What should form the content of the coalition’s proposal?
Early work is likely to require such things as:
- Support for coalition staff
- Building or compiling evidence on the issues and packaging this in an accessible form
- Development of a website
- Developing mechanisms to build engagement and understanding among the membership, such as workshops and meetings
Thought should be given to what donors are likely to be able to fund and how this can be packaged for the coalition. Research and advocacy might appear two distinct tracks of funding – with some donors preferring to fund the former rather than the latter. In the early stages of work, research, hosting meetings or giving briefings on research findings can all provide a framework around which advocacy can be undertaken and organised even if it is not being described as the primary output of the project. On the other hand, research can sometimes be a tricky focus for coalition work because members may have differing research standards and interpretations of data. Furthermore, research is a good activity for individual coalition members to undertake. Bringing together and sharing different research findings and institutional perspectives can be a basis for coalition funding that still allows members to take on such a role.
“Collective vision is the strength of the coalition. The voice of the coalition can get garbled and mixed up but that can be fixed – but if the collective vision is garbled then it can’t. Everything flows from the strength of the vision.
When there are tensions and problems, the collective vision gives you the base from which to get things back on track.”
Daniel Mack, Instituto Sou da Paz