Cultivating Sustainable Partnerships Beyond Projects and Borders Through Learning Sharing

In the ever-evolving landscape of social development, civil society organizations (CSOs) play a pivotal role in driving positive change. Their strength lies in their intimate knowledge and profound experience in navigating the nuances of local contexts. With a dedicated focus on ensuring social accountability, CSOs become powerful advocates for change, striving to bridge gaps and address challenges within their communities.

Recognizing the transformative potential embedded in collaboration, in a recent initiative to foster sustainable partnerships beyond project timelines, the Institute of Informatics Development (IID) hosted a learning sharing meetup with the GPE’s Education Out Loud (EOL) Regional Management Unit (RMU). Distinguished guests from RMU, including Sanjay S. Rana, Regional Programme Manager, Oxfam IBIS; Janak Raj Pant, Regional Education Advisor-Asia Pacific, EOL Programme, Oxfam IBIS; Mr. Anoj Chhetri, Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for Asia Pacific Region, Oxfam Denmark; and Sabita Bista, Regional Manager of Finance, Oxfam IBIS, graced the occasion. The meeting was moderated by Syeed Ahamed, the CEO of IID.

During the event, Sanjay S. Rana delivered a comprehensive overview of the EOL project and its grantee system. He delineated the three components of Education Out Loud’s grants, with Operational Component 1 focusing on advocacy and monitoring of public education programs, Component 2 on Social Accountability, and Component 3 on national advocacy. Mr. Rana emphasized the challenges of localizing and contextualizing learnings from diverse global regions within the South Asia context.

An update was shared regarding the second phase of EOL, with IID from Bangladesh, CYAN from the Philippines, and I-SAPS from Pakistan successfully advancing. New grantees, Karkhana Samuha from Nepal and MACDI from Vietnam, were also introduced.

Janak Pant highlighted the distinct focus of GPE KIX grantees on research and their potential collaboration areas with EOL grantees and civil society organizations.

Mr. Anoj Chhetri shared insights on how civil society organizations in Nepal leverage youth engagement and ICT to bridge the digital divide, opening avenues for potential collaboration.

Amidst discussions, Syeed Ahamed highlighted the pivotal role of social accountability for CSOs and CBOs, acknowledging their strengths in local knowledge and experience. He emphasized the complementary relationship with knowledge partners, citing IID’s collaboration with ACER and MDF as an example. Syeed Ahamed detailed how these collaborations facilitated the contextualization of social change matrices and social accountability models, transforming IID from a knowledge recipient to a contributor and empowering local CSOs and CBOs to craft effective advocacy campaigns.

In the same vein, Mr. Rana emphasized the critical importance of knowledge partners from the global south, advocating for a more inclusive approach.

The learning sharing session took place at Hotel Vivanta, Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 1, 2023, providing a platform for discussions on sustainable collaboration beyond project boundaries and highlighting the strengths and complementary roles of different stakeholders.

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