Explore Lessons Now


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

Featured Lesson

A good baseline study creates a solid design foundation

The baseline study was well conducted and contributed to the project’s effectiveness as a training tool. It also provided needs assessment data concerning the beneficiary groups, representing marginalized communities. The …
monitoring training impact partnership gender sustainability media elections risk collaboration women results budget planning adapt youth advocacy capacity rights inclusion government design management participation research

Human interest is not the same as human rights: ensure training links rights with accountability

The training gave a wide understanding of all dimensions of human rights, both civil-political and socio-economic rights. This led to a rich and interesting diversity in articles produced by journalists. …

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.

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.