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Policy influence: campaigning alliances pros and cons

Toolkit/guidelines

Coalitions and alliances are difficult to form and sustain, and can suffer from unrealistic expectations on how much they will agree. Pros and cons for building such partnerships are listed below.

Advantages

  • Generates more resources
  • Increases credibility and overall visibility
  • Provides safety in numbers
  • Broadens support base
  • Creates opportunities for new leaders
  • Creates opportunities for learning
  • Broadens scope of each member's work
  • Contributes to strength of civil society

Disadvantages

  • Distracts from other work
  • Generates an uneven workload between stronger and weaker members
  • Requires compromise
  • Causes tensions due to imbalances of power
  • Limits individual organisational visibility
  • Poses risks to reputation

Tips for establishing campaigning coalitions include:

  • Be clear about the issue people are coming together to create change on
  • Develop membership criteria and mechanisms for including new members
  • Resolve what the coalition will do and not do
  • Select a steering committee if the group is large
  • Establish a task-force to plan and co-ordinate different activities
  • Assess progress periodically and make changes if needed
  • Develop a code of conduct to ensure mutual respect and responsibility

(Source: New Weave)

This tool first appeared in the ODI Toolkit, Tools for Policy Impact