Sector organisations have failed to create enough impact with their campaigns for a fairer global economy, according to the chief executive of Bond, the umbrella body for international development charities.
Nick Roseveare told an international audience at a meeting called G20 and the Third Sector, organised by the Office of the Third Sector and the NCVO yesterday, that international aid organisations had been promoting the right message over the past 20 years but campaigns such as Make Poverty History in 2005 and those in the context of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 had not had the intended influence on policy-makers.
"We wouldn't be where we are if some of the messages about a more just global economy had got more traction," he said.
"We would be foolish not to have to think about how we can do better in the future. We have to develop a set of core messages, not just flash-in-the-pan moments, that are repeated to world leaders until they are acted upon."
Kevin Brennan, minister for the third sector, said the sector had an opportunity to fulfil the desire among people to have institutions they can trust and that are based on more the desire to acquire material goods.
"The Government has to understand how the sector can ground community cohesion and new ways of doing business," he said.
Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, agreed that the recession offered many opportunities for the sector. He said the NCVO had a "special responsibility to draw people out of the silos" in which organisations with particular structures and cause areas tended to work.