CIDT considers what makes a learning partnership?

In March 2022, CIDT concluded a one-year learning partnership, supporting staff of the Europe Laudes Foundation to integrate Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) into their work. As we reach the middle of year two, we reflect on: what distinguishes a learning partnership from a service provider relationship?

Under phase 1 of the partnership we collaboratively set an intention – a roadmap was developed with learning milestones, along a journey from GESI aware, to GESI sensitive, to GESI transformative thinking and programming.

There was substantial investment in careful diagnosis – setting a baseline to understand the priorities and needs of the Laudes staff, in relation to GESI knowledge, attitudes and practices. A series of actions then emerged including a glossary, case studies, online modules and podcasts – all grounded in deep reflection and evolution with the Foundation teams.

What helped to progress the learning?

  • An incremental approach
  • The interest and enthusiasm of Laudes Foundation staff, which led to deep engagement
  • Grounding GESI in the specific context of Laudes Foundation organisation and culture
  • Striving for an organisation-wide approach, which is nuanced to reflect regional and contexts

Above all, we recognised that it takes time to establish a strong learning partnership – one that is based on trust and challenge – and that the role of the learning partner is more open, exploratory, iterative and fluid than that of a service provider.

Our focal areas for phase 2 of the learning partnership include:

  • Practical representation of GESI in the grant cycle
  • Continuing and amplifying the conversation GESI in the context of climate change
  • GESI-responsive organisational procedures

Laudes Foundation is at the forefront of a ‘just transition‘ – a recognition that the dual crises of climate change and inequality are deeply linked, and that this requires an ambitious, global response. CIDT is working closely with two teams focused on the Built Environment and Finance and Capital Market Transformation.

Launched in 2020, Laudes Foundation builds on the work of C&A Foundation, founded by the Brenninkmeijer family.

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