Collective action – the ability of a group composed of individuals with unique interests to work together in pursuit of common goals – is an issue central to the political process in all countries, and at all levels.
Acting collectively is challenging, as any number of problems can result in failure – inability to agree on priorities, leadership struggles or poor leadership, splits among the group on important decisions, and many more. When the business community attempts to engage in collective action, the challenges are magnified.
After all, competition is key to business success, and it is only natural for business leaders to regard one another with some level of distrust.
Despite the difficulty, encouraging collective action in the business community is central to CIPE’s mission, as private sector participation in the policy process can lead to significant improvements in a country’s political and economic environment. Working together, business leaders can help governments to design and implement reforms that create jobs, promote trade and investment, and help citizens live productive and fulfilling lives.
Furthermore, public participation in policymaking is the cornerstone of a healthy democratic society, and the private sector has an important role to play in building democratic institutions and holding officials accountable. Given that, it is no surprise that the majority of CIPE’s programs have some connection to promoting successful collective action among the business community.
The behind-the-scenes video below demonstrates how CIPE works with local partners to build an understanding of the basics of collective action, and guide them in taking further steps themselves. Since 2006, CIPE has been supporting Moldovan business leaders in developing a network that can represent the voice of business on the national level. Today this network represents over 20 Moldovan business associations and chambers of commerce, who advocate policies that make it easier for Moldovan businesses to export their products and spend less time and fewer resources dealing with administrative hassles.
In the video, which was recorded during an event at which CIPE staff shared CIPE’s experience building successful advocacy coalitions in several countries, participants in the project describe in their own words the importance of learning to engage in collective action, and CIPE’s important role in this process.