Women's Empowerment and Active Citizenship

Learning Forum

The Coady Institute partners with five organizations to implement the ENGAGE program in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Tanzania. A key component of the Engage program is the priority placed on creating a co-learning environment whereby the partner organizations have ongoing opportunities to share their expertise, learn from each other, and collectively explore new ideas, techniques and tools.

The annual Learning Forum is one of the venues for this collaborative learning process. The 2021 Learning Forum was comprised of six online workshops held over a four-week period through October to early November. Representatives from each partner organization participated in the planning process and took the lead on presenting a topic and facilitating discussions linking to asset-based development, feminism, social enterprise and climate resilience.

The workshops brought over 30 senior leaders, staff, participants and volunteers from our six organizations. This diversity of thought, contexts, and approaches contributed to a dynamic environment and dialogue. Despite being separated by thousands of kilometers, we came together virtually and shared our common concerns.

The conversations ranged from what feminism looks like in our organizations and contexts to women’s important role in social enterprise in each of our countries. Rich discussions were the default and new areas to deepen our understanding of gender emerged. Key questions generated through the discussions will become new areas to explore. Coady and the partners have already started to follow up on these questions, for example through a co- organized webinar on COP26 and how it will impact our work at a local level.