Cross-Sectoral Policy Coalitions: A Case Study of Sustain Ontario: The Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming’s Efforts to Reform Policy. How a Policy Coalition's Choices Contributed to its Legitimacy and Influence
Lee Trillo, Sandra
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This paper is a case study of the formation and early development of one civil society organization (CSO), Sustain Ontario, the Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming (Sustain, the Alliance, the Network). Sustain is an example of a non-governmental, cross-sectoral policy coalition . In an era of complex problems and constrained resources such policy coalitions or networks appear increasingly common in Canada, yet there has been limited research into their approaches. This paper investigates the choices Sustain made related to structures, strategies and processes; it presents integrative research on the relationships between Sustain’s choices, and the Alliance’s ability to cultivate legitimacy and influence policy in Ontario, Canada. Sustain’s network organizational structures and membership enabled Sustain to engage and leverage requisite skills and knowledge. The Alliance employed five core strategies that enabled it to facilitate widespread member engagement, develop and disseminate research and other materials, and establish constructive relationships with policy makers. While I appreciate the limitations of a single case study, I think Sustain’s experience and choices may be of interest to provincial food networks and cross-sectoral policy coalitions addressing similarly complex challenges.