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On the Right Tack: Reflections on Coalition-Building Initiatives Across The Asia Foundation


By Nicola Nixon, Peter Yates, Sumaya Saluja, Su Lae Yi, Miranda Lucas, and Katherine Bain

Coalitions—groups of organizations and individuals that work together to pursue a common policy goal or reform—are crucial to development. Some of The Asia Foundation’s longest-standing and most successful development programs and portfolios have used coalition-building as an implementation modality. This paper examines successful initiatives in Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. By delving into each of these, we shed light on this coalition-building modality, sharing insights about how externally supported coalitions emerge and function and contributing ideas about how such support can be adapted to other contexts. We hope that this paper and these case studies contribute to innovations in contemporary development theory and help practitioners use and move beyond some formulaic and technocratic modalities, such as traditional capacity development, knowledge transfer, and technical assistance. People, relationships, and working partnerships can then take center stage, and sustained cooperation will gain primacy over short-term outputs and deliverables.

Posted February 17, 2023
Related locations: Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste
Related programs: Good Governance