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There can be no successful coalitions, only coalitions that achieve successes. Once it achieves its goal, a coalition will either disband, or will need to set itself a new goal. But coalitions with broad aims often trundle on, never quite reaching the goal, but not disbanding either. Specific strategic aims, around which members come together (rather than being brought together), are perhaps what national (education) coalitions most need right now.

If a group of national organisations wants to achieve a very specific aim, there are real benefits of working together as a coalition, and there is support out there to help them achieve their aim. But establishing a coalition because there is money to do so is not a guarantee of smooth functioning, let alone of achieving success. And if a coalition is used by funders to channel funds to CSOs, the purpose of a coalition risks being distorted. Instead, such funds might be channelled via members, themselves having applied for funds from an independent and nationally managed Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF).

This information has been drawn from the CEF's report Driving the bus: the journey of national education coalitions.