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

Featured Lesson

Be realistic: complex projects need coordinated management

The Project was ambitious, organizationally complex and geographically scattered. It required strong coordination and direction. For various reasons, including gaps in project planning, a weak central management role, lack of …
research government advocacy training adapt planning collaboration elections rights design monitoring partnership youth participation women inclusion gender budget management results sustainability impact media risk capacity

Train more than one person per CSO to enhance institutional capacity

The monitoring training had some weaknesses. The training attempted to cover a great deal of detail, much of it technical, in two, short intensive workshops. More time should have been …

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.