The diminution of resources and the growing sophistication of both corporate social responsibility practices and social organizations all point to the need for greater cooperation between the sectors working on social development. At a meeting in Bogota in July, Margareth Flórez (pictured), of Latin American CSR network RedEAmerica, said that the increasingly professional approach of companies to social responsibility on the one hand and the diminished flow of external funding (especially, in Latin America’s case, from the US and Spain) following the financial crisis on the other made it imperative to create what she called a ‘collective agenda’ between the sectors to address questions of ‘strategic interest for the country [Colombia]’. At the same meeting, Rodrigo Villar of Fundacion DIS also spoke of the need for stronger alliances between the business sector and civil society. CSR practices in Latin America had changed over the past 10 to 15 years, he argued. Nowadays, companies did not simply want to be donors, they wanted to participate in activities that had a positive impact on society and on the environment. CSOs, he said, should strive organizationally to make themselves into reliable allies for companies, while companies could play a convening role, bringing together groups and resources to enable the for-profit and non-profit sectors to work in tandem.
Andrés Thompson also called for greater cooperation between the sectors in the region. Speaking at the Latin American and Caribbean Regional ISTR meeting in Buenos Aires in July, Thompson, formerly of the Kellogg Foundation and now general coordinator of Street Football World in Brazil, said that in many parts of Latin America, governments were reclaiming the social agenda that had in recent times been the province of NGOs. These now needed to rethink their identity and to work in alliance with other sectors to achieve greater impact, he argued.