written by Joyce Soares, Forus Capacity Development and Membership Coordinator
In 2018, for the second year, Forus gathered 11 participants from NGO National Platforms from all over the world to join the Leadership Development Program (LDP). The program started with online exchanges, research, then a 4-day face to face workshop in Santiago back-to-back with Forus’ GA, followed by online exchanges and a back-home project. The entire program was facilitated by Doug Reeler, Senior Practitioner at the Community Development Resource Association (CDRA).
The Leadership Development Program aims to stimulate debate and peer exchange on leadership, social change and the evolving roles of national NGO platforms. What is the change we want to see? And how could we best work toward it? A participant in the second cycle, Clarissa Giamelo, says: “The Leadership Program is very powerful in the construction of collective knowledge. We are all contributing with our practices, our questions, our doubts, and building there a lot of knowledge". The second cycle brought together 11 CSO platform leaders, from Romania, Hungary, the Philippines, Cambodia, Kiribati, Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Colombia, South Africa and France, with the goal of stimulating a collective reflection on social change. It was a unique opportunity for members from all over the world, to learn together in order to better work together in the future.
This program was an opportunity to strategize, share ideas and raise questions about civil society challenges, including shrinking space. The participants contributed, through their testimonials and exchanges, to the elaboration of a new narrative through innovative reflexions and actions, to be implemented to trigger the potential of creating social change. The Leadership Development Program is participative, engaging the participants’ own experiences to bring new ideas to the table. Indeed, after the third cycle (to take place between Mai 2019 and January 2020), the participants from all the three cycles will be invited to contribute to a participatory toolkit, based on their written productions during the program and experiences afterwards.