Citizens’ Watch, a Russian nongovernmental organization, uses a collaborative tactic to engage governmental officials, who in many cases are seen as the adversary and not considered as partners. Citizens’ Watch recognized the potential for engaging bureaucrats who illustrated a level of interest in significantly advancing human rights. The author describes the unique uses of this tactic and highlights examples of cross-sectoral cooperation between a nongovernmental organization and the Russian government to advance human rights.
As with all tactics, it is not an approach that will work for everyone: well-connected individuals and organizations with highly-developed diplomatic skills will have the most success. But we can all learn, and perhaps get new ideas, from Citizens’ Watch’s use of collaboration with key government officials to strengthen these officials’ ability to further human rights from inside government.
Year of Publication: 2003
Author(s): Boris Pustyntsev