The importance of communication
Keeping the communications flowing and keeping up with the flow of communications is a crucial aspect of coalition work. Civil society coalitions have a long track record, but there has been considerable proliferation in the past few decades. One of the drivers of this proliferation has been the increasing number of NGOs that exist today and that work on issues that resonate across borders. A key factor in the emergence of more – and more effective – global coalitions since the 1990s is the dramatic evolution of communications technology.
The mass collaboration made possible by the ability to email the same message to hundreds and thousands of people in every corner of the globe has changed the dynamics of global coalitions. It has made it easier for individual voices on a particular issue to provide a unified voice, to stay up-to-date with developments globally, to plan together, to adapt and to exert maximum influence over decisions being taken at national, regional and international levels. It is this flow of communication that is central to effective coalition work.
“When you think about what members get out of being in coalitions, it’s not just about achieving common goals. For example, the former communist states in Europe had a limited civil society sector generally and one of the things CONCORD has helped to do it to provide a sector for them, it has created a culture that they can be part of.”
Andreas Vogt, CONCORD European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development