Blog by Andrew Griffiths and Philipp Schonröck, Co-chairs of Beyond 2015
How to build a global campaign? Good question! This evaluation will give you incredible insight about critical lessons we learned from the Beyond 2015 experience. In essence, it outlines how to build a global campaign. When Beyond 2015 was in its beginnings there was no manual for how to set up an international civil society campaign. Whilst it would be a disservice to call the evaluation a manual, it is fair to say that it is the rich and valuable source that Beyond 2015 never had.
As we think about what comes next, and as initiatives like Together 2030 among others start to grow, this evaluation gives a rounded perspective that highlights many of the practical challenges we have to face in order to build on the successes of Beyond 2015. In this way, the evaluation lays bare the mundane challenges that allow the beautiful successes to flourish.
For future campaigns we think that their are some key lessons we can take with us:
I. Governance is important, but form should follow function – it strikes us throughout this evaluation that Beyond 2015 members placed the most value on what worked. For example, the need for a southern-based fiscal agent was not seen as a priority by southern-based CSOs, and we were able to take a pragmatic view of receiving government funding.
II. Spend time and money on linking national processes to international – for Beyond 2015 this was not an easy process and the evaluation provides us with some excellent analysis about this. However, the quality and global reach of the information and experience we were able to bring to the intergovernmental negotiations was unrivalled and allowed us to present a legitimate and authentically global civil society voice at the intergovernmental negotiations.
III. Voice and participation needs more work – it is clear that global systems are not only challenging for voice and participation, but are designed to actively marginalise those living in poverty. The Beyond 2015 campaign worked through the Participate Research Group to bring in the voices of those who are often left behind, but it is clear that this is a generational challenge that needs to be a priority for future campaigns.
IV. Communications are important and should be prioritised – Beyond 2015 did not do enough on communications, despite amazing work from the secretariat. We did not prioritise it from the beginning, and the clear lesson is that we should have done.
V. Nothing works without finances – a building is only as important as its foundations, and the foundations of global initiatives like Beyond 2015 are built on their funding. For future campaigns to flourish, sustainable funding must be a major priority, despite the time and efforts required.
As we set up new campaigns, this comprehensive evaluation provides important lessons – that is why the Executive Committee made the evaluation an absolute priority. Our hope, as co-chairs of the Beyond 2015 campaign, is that others will find this evaluation as useful as we do, and that the legacy of our actions will help to build future campaigns.
Co-chair of Beyond 2015
Andrew Griffiths is the Head of Advocacy for Sightsavers, a NGO working on blindness and disability rights in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. He has been co-chair of the Beyond 2015 campaign since March 2014, and has a background in global health and nutrition advocacy.
Co-chair of Beyond 2015
Philipp Schonröck is the Director of Cepei (Centro de Pensamiento Estratégico Internacional) in Bogotá D.C., Colombia. He has worked for the Ecole de la Paix in Grenoble, and as an adviser to the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation in Paris, and to the Colombian government’s commercial office in Germany. Philipp has published numerous essays in Latin America, Europe and the United States and writes periodically in the Latin American press. He is also a guest-lecture on subjects regarding international development cooperation at various universities across the LAC region. In 2010, he was the team leader of the evaluation group on the implementation of the aid effectiveness principals of the Paris Declaration in Colombia. He is a Board Member of the Colombian Confederation of NGO and a Co-Chair of the LAC Community of Practice on Management for Development Results.