Vuka! – Building an international coalition to coordinate and enable civil society’s response to closing space

22nd April 2020 by Eva Gondor

With its Country Coordination Calls, Vuka!, a coalition of international, regional and national CSOs, manages country-level responses to closing space.

Read the summary and find the full case study at the bottom of the page.

About the coalition

What launched the coalition? The recognised problem: how should international civil society respond to the global issue of closing civic space?
Who are the members? Approximately 160 organisations; a diverse range of international, regional and national CSOs.
How does it work? A coalition secretariat and a steering committee; country-focus across 6 action teams. Each member has equal footing to determine the coalition’s priorities.

Coalition action

Outcomes Advocacy and campaigns enjoy greater reach thanks to the diverse membership; national engagement with international and regional bodies is facilitated; organic, bi-lateral connections have been enabled; creative and innovative initiatives incubated and stewarded by the action teams.
Challenges How do you maintain the momentum of country-level conversations?
How do you coordinate a response in ‘opening contexts’?
Lessons learned Trust is essential (and enabled by secure platforms); coordination enables identification of key gaps and opportunities; this needs to be backed by ready resources and mechanisms.

Get the case study

Background to our Pilot Solidarity Playbook Case Studies

This case study is one of six that reviews best practices, challenges, and lessons learned for both ICSO internal mechanisms and coalition responses to scrutiny and attacks. They show positive outcomes and new practices that were initially triggered by an undue threat or attack.

Written by Sarah Pugh and Deborah Doane, these case studies first appeared in an in-house study called “Solidarity in Times of Scrutiny” presented at the International Civic Forum in Addis Ababa in October 2019.

Thanks go to our case study partners for making their learnings available to a larger readership.

The presented case studies reflect the status of when they were first written up in October 2019. Naturally, the political situation as well as the organisations’ and coalitions’ learnings have since evolved and are constantly evolving.


Eva Gondor

Senior Project Manager

International Civil Society Centre

Eva leads on the Centre's civic space work - the Solidarity Action Network (SANE) aimed at strengthening resilience of and solidarity among civil society actors, and the International Civic Forum (ICF), our annual civic space platform to network and identify opportunities for collaboration. Prior to joining the Centre she worked at the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Foundation) in Stuttgart where she managed the foundation’s projects focusing on civil society and governance in Turkey, the Western Balkans, and North Africa.