Voting is a powerful and much under-used mechanism in decision making in the International Boards and General Assemblies of INGO federations.
In most INGO federations, the established model is to seek to make all decisions by consensus across the federation. This can work well in some situations, but can also result in deferring or ducking important decisions, or lowest common denominator decisions. Huge amounts of leadership time can be taken up seeking an elusive consensus that all are happy with.
This blog, by Baobab associate Adrio Bacchetta, argues that voting can be a powerful tool for resolving debate, and draws on his experience of working with INGO federations facing difficult decisions to explore how and when a vote can be a constructive way of moving things forward.