Coordinating with other actors can be incredibly beneficial to help maximise the local counterpart's ability to progress, avoid duplication and prevent spoilers from taking advantage of the lack of coordination.
Part two of this lesson will identify strategies that help to foster coordination.
So is coordination really an issue?
According to OECD figures released in Accra, in 2008, donors conducted over 15,000 missions in 54 recipient countries. Vietnam played host to an average of three visits each working day. So did Tanzania, whose overstretched civil service produces 2,400 quarterly reports on projects a year. Health workers in several African countries say they are so busy meeting western delegates that they can only do their proper jobs -vaccinations, maternal care, etc.- in the evening.
Faced with such a situation, advisors should actively seek to encourage coordination at all times and at all levels.
Working within a complex post-conflict environment means that you will be a part of, influence or be influenced by a wide range of processes that will be going on at the same time. Being aware of these different processes can help you engage with relevant actors and adapt your work accordingly.
There are three steps that can be followed to foster effective coordination:
First, you need to find out if a map of the relevant actors in your space already exists. If such a map does not exist, you should seek to undertake this exercise, identify the actors and determine their interdependencies, interests and power relationships.
Next, you should identify challenges to coordination.
Finally, you need to identify the appropriate ways to facilitate coordination.
Let’s take a look at each of these stages in more detail.