The last few years have witnessed a seismic shift in the perceived role of civil society. Donors in particular have recognised ‘more pluralistic forms of governance and decision making are seen to be more effective in developing a social consensus about structural changes in economy and other key reforms’. The earlier focus on the state and the market has given way to a more interactive view of societies in which the associational realm plays more critical roles.
The aim of this paper is to highlight lessons learned by emerging CSO coalitions in Malawi in order for CSOs and donors in other countries to improve their own support for these vital, but complex entities. The publication is aimed at donors, international NGOs and CSOs involved in supporting CSO coalitions either through membership or financing. We believe that despite the fact that the lessons are drawn from one particular country, many of the findings also apply to CSO coalitions in different parts of the world.