Movement building allies

Indicator Phrasing

Number of movement building allies working with Tearfund

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: Number of movement building allies working with Tearfund

What is its purpose?

Indicates the scale and reach of our movement building work by counting the number of allies we are directly working with or supporting. A movement building ally acts as a key contact for Tearfund within a social movement that we are connected to anywhere in the world. A movement is a collection of networks of people with a shared vision for change, a shared narrative and shared values. The essence of how this indicator is counted is that the ally needs to be in an active process of engagement with Tearfund. It is not enough that we are simply in touch with them or that we are fellow members of the movement. Tearfund needs to have an active ongoing relationship of accompaniment, collaboration, journeying together, and mutual learning and support with the ally.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

The data will be collected by Tearfund staff working on movement building, and reported via Track. 

Name each ally you report in the narrative description, to make sure we avoid any double counting. It is also helpful to state in the narrative which of Tearfund’s corporate priorities of “Environmental and Economic Sustainability'', Church and Community Transformation”, Reconciled, and Peace-filled Societies” and/or “Crisis to Resilience” the movement contributes to. 

You are strongly encouraged to complete the movement building assessment tool with each movement ally (or group of allies) at least once a year, to get a more qualitative insight into the impact, maturity and size of the movement. The completed assessment can be attached to the relevant Track entry. You can find the movement building assessment tool on Tearfund Learn: For support on how to use the tool, please contact an advocacy colleague in Tearfund for your country or region. 


Disaggregate by

This indicator is not usually disaggregated.

Important Comments

The main criterion for being a movement building ally is that Tearfund is in an active ongoing relationship of accompaniment, collaboration, journeying together, and mutual learning and support with the ally.

This relationship can be indicated by, for example:

  • Tearfund has a Movement Building Ally agreement with the ally.

  • Tearfund and the ally regularly use the Tearfund Movement Building Assessment Tool together in a collaborative way, as a coaching and planning tool.

  • The ally plays a leading role in the movement and acts as a focal point for Tearfund, for example, if the ally acts as a national expression of the global Renew Our World campaign. 

A movement building ally can be an organisation, group of individuals, church denomination, network, theological training organisation (TTO), or church. 

We would not normally count every individual we engage with separately. Instead, we would count the organisation or group they are part of. However, in some rare cases, an influential individual who plays a key role in the movement in their own right, rather than as part of an organisation or group, can be counted (an example would be ‘Less Waste’ Laura or Vanessa Nakate). 

How we count groups of individuals will depend on how they are organised and how we engage with them. If the group is organised at the national level, and this is where our engagement sits, then this would count as one ally. If the individuals are organised in local groups, then each local group that we are actively engaging with would count as one ally. 

When we work directly with an individual church in an ongoing relationship of accompaniment, then that church can be counted as an ally. However, if we are simply in touch with the church as an active member of the movement, then we would not count them as a movement building ally. In particular, where our main engagement is at the denominational or network level, we would count the denomination or network of churches as one single movement building ally, even if there is also some contact with individual churches in the denomination or network.

We want to avoid double counting between the different ‘global reach indicators’ (or ‘GRIs’). If you are working with a church, denomination / network, or TTO on movement building, you should count them only once, against global reach indicator 1 (local churches), 4 (denominations and networks) or 5 (TTOs) where possible. Churches, denominations, networks and TTOs that are counted against global reach indicator 1, 4 or 5 cannot also be counted as a movement building ally against global reach indicator 6. However, churches and denominations / networks from the ‘global North’ cannot count towards GRIs 1 and 4. Therefore, if you are working with a church, denomination or network based in the ‘global North’ on movement building, you can count that church, denomination or network as a movement building ally against this global reach indicator 6 (provided the nature of the engagement fits the definition of a ‘movement building ally’). 

The reason for counting the number of allies, rather than the number of movements, is that it can be difficult to decide where a particular movement begins and ends, and also how far Tearfund’s support can be said to extend. For example, do we count Renew Our World as one global movement, or does each national expression count as a separate movement? To get around this, we decided to count the number of movement building allies we directly support / work with. Also, if we count the ‘number of movements’, this does not capture the breadth and nature of Tearfund’s engagement in the way that counting ‘allies we are actively engaging with’ does.

Note that even if a movement experiences significant growth, the number of allies we engage in that movement is unlikely to change much from year to year. The movement building assessment tool would then be the best reflection of the growth of the movement. This is one reason why you are strongly encouraged to complete the movement building assessment tool with each movement ally (or group of allies) at least once a year (see link to the tool above).


A note on language: 

The word ‘movement’ can be problematic in certain restricted contexts, as it can be seen as too political. In those contexts, we use other words to describe the movement, such as ‘network’ or ‘platform’. 

Likewise, the word ‘ally’ can be problematic, as it sometimes carries military connotations. However, it is still the most commonly used term for the relationship that exists between different members of a social movement, and for this reason we have chosen to continue using it. An alternative could be ‘friend’ but this is less well understood.

This guidance was prepared by Tearfund ©

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