Advantages of campaign alliances
An alliance is a form of cooperation between autonomous organizations. Groups who join a campaign alliance continue to exist independently from each other, but they accept to participate in and commit part of their resources to a common cause. Resources could include technical or other skills, staffing, infrastructure, and financial or other in-kind contributions.
The advantages of a campaign alliance include:
- Stronger voice and wider reach: making a campaign known more widely, and enhancing its credibility both with the target audience and potential supporters. With a broad alliance, a campaign can draw support from diverse constituencies and networks. In addition, donors may be more receptive to funding alliances rather than a single organization.
Example: The We Can Campaign in South Asia has built an alliance of 2,400 members across six countries, including women’s organizations not traditionally involved in campaigning (e.g. Indian self-help groups), schools and colleges, professional associations, NGOs and others, thus reaching a large cross-section of society (Aldred & Williams, 2009).
See the external evaluation.
- More resources: members can combine strengths and resources, and share the work-load. Ideally, strengths should be complementary – for example, an alliance may include women’s organizations that are experts on the campaign issue, groups specialized in designing communication materials, and others who are experienced in fundraising. Different types of campaigns require different expertise: in advocacy campaigns, it may be useful to co-operate with human rights organizations; in campaigns aiming for behaviour change among men, men’s groups can play a key role
- Synergy and impact: rather than duplicating existing efforts, alliances help build on these instead, to produce more and better outcomes than what the sum of individual activities would achieve alone.
- Overcoming marginalization: involving groups that address the campaign issue from an intersectional perspective (e.g. indigenous women’s rights, disabled women’s rights) can ensure the campaign respects and promotes their rights.
- Effective support to survivors: campaigns to end VAW are likely to prompt an increase in numbers of VAW survivors seeking help from specialized services or safe houses. Bringing such service providers into an alliance ensures their perspectives are reflected in the campaign.