Building Coalitions for Effective Advocacy

Successful advocacy often require efforts beyond that of an individual group or organization, and forming and growing a coalition becomes essential to achieving a common goal. When Bonnie served as Advocacy Director at Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, she also chaired the international Malaria Advocacy Working Group. When her tenure began there were less than a dozen active members, but after just one year, membership topped 70 engaged stakeholders who actively collaborated on malaria advocacy issues. During this time, global funding for malaria control reached an all-time high, having grown from $100 million in 2003 to $1.5 billion in 2009.

Additionally, Bonnie and her co-chairs led the formation of an Africa-focused sub-group to better link African partners into global funding and coordination mechanisms. In the U.S., Bonnie was also a lead member of the Malaria Roundtable, hosted by Global Health Council to convene Washington-based advocates and helped to build consensus on key priorities and messaging among a diverse group of stakeholders. These collaborative efforts helped fuel the steady increase in U.S. funding for malaria programming, which reached nearly $400 million in 2009.

Today, Bonnie contributes these skills to the work of Gillespie Communication, coaching clients on building and leading effective coalitions and how to incorporate partnership as a key component of strategic advocacy planning.