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

Featured Lesson

Use visual information and concrete examples to help people learn

The grantee provided very useful, tangible and instrumental services which contributed to the project’s sustainability. The advocacy strategy framework developed very helpfully outlined the process of organising an advocacy campaign. …
management participation media sustainability advocacy politics strategy youth research adapt risk inclusion rights impact elections results budget post-conflict government women collaboration capacity planning training design

Build the capacity of organizations before individuals

The project focused on individual youth activists from Central and Southern Europe as the primary unit for capacity development, rather than focusing on Roma NGOs first, and youth working with …

From a programme theory or design perspective, the project’s unrealistically high ambition was demonstrated in its expectation of behaviour change. The project aimed to change behaviour on three fronts: national …

The project’s original problem analysis and expected impact assessment were unrealistic. Project design and strategy underestimated structural and institutional resistance to reform in Kazakhstan, resulting in quite limited effects on …

Anecdotal evidence suggested that highlighting contradictions between constitutional or legal principles and the current operations of many local and regional institutions in Kazakhstan has raised civic awareness. While impact on …

Round-table discussions were felt to be an especially useful approach and proved effective in helping participants increase their understanding of transparency and accountability and their ability to affect change. Stakeholders …

The project achieved its strongest results through producing significant research on regional business, government, and civil society. Anecdotal evidence suggests that project activities were effective in raising awareness among organized …

The project was built around eight intensive visits by members of the grantee’s project team. This approach, which excluded partnership in project implementation with a Papua-based organization, and which made …

A small number of activities, including a national seminar in Jakarta, a study-tour to Australia, added little to project results and diverted resources which might have been better used elsewhere.

Most activities were planned logically to build awareness and understanding of social accountability on the part of Papuan CSOs, local officials and elected representatives, along with local academics and journalists. …