Coalition Barometer: Code of coherence

Coalition management

Coalition management is more than collecting reports, contextual characteristics, results and lessons learned. Coalition management is about coordination mechanisms which shape and link result and process responsibility in a way that:

  1. strengthens the self directing capacity of the coalition as a whole,
  2. ‘empowers’ coalition partners and
  3. creates conditions to foster collective decision-making and collective action.

Linear and circular

Coalition processes are not simple. They have their own natural laws. Managing coalition processes solely on the basis of planning, agreements and control generally does not lead to the desired results The functioning of coalitions has a linear component (creation, planning, realization, evaluation) and a circular component (the manner in which during the coalition process relationships are created between actors, interests and results.) Both components need to be managed, monitored and evaluated.


Result and process responsibility can be shaped both horizontally and vertically. Coalition partners must agree on the manner of direction, which, with a view to the nature, composition, the mandate and the duration of the coalition seems most suitable for the coalition process and is culturally the most acceptable. We refer to it being ‘culturally the most acceptable’ because cultural and contextual characteristics and codes can provide boundaries for management styles and for the political, economic and social opportunities for change.

Positioning of coalition partners towards each other

Agreements or contracts reflect the positioning of individual coalition partners towards the coalition (commitment, contribution). They do not touch on the positioning of individual coalition partners towards each other with regard to specific harmonization issues. These issues arise during the development of the coalition and cannot be foreseen in advance. We developed the ‘Code of Coherence’ to address these issues and to safeguard the focus on joint results and synergy within the coalition.

The Coalition Factory assists partnerships:

  • to find the right coordination mechanisms that reinforce the coalition’s functionality and
  • to relate harmonization issues to membership conditions, the (in)formal status of the coalition, the level of cohesion between coalition partners and the desired relationship with the outside world.

For assistance with coordination questions or management issues regarding partnerships or detailed information about the Code of Coherence contact us

See our Art of Coalition services >