Explore Lessons Now


Bringing together 10 years of useful lessons learned from UNDEF civil society projects

Featured Lesson

Be realistic in geographical scope

The decision by the grantee to stretch activities across all nine states in the Niger Delta diminished the level of investment available for activities at each project site. While the …
participation planning collaboration management gender rights capacity adapt women risk budget training media results research sustainability design impact partnership government elections inclusion advocacy youth monitoring

Participant’s commitment is crucial to preserve new knowledge and structures

The young people in Palestine were very aware that they cannot continue to serve as youth councillors past the age limit set by the project (16 – 22 years) but …

Compromise is often a necessary element of successful advocacy processes. Imperfect legislation for pedestrian’s rights can be better than no legislation, particularly when amendments can be introduced later. The original …

A CSO’s search for sustainability is never-ending. Every new project should include the “seeds” – innovative strategies – of future sustainability. Additionally, since securing funds from a specific international donor …

Consider revenue generating mechanisms including: membership fees; services fees; and private sector support; and build on project success to develop spin-off products that can be presented to international donors.

Consider developing formal partnerships with research organizations or think tanks, particularly those specialized in related topics such as public transportation.

Ensure that projects explicitly consider and raise awareness regarding the differentiated needs of vulnerable groups and establish partnerships with women’s organizations and CSO’s representing other marginalized communities.

Getting a law passed is only the beginning. Monitoring and further advocacy may be needed to ensure the law is implemented.

There is value in courting controversy: Strategies seen as controversial can generate more media buzz and can capture public attention.

Seeing is believing: Innovative techniques based on demonstration and experiential learning can be powerful tools for awareness raising.