The South-South Cooperation Programme for Lusophone Countries is an initiative from the Brazilian Campaign for the Right to Education, in partnership with the Open Society Foundations Education Support Programme.
The SSCP-Lusophone is a way to strengthen education justice and promote social development through education amongst and between Brazil and the Lusophone countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe).
The aim is to stimulate and support the development of more sophisticated coalition/education civil society strategies that employ carrot and stick means to both work with and pressure governments, resulting in the development and expansion of education policies that enshrine the right to quality education and promote social justice. Such assurance needs to be context-specific and where such assurance may be premature, innovative means of realizing quality education for all outside the rights framework will be sought. A social justice construct or a political economy lens, for instance, may provide useful vehicles for change.
How we will foster this process:
a- Consensus-building workshop for Lusophone countries (May, 2011 – Brazil)
The key principles of the Programme are collective reflection, learning and sharing of experiences. The workshop aims to developing the Lusophone network based on shared goals, allowing the different country representatives to share their own realities and to build the ensuing activities in line with these. A consensual process will result in greater engagement of each country, rather than participation in an already established process. In addition, the Programme gains are greater ownership, activities more targeted at addressing respective challenges and, ultimately, greater impact.
b- Internship for civil society’s actors from African Lusophone countries (November, 2011 –Brazil)
In order to develop and sharpen the strategies of national education coalitions in Lusophone countries, the Programme will hold a 30-day internship in Brazil. Ten participants (two from each country) will have the opportunity to share and develop skills in a number of critical areas. This includes approaches and frameworks for policy analysis, and will be led by Brazilian Campaign’s staff and key partners. Critical understandings of advocacy will also be unpacked and examined in detail, including ‘social advocacy’, relating to how best to increase citizens’ understanding of certain issues to promote public debate and to increase public pressure for change in policy and practice, and ‘policy advocacy’, relating to how best to use research and evidence from service delivery to offer innovative solutions and make clearly articulated policy recommendations. The internship will also focus on methods and tactics for accessing financial information, overcoming gate-keeping processes or individuals and ensuring as accurate data as possible. The meaningful analysis of this data to inform social and policy advocacy will ensue, along with establishing structures to ensure regular updating of budget information according to the respective government structures at the district, regional and national levels, among other relevant issues and strategies.
c- South-South exchange network for African lusophone countries (May,2011 to October, 2012)
A key element of the Programme will be supporting and monitoring the work to be developed in each country after the internship. The principal means will be through the review of the national coalition strategies as well as the project staff maintaining an ongoing communication with the participants, providing technical advice and helping participants to deal with specific challenges. This ongoing communication with the participants will provide material to be worked on and discussed during the field visits in each country, which will further strengthen the relationship and support the development of specific strategies. In addition, the communication tools are an opportunity to keep and strengthen the communication between the participating countries and monitoring the output indicators for each participant of the project.
d- Evaluate the Program’s initial phase and publish a reference material (October, 2012)
The Programme will produce a short publication analyzing the project experience through a technical evaluation of its process, benefits and impact, including an assessment from the perspective of the participating countries and their views on accomplishments gained during the project. This publication will be bilingual (Brazilian Portuguese and English) and available online for download.
WHAT WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH
1- Updated and renewed coalition strategies in all participating countries
2- A vibrant and active cross-country Lusophone education network
3- More tactical and strategic coalition–government relations in participating countries
4- More meaningful inclusion of coalitions in policy reform and implementation processes
5- Strong foundations for the strengthening of the South-South Cooperation Programme for African Lusophone Countries