09 March 2011

Satellite Sentinel Project: Now What?

Update: I should note that Bec Hamilton has written a book on Darfur and advocacy called Fighting for Darfur that has been suggested by Alanna in the comments section.  You can also see a Blogging Heads interview done by Mark Goldberg here.

Enough got the images as promised and predicted. For that, I have to credit Clooney and co for using satellite images to show what is happening in close to real time and with immediate evidence. They have effectively been able to use ground reports to find out what is happening where and get the images.

With the information that is now available, what is next? How is this information going to be of help? Enough's other large and ongoing campaigns are in the DRC and Darfur. They have said over and over again about how terrible the violence is in the two regions and international attention has waned with little real action. Yes, Bashir has been indicted by the ICC, but he still rules Sudan. We know of the horrible state of the Lakes Region, but many of the atrocities have continued.

Enough has not been a complete failure by any means, but their weakness has always been when it comes to the next step. They identify problems with compelling evidence and storytelling and then lobby celebrities to join the team and then speak to world leaders.

I want to toss a little skepticism into the world of advocacy. Where has it been successful? Is it because there is so much push-back? Wrong political climate? People do not care enough? Or could they be replicating the same mistakes with each campaign? Could the tactics be ineffective when it comes to sparking real change? Does it take a very long time, so Enough has to persist and slowly chip away?

Maybe outside pressure is not nearly as effective as internal (re: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia). Is there a way for outside organizations/governments/multilaterals to support people in these situations?

I hope a little more research and digging can answer some of those questions.  So far, Enough has me asking more questions as it is giving supposed answers.  We know what is going on in Abyei. Now what?

More satellite images?