Why is this so important?
Strong and capable civil society organisations (CSOs) are crucial for making democracies work and ensuring that change is people-centred and focused on contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals. Through CSOs, citizens connect on common interests, such as employment conditions, environment, human rights or the inclusion of marginalised groups. CSOs also allow citizens to organise themselves to influence decision-makers in the public and private sector. For governments to be responsive, they need to be informed by clearly articulated demands by the people for policy changes, legislation and services. Voicing such demands is a key role of CSOs. Therefore, the Learning and Innovation Programme will support Partos members to be as effective as possible in partnerships that enable strong and well-rooted CSOs in the South and that make citizens’ voices better heard.
- Agenda setting
In its role of agenda-setter, Partos identifies (on the basis of a flexible and participatory approach) important topics of change for collective learning and innovation, that are relevant to Dutch development organizations and/or their partners in the Global South, and mobilizes interest in joint investigation, learning and innovation.
The connector-role of The Partos learning and innovation team includes two types of activities: stakeholder engagement, community building and match-making.
- Facilitation of learning and innovation trajectories
The role of a Facilitator of Innovation labs actually refers to facilitating the entire innovation cycle, including the process of developing new ideas (ideation), turning an idea into a proof of concept, developing prototypes, piloting and testing prototypes, developing and rolling out- final products and solutions.
In light of the trends and existing challenges we decided in consultation with Partos member organisations – in the development of strategies and the implementation of programs – to focus on four themes:
- Civic power
This is about strengthening civil society, civil society activists, their organisations, movements and partnerships; about their strategies and actions, and the civic space they need to play their indispensable role both locally and globally in building just, inclusive and sustainable societies.
Here we learn about effective civil society strategies, policies and interventions that are inclusive and put the most effective in the lead.
- New ways of organising and working together
With a view to becoming more effective in combatting poverty, Dutch development organizations collaborate with NGOs, CBOs, movements, private sector organizations, financial institutions and research organizations. How do we build these partnerships, in a way that they are more effective and equitable at the same time?
- Data and digital technology
How can we make effective use of developments in the sphere of data & development? This is about new PME methodologies, data-informed programming, and about digital technologies that enable civil society strategies and are secure and inclusive.
Also a focus on joint learning of the Strategic Partnerships
Partos supports the joint learning of The Strategic Partnerships, which are financed as part of the Subsidy Framework of the Strengthening of Civil Society policy of the Ministry (i.e. The Power of Voices, SDG-5 Fund and other civil society strengthening programmes).
Partos finds it important to make the learning that takes place as part of these partnerships accessible to all Partos members. Therefore all activities are open to all Partos members. Non-members that are in the partnerships are also welcome to participate.
The learning is focussed on cross-cutting themes, like capacity development, lobby- and advocacy strategies, PME, adaptive programming, local ownership and inclusion. An advisory group with representatives of the different strategic partnerships decides on the agenda.
Our current work on joint learning and innovation is informed by lessons learned as part of The Spindle, our previous programme. For those who want to take a trip down memory lane: take a look at our “5 Years The Spindle magazine” about the results of The Spindle (2016 -2020). These were five years full of innovative projects, among which our inspiring and fully digitally organised project ‘The Digital Journey’.