On 24 April 2020, Forus, along with the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG), held a second webinar, this time in Spanish, in which we heard from Cesar Moreira, from the Aga Khan Foundation and Raquel Catalani from ABONG, the Brazilian platform member of Forus, both professionals who have been innovating in peer learning in civil society networks, namely in Mozambique and Brazil. The main topics addressed where those of the opportunities and challenges of using digital technology for peer learning and inclusive knowledge sharing.
Raquel Catalani from ABONG, spoke about the Bank of Alternative Practices, an initiative to present the experiences of Brazilian communities that seek alternatives to the predominant development model. She shared and exchanged best practices demonstrating that it is possible to live in a more sustainable and fair way. She also mentioned that the biggest challenge is to give greater visibility to their project, for which they are developing online campaigns on various social media platforms.
The following criteria are essential for identifying best practices before including them on the Alternative Practices Bank website:
1) Economic changes (eco solidarity in water and agriculture) ;
2) Shift in energy sources (change for clean energy) ;
3) Nature-friendly (healthy food, organic production, reforestation) ;
4) New way of organizing society and cities in regard to the environment, (public transport, bike paths, focused on the needs in the city) ;
5) New form of organizing society where democratic and participatory practices are promoted.
Few of the practices of the Bank of Alternative Practices have already obtained government support and there are also projects that have become public policies.
On the other hand, César Moreira, from the Aga Khan Foundation, spoke about the process of creating a blended learning project consisting on working with CSOs in Mozambique to help people in remote areas get access to theoretical data to develop their capacities. To encourage this project, practical sessions are organized, where these capacities are truly validated through peer learning and group activities. The main actions of the Aga Khan are to work with local CSOs and bring technology to them.
The criteria adopted to choose the topics for developing learning resources depend on the needs of CSOs. But, in particular, they follow this procedure: they make a diagnosis of the areas that most need to be strengthened and check if there were not already resources available. Then, they develop the contents for them, considering their context and their language (in this case in Portuguese). Finally, they make videos since it seems to be the easiest and most fun way to learn. They also allow the different contents to be downloaded, so that people who cannot connect to the Internet can still access the content produced.
In the current situation of COVID-19, the Aga Khan Foundation shares resources developed by CSOs in Mozambique (accessible on the website covid19.juntosmocambique.org/) with people in need. They are also developing other resources for their own partners. They follow the same procedure that they currently use for the course, so they authorize them to download the different resources and take them to areas that are difficult to access.
This webinar was part of a series of webinars organized by Forus and ISEG Lisbon. If you are interested on re-watching this webinar you can click here