Steve Manteaw - PWYP Montreal Conference 2009


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Experiences in Establishing a National PWYP Coalition or Campaign

Smaller membership base, campaign approach to PWYP Ghana

Steve Manteaw, PWYP Ghana

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Steve Manteaw - PWYP Montreal Conference 2009

  1. 1. Experiences in Establishing National Coalitions Ghana Country Case Study
  2. 2. Small – Medium Size Coalitions <ul><li>I do not in anyway seek to make a value judgment on which coalition size is better or best. </li></ul><ul><li>The thrust of my submission is to shed some light on the lessons and experiences in respect of small to medium size coalitions within the Ghanaian context. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Genesis of PWYP-Ghana <ul><li>The historical evolution of coalitions to a very large extent, determine their structure and nature of their governance. </li></ul><ul><li>The genesis of the Ghana coalition lies in the leadership role of ISODEC in budget advocacy in Ghana. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The ISODEC Approach to Popular Campaigning <ul><li>ISODEC and popular mobilization. Has throughout its nearly 25 years of existence used the approach in prosecuting social and economic justice campaign in Ghana. </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all the major campaign groups in Ghana were either initiated or nurtured by ISODEC e.g. GNECC, NCAP, UCART, GTLC, ESSP, NCOM etc. and in the sub-region WARBAN, and in Sierra Leone supporting NACE and BAN. We do not as a policy imprint our brand on these coalitions and networks. They eventually grow and acquire their own lease of life. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Creating the CSO Platform for engaging in EITI Process <ul><li>So, in 2004 after being convinced that EITI provides opportunities for ensuring that extractive revenues also work for the poor, ISODEC convened a CSO roundtable, aimed at broadening the platform for CSO engagement. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Advantages of Small-Medium Size Coalitions <ul><li>Small – medium size coalitions though can be limiting in terms of numbers, have their major advantage in terms of the efficiency that a critical mass of dedicated organizations and individuals can spew to a bring about the desired change. </li></ul><ul><li>The change will not be brought about by the direct actions of this core group, but by their ability to affect the larger segment of citizens out there to demand change. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Advantages of Small-Medium Size Coalitions (Contd.) <ul><li>Small – medium size coalitions help escape the unwieldiness that come with managing large coalitions. </li></ul><ul><li>less time and effort spent managing the complexity of relationships that large coalitions have to contend with. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to convene members to respond quickly to changing dynamics on the campaign front. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sustaining the Campaign Momentum <ul><li>Above, all the commitment of a lead organization, as in the case of ISODEC, means assurance that the campaign will not easily lose momentum. This is because the campaign will not be regarded as imposing an additional burden on the lead organization but rather forming part of its core work or mandate. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sustaining the Campaign Momentum (Contd.) <ul><li>There comes a time when the coalition grows and needs to have a life of its own. This has had to be managed. In such instances, the lead organization has to re-define its relationship and make a strategic shift from, for example, providing political leadership to providing technical support. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Vexed Questions <ul><li>How do we keep national coalitions within manageable size? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we ensure that membership does not out-grow the institutional capacity for managing the inter-organizational relationships, as well as the unavoidable pull in diverse directions as competing interests and priorities grow? </li></ul><ul><li>Must we establish a membership criteria? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we need a constitution to regulate members and to ensure that members behave within agreed norms? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Vexed Questions (Contd.) <ul><li>These are issues I believe should occupy our attention as we think through the issue national coalition building in pursuant of the PWYP campaign objectives. </li></ul>