‘Beating the Drum: Stories of Influencing Networks’ is a collection of stories about influencing networks working in a variety of thematic fields. It narrates the experiences of nine networks that work on issues such as land rights, the abolition of nuclear arms, animal rights and having more women in the police force, to name but a few. Targeting decision-makers at sub-national, national, regional, and international levels, or a combination thereof, the networks bring us along on their journey, their choices, and their experiences with influencing the powerful to make informed decisions.

A multi-disciplinary Review Committee comprised of academics and development practitioners oversaw the development of the content of this book. The publication captures practical and insightful experiences of influencing networks. The publication focuses on learning about partnerships and how these can be mutually beneficial within the context of a network. In addition, the stories reflect on the role of capacity development. Thereby illustrating how being part of a network can help organizations offset each other’s weaknesses while also let organizations benefit from each other strengths. Ultimately the collective capacity of the network is a determining factor in how impactful the network can be during the policy development phase and subsequent implementation. The nine cases presented in this publication reflect on their emerging network model, their evolving ways of working, their dilemmas, successes and indeed also their failures. This is a highly original publication with compelling stories from practice all over the world. It adds much value to the field of public affairs and international cooperation.

© Oxfam Novib, July 2020