Building and shifting power is central to change, and this is driven by people organising, campaigning and advocating. I have been involved in leading community based campaigns, developing advocacy coalitions and creating engaging policy papers.
I have supported organizations such as the Malala Fund, Global Witness, The B Team and Oxfam in developing campaign or advocacy strategies. Much of my own research focuses on the conditions under which campaigning and advocacy are effective such as 9 Ways to Change the World? about community engagement on global issues, and Global Goals and International Agreements about how global agreements translate into national change (hint: a lot of organizing by national movements is usually involved).
Past adventures in advocacy and campaigning include:
Equal @ Love
From 2005-2007 I was elected to the Board of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW) and was the co-convenor of the Equal @ Love campaign, a campaign focused on same sex relationship equality. At the time, same sex couples faced discrimination in veteran’s benefits, health benefits, inheritance, and over 90 other areas of Federal Law. All Love is Equal used campaigning, research, and advocacy to achieve law reform in over 100 areas of Federal Law for same sex couples.
hts Commission inquiry.
In 2008, the GLRL pushed through a whopping 85 federal same-sex reforms including equal de facto rights in areas including tax, super, immigration, social security, Medicare, aged care, veterans’ and defence entitlements, family law and child support.
– Jack Smith writing in Same Same
Promoting Beneficial Ownership Transparency
I have worked closely with the B Team to develop a Governance and Transparency Initiative since mid-2014, and now lead that area of work as their Senior Advisor.
At the June 2014 the B Team Leaders agreed to address a form of warped governance that plays a systemic role in facilitating corruption and reinforcing impunity: anonymous companies. In September 2014, we convened a Working Group of companies and civil society to work together on this issue including Unilever, Natura, Transparency International, Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness and OpenCorporates.
Since then, the B Team leaders have engaged in strategic advocacy to promote corporate ownership transparency in the G20 and EU, contributing to the adoption of new G20 principles, and a new EU Directive as well as the implementation of a central registry of beneficial ownership in the UK. The B Team is undertaking strategic advocacy to promote beneficial ownership for example, building business support in the US, supporting reform of public procurement in South Africa and advocating for a beneficial ownership transparency requirement to be included in the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The B Team joined the B20 Anti-Corruption Task Force in 2015 to maintain focus on implementation of corporate ownership transparency, both by G20 governments and businesses. We have engaged broader business communities around the business case for action at TED Global, Davos, in an ongoing series of workshops on defining business use cases for beneficial ownership information. Our position and experience to date is summarized in our publication Tackling Corruption and Promoting Stability Through Beneficial Ownership: The Business Case. I co-authored the new B20 publication on business use cases for beneficial ownership transparency, available upon request.
Global Witness have also gotten support from B Team, a group of global business leaders that includes Richard Branson and telecoms entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, that aims to catalyze a better way of doing business and campaign for more transparency. “This support is already having a transformative effect,” says Gooch. – Chairman Gooch, co-founder of Global Witness speaking at TED Global
May Miller-Dawkins provides ongoing specialist knowledge as our Senior Advisor for Governance and Transparency. Her knowledge and networks, alongside her ability to focus on the key issues make her the perfect initiative lead for the work
– Kate Ormiston Smith, The B Team
Oxfam International Youth Partnerships Trade Justice Project
At the peak of the Doha trade round, Oxfam’s International Youth Partnerships worked closely with twenty young people from countries including India, Nigeria, Kenya and Cambodia to build their skills, support their local campaigns and facilitate their international advocacy at World Trade Organization meetings. I co-led this project with my colleague Sanushka Mudaliar, developing strategy, delivering training and support to activists and leading training and support in Hong Kong at the WTO Ministerial Meeting.
In the Niger state of Nigeria, one of our young partners brought about the first delivery of anti-retroviral treatment to the area, while in Kenya a partner helped tea farmers to collectively negotiate better prices for their tea and used her training to advise the Kenyan Government WTO delegation on the agricultural negotiations in Hong Kong.
The best part of OIYP for me was the Trade Justice Project … TJP opened my eyes to human rights and how the international trade system works. Through the TJP, I learnt how to use the human rights approach to hold my government accountable and demand for basic social services (healthcare, water & sanitation, basic education) in my community. I used it for advocacy and actually won advocacy battles using this approach, such as making antiretroviral medicines more available to people living with HIV/AIDS and getting the local governments to commit more funding to right fulfilling sectors such as health and sanitation
– Action partner in Nigeria cited in Independent External Evaluation of OIYP