Assure a sustainable and thoughtful transition from Education to Fashion, for both the Education partners and the wider Education field in Brazil.
Investment: EUR 3.200.000 (C&A Foundation)
Duration: 3 years (2017-19)
Geographical reach: Brazil
Structure a process for transition through financial and technical assistance the development and implementation of sustainability plans by partners
Support and disseminate learning through the creation of a repository of knowledge products, evaluation of selected partners, and a learning and feedback process implemented in the final year of the transition
Strengthen the field through structuring and strengthening of alliances and networks, as well as facilitating action from new funders
Supporting the sustainability plans' development and implementation as a process (providing ongoing technical assistance and hand holding for most partners) and not restricting it to the product (the actual plan) was critical to the positive results in partner's satisfaction and observed outcomes for partner organisations.
The knowledge management platform chosen (Sinapse) was not suitable for whom they had wished to be the main audience: partners and other CSOs in the field. More could have been done to disseminate the existence of the platform and raise interest amongst stakeholders.
The initiative reinforced the education agenda in the country through the strengthening of multi-stakeholder and national level networks for which the C&A Foundation’s support and action has been fundamental (RNBC, Campanha, LEQT), resulting in new social capital for the sector. It was also key in facilitating access to new funders, allowing for the take over of the Community Libraries Programme by Itaú Social.
What did we learn?
- Ideally, support sustainability from the outset, but it's never too late.
- Be a critical friend for partners, through critical and constructive appraisal stemming from real-time evaluation and learning.
- Take an ecosystem approach, supporting both the sustainability of individual partners and the field through networks and alliances.
For Partners & Others
- Develop and implement a sustainability plan, tie it to your strategic planning, and continuously monitor and revisit it.
- Make conscious efforts to promoting new models of leadership that are collective and participatory. This entails having more members exercising external representation and fostering intergenerational exchange.
- Strengthening ties with the communities you serve is key for legitimate high-level advocacy.