“Coordination” is a core guiding principle for engaging in rule of law assistance. A lack of coordination can result in duplication of efforts, whereas good coordination promotes accountability, transparency, and efficiency. Coordination is the easiest principle to understand in theory, but often it is very challenging to implement in practice. All organizations want to coordinate; however, few want to be coordinated by others. At its core, “coordination” means that organizations and donors in the international rule of law community should coordinate with one another and with national counterparts, sharing information on activities and initiatives in-country. Likewise, “coordination” means that national actors should coordinate with one another and with the international community. Successful coordination efforts have created formalized coordination structures that involve all stakeholders, national and international, and that meet regularly to share information. These structures often have staff dedicated solely to coordination efforts. Best practice shows that these coordination mechanisms should be led or co-led by national actors.

Many practitioners argue that the success or failure of coordination hinges on interpersonal relationships and that the ability to create good relationships, mutual respect, and trust is the cornerstone of effective coordination. Practitioners may wish to refer to Soft Skills for more information on ways to enhance working relationships, respect, and trust.

Below are links to various articles and reports on coordination from the rule of law community and beyond. These resources set out lessons learned and good practices relating to coordination.