Is the membership getting the most out of the coalition?
Members of a coalition naturally have expectations from the coalition to which they are contributing. These expectations can include technical advice, help with planning, capacity development, materials, and financial support.
Some coalitions systematically undertake national advocacy planning with campaigners, with coalition staff and experienced members available to support national members in their efforts to develop plans at the national level, helping campaigners to produce strategic advocacy plans with clear goals, outputs and indicators.
Coalitions can organise small grant schemes, disbursing funds to coalition member organisations whose proposals fit with the broader strategic objectives of the coalition. This is useful for donors, such as governments, that are not in a position to disburse small amounts of funding to large numbers of organisations. It is useful for members who may struggle to get funding for their advocacy work and it is useful for the coalition as a whole as it promotes advocacy work towards a common strategy. It also helps build relationships between central staff and leaders of the coalition and national members.
Such funds can also facilitate development of materials to support national advocacy. Briefing papers, brochures, template press releases and letters, t-shirts, badges, films and photography are all typical materials that a coalition may produce. A coalition may produce these in different languages, or in a way that allows them to be adapted easily to
a national context.
Technical advice and expertise is a key area where coalitions can support their members. For example, during the ratification phase of its campaign work, the CMC set up a group of legal experts who were available to comment on national legislation and compare it to other legislation passed or under consideration in other countries. The Control Arms Campaign made a group of lawyers available in different time zones around the world during the negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty. These lawyers were able rapidly to give input and respond to questions posed by campaigners.