A short report on the training on advocacy and campaigning

A short report on the training on advocacy and campaigning
Below you can find a short report on the Training on Advocacy and Campaigining for Human Rights and Peace through IVS held in Barcelona (June 24th to 30th 2014) hosted by SCI – Catalunya.
With the present document we aim at summarising the main outcomes and dynamics of this training, which makes part of the Raising Peace Campaign by the CCIVS, for the use and information of our partners and stakeholders.

The Training on Advocacy and Campaigning for Human Rights and Peace through IVS was held in Barcelona between the 24th and the 30th of June 2014. It brought together staff and activists of IVS organisations from: Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Turkey and Nigeria, besides 2 international networks (CCIVS and SCI), and the participation of a wide range of Catalan NGOs and institutions.

The aim of the whole training was focussed in developing capacities within the movement, for networking, making advocacy and create synergies for the Human Rights and Peace thematics through IVS. The training, in this sense, foresaw various dimensions of expected outcomes (learning; networking; and planning), and we are happy to analyse that we achieved some of the relevant goals foreseen.

On the one hand, the learning part of the training benefitted from the participation of many diverse actors within the Catalan and international context, active NGOs in Peace and Human Rights, such as: Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya, Amnistia Internacional Catalunya, Enginyeria sense Fronteres or Centre Delàs. Their representatives would lead sessions about their experience and the necessary skills to run campaigns and advocacy. Besides these main workshops, sessions by other inspiring and high level NGO or institutional representatives were held: with Daniel Mack, of SouDaPaz, on the advocacy experience for the UN Arms Trade Treaty; or the round tables with parliamentary Quim Arrufat, the president of European Youth Forum Peter Matjasic, and the president of AI Catalonia, Maria Cañadas, among other relevant interventions. This learning part, with an important range of external experiences, was folded and complemented by one introductory and 2 closing days, in which the group of 20 professionals from IVS organisations would share and reflect on the existing campaigns within the IVS movement and finalise by developing new initiatives useful for the movement regarding the topics of Human Rights and Peace.

On the other hand, there is an important outcome in terms of networking. One of the goals of the training, besides the learning part, was to generate synergies within the movement, and also to open doors for collaboration with stakeholders with whom we are close and strategic but we don’t have the practice to work together yet.

Regarding the networking within the IVS movement, there are 3 main achievements: first, the development of links among the professionals of various IVS organisations, not only in general but also with the approach of peace and human rights; second, the potential of the campaigns developed (see below); and third, the cooperation of SCI and CCIVS in a peace and human rights project. The fact that the training team included the Vice-President of SCI and the General Secretary of the CCIVS allowed to get in depth of the possibilities of cooperation and future perspectives; besides the fact that the meeting with the steering team of the campaign added a strategic sense to the whole meeting.

Regarding the networking with stakeholders, it was a happy experience for us to be able to cooperate with AI, IDHC, ESF, Delàs, SoDaPaz, parliament and EYF representatives, for the programme development. This is complemented by the presence of the chair on International Relations of the municipality of Barcelona, the Catalan Federation of NGOs, National Youth Council, etc. For participants and also for the IVS representatives who where there, that was an excellent opportunity to exchange with a diverse range of stakeholders.

Finally, a very important level of outcome regards on the planning and programming side. Participants in the training worked in 5 different long-term campaigns and projects: an awareness raising campaign regarding food sovereignty, which would involve various networks, volunteering, activism and publications; the Brigada Migrante, which aims at promoting activist and awareness raising actions regarding the rights of migrants and reffugees in Europe; a project on social inclusion of ex-prisoners, to be developed initially in slavic countries; the planning of the one-day Raising Peace sub-campaign for the Peace Day by the CCIVS; and the design of a shared campaign by all IVS networks for the freedom of movement of all citizens, as stated in the vision on Social Inclusion and Participation of the White Paper of IVS.

These results in term of potential campaigns, together with the learning part on advocacy, on human rights and peace, have lead to reflections and planning sessions by the steering team members of the Raising Peace project. As a result, a more coherent second step for the Raising Peace campaign, and a strategic vision for a long-term campaign, have been agreed and designed. On the one hand, actions of Raising Peace 2015 will more effectively generate synergies with existing initiatives within the SCI and other members. Secondly, the planned campaigns will be integrated into the programme of Raising Peace, counting on the potential of the present organisations and professionals. Third, the methodologies will be adapted to what was learnt in the training: events in the campaign will combine training+activism+communication+advocacy, in one event, to consolidate skills, outcomes and coherence of our actions. These 3 elements will contribute to empower the campaign and its members, and will also give value and empower the resulting campaigns of the past training.

On what regards the planning of the Raising Peace as a long-term campaign, the perspective of these working days allowed to see the potential of a 5 years long campaign, focussing in sub-thematics within the topic of Peace and Human Rights every year. This perspective can multiply the potential of the campaign, and our capacity to increase the impact of our action together with our partners and stakeholders.

This whole pack of positive outcomes of the training are only possible thanks to the cooperation of the host SCI-Catalunya, with the various local partners, the CCIVS and SCI, and of course the representatives of the present IVS organisations; with the co-funding of the Council of Europe, municipality funds, and participants.

For us, this is the start of a longer and more strategic process to re-inforce the goals of the Raising Peace campaign with our partners and stakeholders.

Hoping that we will bring these learning and networking assets forwards with us for the following years, and that we will be able to expand the campaign and share it with our stakeholders during the next steps.