shifts in economics and politics. But here is a stab at what issues might dominate the year ahead and areas of interest for the global campaigning and advocacy industry. Campaigning that calls solely for increased aid will continue

this debate. Groups such as and 10:10 will likely plan

to diminish as NGOs tackle the new growth and develop-

global climate days during the year to ensure climate change

ment agenda and its focus on infrastructure. Debates on aid

remains a visible issue. Arctic drilling will again be a target of

effectiveness will continue as governments seek to justify re-

campaign groups when the ice melts in the Spring, allowing

ducing ODA budgets to an increasingly aid-skeptic public.

exploration companies access again for their drilling tests.

This will hit essential service areas hard: education, health

The increased focus on corporations will grow. The recent

systems, HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health will all

attacks by the campaigning group, Anonymous, on the credit

struggle to find a role in the global development debate. Wa-

card companies that withdrew service to Wikileaks, are an

ter and sanitation will likely remain on the global agenda as

extreme example, but underline a move away from influ-

water crisis and the infrastructure debates overlap.

encing government policy and instead focus on the agents

NGOs will find ways of engaging with the new definitions

of policy. When War on Want campaigned on increasing

of development, as to misquote Star Trek’s Spock, “Its de-

corporate regulation, it avoided the relevant government of-

velopment Captain, but not as we know it.” Campaigning

fice and went directly to the corporations. It started a letter

will move to issues of equality, fair distribution of increased

writing campaign the CEOs of the largest corporations in the

economic growth and the impacts of development on people

UK, demanding them to push the government to introduce

and communities.

legislation. This approach, using high profile companies, is likely to grow in 2011.

As a result, infrastructure will be the target of many campaigns. As high-profile development projects begin in Brazil

Innovative financing will be on the agenda in 2011, helped

for the 2014 World Cup, there will be a greater focus on the

to some extent by the French president but also by a major

impact on those affected by the work and those undertak-

push by campaigners on the financial transaction tax. Expect

ing the construction, highlighting issues such as child labour

more high profile campaigning on the issue in Europe as the

and work and safety legislation. The 2012 Olympics in the

FTT groups shift up a gear. It is likely that the campaign will

UK will be the hook for groups to look at the supply chains

make further traction in 2011 with some sort of financial tax

of major clothing manufacturers. NGOs and unions have al-

introduced by a small number of countries in 2011. Mean-

ready launched the Playfair campaign to profile these issues

while, on the other side of the Atlantic, talk of a new tax of

and to force manufacturers to defend their manufacturing

any kind will continue to be politic suicide.


Two issues will ensure that governance in Africa dominates

Climate change campaigners will begin building on the out-

in early 2011: Southern Sudan will go to the polls to decide

comes of Cancun to further progress on a global climate

their independence and Côte d’Ivorie will continue to strug-

agreement. Expect a greater focus on climate finance and

gle from the outcomes of their recent elections. Meanwhile,

the role of the World Bank as it assumes the central role in

transparency in the extractive industry will be high on the


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

agenda as new oil finds in Africa combined with a focus on

France will be the centre of the campaigning universe in 2011

the tax policies of major corporations, creates a debate on

as the French chair the G8 and G20 Summits and inject glitz

the benefits of resources to the host country.

and pizazz into the moribund Summits. Expect the French government to undertake a ten month teaser campaign with

January 12th is the one year anniversary of the Haiti earth-

NGOs, promising great advances but ending up with a fairly

quake so the large development NGOs will put a lot of energy

pedestrian G20 outcome document in November. The G20

in reporting on the progress over the past year and will re-

is likely to continue to flounder as the economic disparities

peat the process in August on the anniversary of the Pakistan

between deficit countries and surplus countries dominate


the agenda. Development will become more of a technical debate between G20 countries rather than a critical area for

The 8th of March will be the 100th anniversary of the In-

making political commitments.

ternational Day of Women and expect a great deal of press attention as campaigns highlighting the role of women roll

For the NGO community itself the debate on the most effec-

out in the lead-up to the anniversary. A host of VIPs , ce-

tive way of engaging the public will continue. ‘Clicktivism’

lebrities and politicians will lead the events, creating some

will be on the agenda as online campaigning continues to

momentum on the role of women in development. Rights in

grow and new actors come into the industry. Expect to see

general will get traction in 2011 as the field of human rights is

both online and off-line campaigning as the industry learns

encroached by governments and industry. Labour rights will

to balance the most effective combination of high-tech and

become a key issue in the political debate in G20 countries.

traditional advocacy.

The 50th anniversary of Amnesty in April 2011 will be a rallying point for rights groups in the 2011 calendar.

Protest on the streets will increase as the austerity measures begin to bite in Europe. As a result civil society will increas-

2011 will also see a frenzy of speculation around the IMF as

ingly be in the spotlight. Expect growing concerns about civil

the current Managing Director, Strauss-Kahn, is expected to

society space in both developing countries as well as devel-

leave his post to return to French politics. As a result, NGOs

oped countries as authorities in G8 countries clamp down on

will open the debate around the selection process as the

civil society actions.

Europeans defend their right to select the head of the IMF. Many names will be bandied as candidates for the post — ex-

Overall 2011 will not be a pivotal development year but it will

pect to hear the name Gordon Brown a lot. It will also affect

see some significant changes in the way NGOs operate and

the politics of campaigning around the G20 as French NGOs

the issues that they campaign on. The transition from the

struggle to support a Socialist party that is associated with

Make Poverty History type aid debates to growth and equity

Strauss-Kahn and his IMF legacy.

will be finalized in 2011; this will set the 2012 development agenda.

The What World Tracker in 2011 After much demand, the What World Tracker will be undergoing a number of changes for 2011. It will now be available for subscription. Previously, the Tracker was funded by a core supporter for a small group of industry actors, but in 2011 the Tracker will be available to the whole global campaigning and advocacy industry. The Tracker will be by subscription only, so head over to to order your annual subscription now. As of the 15th of January, the Tracker will undergo a major re-design to include more features, perspectives and news. As a result, the new Tracker will be shorter but more frequent. Subscription rates are competitive. Individual subscriptions are $149 for one-year membership. For organization and foundations, subscription rates are $499 or $699 depending on the number of subscriptions needed. We hope you will welcome the increased frequency, and wider availability of the Tracker and continue to receive it in your inbox every two weeks starting from the 15th January.


Year in Review 2010

What World Tracker

The What World Tracker is a monthly review of the main campaigns working on global issues such as poverty, human rights and climate change. Mixing campaign updates and a review of the websites of 100 NGOs and coalitions, What World tracks the trends in global campaigning and advocacy as the industry gears up to the key events such as the G8 & G20s, UN conferences and climate change meetings. By highlighting the campaigns and activities of the industry and how they are communicated to the wider public of politicians and other decision-makers, What World hopes to create more space for collaboration and coherence in global campaigning and advocacy industry. What World is interested in information on campaigns and forthcoming events. Please send your information and updates to:

What World Strategies Ltd. 123 Woolwich Street, 2nd Floor Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 3V1

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What World Tracker 2010 Review Edition  

The 2010 Review edition of the Tracker takes a look at the campaigning and advocacy highlights in the past year.