What should be the pace of the coalition’s early work?
Most coalitions will need to be prepared for a long process of work and so need people willing to commit to working with the coalition for a significant period of time.
While a sense of urgency is needed from the onset, the workload of the coalition should increase over time, perhaps in steps that are linked to the changing political dynamics of the issue in question. The point at which the pace of coalition work can appropriately be increased will be dependent on:
Internal coalition factors:
- Evidence marshalled
- Organisations and individuals on board
- Clarity of purpose
- Support among key governments
- Space for political process
- Pertinent external events highlighting the issues in question
During the early stages of coalition work there probably needs to be a degree of acceptance that it may be some years before the issue becomes ripe for a more dynamic push. Accepting this is not an admission of weakness, but necessary if people involved are not to become frustrated or have unrealistic expectations. The main challenge is to keep the coalition going and to ensure that when an opportunity does become available, the coalition is in the strongest possible state to take it on.