The Social Watch network is based in the participation of citizen groups working to make governments accountable for their promises. The principles, strategies and long-term strategic planning were discussed in General Assemblies that took place in Rome 2000, Beirut 2003, Sofia 2006, Accra 2009 and Manila in 2011.

As the network grew and physical assemblies became too big and expensive, on-line discussions and smaller “strategy meetings” took its place. During the meeting that took place in Geneva in October 2016, a Working Group was set up to “steer a transition process that will allow the definition of updated strategies for the network, renewed governance mechanisms and their legitimation through the constituency”.