The United Nations' relationship with civil society: development of the 2nd Charter 'The united peoples' and the United Nations' principled decision-making policy through the Naber model
Vincent, Dorothea Christiana
This doctoral thesis researched the relationship between the United Nations (UN) and Civil Society (CS). The purpose was to uncover the dynamics of the relationship with the intention to offer potential solutions in order to increase the effectiveness and productivity of this much needed relationship, for the purpose to have a stronger and more sustainable impact on international development. Two preliminary research questions were applied to a systematic literature review. One, ‘What are the historical dynamics of the relationship between the UN and NGOs and what are the challenges and benefits of the affiliation?’. Two, ‘Does CS need a new or improved environment, potentially an institution, in order to progress its development?’. Over 76 000 documents arose from the search, of which 60 that were dated from June 1945 to January 2018, met the inclusion criteria. The research was inductive and applied a qualitative, participatory action research method with a feminist approach. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were held with 43 participants who held high-level key stakeholder positions in the international UN and CS work environment in the second and third phase of the research. The first interview explored the question, ‘How to best create an environment for an effective working relationship between the UN and CS in order to progress international development?’. Thirty-two high-level stakeholders continued and participated in the second interview, which explored the second research question, ‘Upon presenting the proposed model – how would you implement it, and would you modify it or make it better in any way before doing so?’. In total, 75 interviews were held, comprising of 745.5 years of cumulative participant experience in the UN and CS relationship environment. Academic contributions of this PhD include the analysis of 28 themes and three inherent flaws of the relationship between the UN and CS from the data, the creation of the Naber Model, the development of a proposed reform which comprises of two frameworks, and implementation considerations for the suggested model. In addition, the research touches on broader academic concepts that include Civil Societies’ role in governance and the evolution of social responsibility.