Last week I blogged about a civil societies open day and sure enough I went. The announcement said three and I show up at 3:30 pm to a scene of organized chaos. The organizations were still showing up and setting up, but it was all well laid out and set up in a way that it was a bee hive of activity. So I took a stroll and came back and sat across from them watching the scene unfold with fascination.
While I was waiting I observed the Gender equality campaign in action and was quiet surprised by their operating style and the way they were going about it. I am a staunch equalist, and I think their aim is fantastic, their implementation leaves a little bit to be desired. I must say though I did get one of their buttons and sport it proudly on my bag.
But that is not the focus of my blog, so back to the open day. When I saw that most of the stalls were up and functional I decided to walk around. I enjoyed looking at the wares of these organizations and their brochures but I could not really grasp what it was they were there to do. Was it networking? The setup did not allow for that. Was it PR, there was some of that. Was it awareness and advocacy, some but not a lot of that. I was there representing my curiosity as well as my organization. I was very excited to go see these organizations, talk to them and interact on a professional level; which is what I thought was the objective. But in reality it was a mini bazaar, which is not a bad thing since it was in a public forum and they were interacting with the public, and in that sense it was a success.
I guess my expectations and how I understood this event and its reality were two different things. But I do want to give credit where credit is due. This is a great initiative that Tatawoor and the Municipality of Greater Amman collaborated on to pull off. Well done and more of these events are needed. Maybe next time we can have a two prong approach one for the public and one for the professionals working within the civil society and development arena.