The results of the poll show that an exhausting majority of advocacy organisation heads state that the members of these organisations should be enabled to directly influence which topics, problems and goals are prioritized. At the same time, available resources and its quality could be deterring factors when initiating such reforms. Additional problems could emerge, such as the leader-oriented approach of advocacy organisations and inactivity of the members.
The case study analyses indicate that generally NGOs have taken considerable steps in order to guarantee target group’s representability and adequate internal division of power. Recommendations were made in all cases as to improve the participation process. For instance, the participation could be too complicated and bureaucratic or voting system unbalanced which allows the interests of certain members to dominate.
The initial analytical results were validated and conclusions were further developed during the focus group debate. One of the outcomes of the discussion was that the topic is most surely actual – the more interest groups are involved in shaping policies, the more acute becomes the legitimacy of the individuals involved.
As a result of the analyses, several proposals were made to improve the internal democracy of NGOs, such as:
- evaluate the decisions and choices made by the organisations with certain regularity and improve them, if need be;
- agree and record principles that would provide the basis for involving members when developing the organisation’s public and political outlooks;
- encourage organisation leaders to learn and apply different forms of participation in order to suit one for different situations;
- turn increased attention to human capital, team professionalism and its development.