Entraide et Fraternité / Broederlijk Delen

Entraide et Fraternité / Broederlijk Delen - Comments

The Networking

-BD is part of Flemish networks such as Netwerk Rechtvaardigheid & Vrede (NRV) and Pax Christi, which are affiliated with the Catholic Church, as well as 11.11.11 and NGO-Federatie, two syndicates which negotiates government subsidies. As for EF, it is part of the CNCD-11.11.11 (Centre national de Coopération au Développement), a federation that brings Walloon development NGOs together to raise funding and coordinate political advocacy. It is also a member of ACODEV (Fédération francophone et germanophone des Associations de Coopération au Développement), the Walloon and German-speaking counterpart of the Flemish NGO-Federatie to negotiate subsidies with Belgium’s Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid. 

-In Belgium, both BD and EF work with the Coalition against Hunger and Agroecology in Action. EF also supports ReSap (the Réseau de Soutien à l’Agriculture Paysanne), which groups farmers’ organizations such as Via Campesina to sensitize the general public on food sovereignty in developing countries. 

-On the international level, BD and EF are both members of the network of Catholic development agencies from Europe and North America, Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE). On January 23th, 2019, for instance, BD’s director, Lieve Herijgers, was elected as CIDSE’s first female president. EF and BD also work together in the Climate Justice Platform under the aegis of the CNCD-11.11.11 and 11.11.11 to encourage policymakers to take preventive measures against environmental degradation. Finally, EF and BD are also part of ad hoc European lobbies and coordinating entities for Haiti and the Great Lakes Region in Africa. 

-Yet BD and EF are also involved in different international networks. With International Peace Information Service, ActionAid, PAX, Oxfam-Novib, and Medico International, for instance, BD participates in the Fatal Transactions Network, an advocacy campaign that informs about the role of natural resources in armed conflicts and aims at “turning fatal transactions into fair transactions”. Meanwhile, EF is involved in the Réseau pour la Justice Fiscale, a coalition of Francophone NGOs, syndicates, and youth movements that strive for fiscal justice and the taxation of substantial wealth. 

-Interestingly enough, all of these networks are almost exclusively composed of European and North American NGOs despite EF and BD’s commitment to participatory approaches in development programming and decision-making. Such coalitions are also prone to internal conflicts because they are often engaged in political lobbying. According to Agnès Lambert and Erik De Smedt, for instance, three liberal-minded NGOs quit the CNCD-11.11.11 (Centre national de coopération au développement) in October 1986, on charges that it was too leftist and that NGOs were underrepresented in the Board of Directors. 

-Another challenge is that the split of EF and BD did not help to balance the fragmentation of aid resulting from the regionalization of Belgium and the affiliation of Walloon and Flemish NGOs with the dominant societal pillars of the country, i.e. Catholicism, socialism, and liberalism. According to Nadia Molenaers, Leen Nijs, and Huib Huyse, such divisions hampered the efficiency of the non-profit sector. Yet Nadia Molenaers, Bert Jacobs, and Sebastian Dellepiane also point out that aid fragmentation has helped stabilize the financial resources of NGOs: it took dependency on a small number of donors out of the equation and allowed them to tap into a diversified set of funders.