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Following Our Constituency

Following Our Constituency: Means of Making the Leadership Accountable to the Grassroots Constituency

As indicated earlier, one of the important reasons why we should build a constituency around our issue is to provide a real opportunity for people to realize and exercise their power in a democratic society. This step must take place at home first, i.e., be applied in our organization and campaign before asking to achieve it somewhere else. This is the real challenge for us.

First, we need to agree on the following critical points:

  • An acceptable decision making process within our own group, which include all the people who are actively participating with us in defending the cause. Some of the questions we need to answer here include:
    • First, how can the constituency provide ideas, suggestions, and initiatives to guide and inform the leadership?
    • Who should participate in the decision making?
    • How will the decision be made? By a consensus, a majority, or another form?
    • How will we account for the minorities working with us, and how can the decisions be sensitive to their needs?
    • Who should participate in making decisions in case of emergencies?
    • How can the constituents give feedback, and even intervene, in the process?
  • A transparent process in which constituents would know why decisions were made, what were the different alternatives discussed, and who supported what decisions? In other words, how can the constituency be aware of all these matters? Luckily, with the advancement of the communication systems, constituents can receive emails, recordings of meetings, or tele-observe the leadership meetings and give feedback on decisions made.
  • Appropriate communication and reporting system in which the leadership would receive guidance, ideas and feedback from the constituents.
  • The appropriate means of rotating power and sharing leadership.
  • A cut across line is how to develop a system that addresses all these questions, and, yet, be flexible enough and appropriate for this specific constituency and issue.

Exercise

Work with your team to develop the following:

  • Analysis of your current and potential constituency;
  • A plan for attracting potential constituency; and
  • A set of policies and systems to ensure an accountable and transparent system and a high retention rate of your constituency.

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