Enhanced public support

One of the goals of the Flemish development cooperation is to strengthen the support for international cooperation in Flanders.

What is public support?

Public support is a term that is being used more and more often in the development cooperation sector. Where traditionally people would speak of an organisation’s work in the North and in the South, nowadays, the concept of public support is often used for sensitization and campaigns raising awareness for international cooperation in the North.

The role and use of public support

In the context of the ongoing globalization, public support for international cooperation is needed. Closing the gap between North and South can not be done without the support of the population in the North. Also, in the everyday life of the citizen, a positive mentality for development cooperation is an important fundament for a peaceful and solidary society. By enhancing the public support, a stronger sense of responsibility concerning global issues and the combat against poverty of the Flemish citizen is aimed at.

Enhancing the public support is not a goal, but a way to contribute towards the realisation of structural changes in and between countries. The objective is to decrease poverty and inequality worldwide.

There are two ways to deal with the inequalities between North and South. One way is to focus on changes in the South, another is to change things in the North. The changes “here” and “there” are linked, and enhance each other.  More specifically, the changes there (e.g. direct poverty reduction, construction of society, infrastructure, etc.) and changes here (e.g. the discard of trade barriers, the ban on harmful export, environmental measures, consumption behaviour, the stimulation of fair trade, etc.) can’t be seen separately. Both appeals are relevant for development and have to be stimulated further.

The link between both is incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The first seven MDGs aim to make structural changes in the South, while the final one involves the North.

How does Flanders enhance the public support?

The Government of Flanders chose five domains to enhance the public support in Flanders:

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