About this book

Researched and produced under a grant from The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV)

Written by Richard Moyes and Thomas Nash, Article 36
Copy edited by Antony Reeve-Crook

Design by Ben Branagan

Published in December 2011 by Action on Armed Violence

With thanks to: Ray Acheson, David Atwood, Jo Becker, Richard Bennett, Liz Bernstein, Effie Blythe, John Borrie, Stuart Casey-Maslen, Laura Cheeseman, Andrew Cooper, Maria Pia Devoto, Steve Goose, Katie Harrison, Felicity Hill, Atle Karlsen, Alison Kelly, Anthea Lawson, Richard Lloyd, Anna MacDonald, Martin MacPherson, Daniel Mack, Lou Maresca, Sarah Masters, Bob Mtonga, Serena Olgiati, Bill Pace, Brian Rappert, Samantha Rennie, Kelly Rigg, Ghassan Shahrour, Oliver Sprague, Andreas Vogt, Mary Wareham, Doug Weir, Isabelle Wippermann, Tim Wright

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This book is designed as a resource for people working within civil society coalitions, or thinking of establishing such coalitions. It is focused primarily on campaigning coalitions that are working for some distinct change in international policy or law. In particular it is focused on the internal organisation and mechanics of such coalitions. It does not provide guidance on campaigning or advocacy as such, but considers rather the practical challenges that arise when non-governmental organisations try to work together to achieve policy change.

Both of the book’s authors worked previously within the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). Reflecting this, specific examples from the CMC are used throughout the text. The profile given to examples from the CMC is not meant to indicate that the experience of that coalition was in any way more important than experiences from other coalitions, but simply that they are drawn from direct experience and so can be presented with greater confidence.

The book has also drawn heavily on interviews with people that have worked within coalitions on various issues and in various roles. The text here is in large part built up out of their insights and experiences.

For the most part the text is structured around questions that might arise at different points in a coalition’s work. We have tried to reflect the very varied and complex nature of the subject matter by avoiding too many definitive statements of what should be done. It is important to recognise that every campaign and coalition will have certain unique features and circumstances. Rather than qualify every statement in the book with some recognition of this, it is hoped that readers will bear this in mind throughout.

However, there will still no doubt be areas where people strongly disagree with our comments. Whether people agree with them or not, we hope these thoughts will be useful to others in their efforts to work collectively for social change.

During the preparation of this book we consulted, amongst others, people with a background working in the following coalitions or campaigns:

  • Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC)
  • International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
  • Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers
  • Control Arms Campaign
  • The Kimberley Process
  • International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
  • International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW)
  • Coalition for the International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • World Coalition Against the Death Penalty
  • International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW)
  • Publish What You Pay
  • International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
  • The Corston Coalition