Strengthening Civil Society
WLP is building the capacities of women’s civil society organizations in the Global South to respond to challenges to women’s rights, human progress, and peace.
Peer-to-peer exchanges across four continents
Annual capacity building seminars for the WLP partners
Online trainings in 5 languages
Curriculum and tools for organizational strengthening
Women’s civil society organizations (CSOs) provide services, education, research, and interventions that enrich society and speak for millions of women and men who would otherwise not be heard. A strong and vibrant civil society can hold government and business interests, and even religious authorities, accountable to the laws and values of a country, and promote the objectives of democracy and human rights. WLP is building the organizational, programmatic, and fundraising capacities of women’s CSOs in the Global South to respond to challenges to women’s rights, human progress, and peace.
In the face of cultural biases, economic disparities, and legal restrictions, WLP helps women’s rights CSOs become more impactful and sustainable. WLP conducts workshops, mentors organization leaders, and introduces funders to the work of our partners and their affiliates. Many of our partners now serve as national and regional coordinators of WLP programming, bringing culturally and legally relevant capacity building and strategic planning tactics to their allied organizations.
WLP facilitates peer-to-peer exchanges among our partners and their affiliates to foster collaboration between organizations and individuals working on similar goals across national borders and geographic regions. Representatives from one organization travel to another organization to work together for several days on a capacity building initiative. These initiatives frequently include strategic plans, development outreach, and campaign strategies. The exchanges lead to new advocacy initiatives, and build momentum for political movements regionally and internationally. WLP ensures that the peer-organizations have linguistic compatibility and share similar social and economic challenges in their work, so that everyone feels respected, understood, and empowered throughout the process. WLP’s peer-to-peer exchanges have been popular and successful because we ensure that the meetings are between individuals who are very familiar with each other’s organizations and activities, and who are equally committed to each other’s success.
Transnational Partners Convening and Global Training of Trainers
WLP is a builder of networks. We believe that collective action begins with collective thinking, so we bring together women, and men, from across the globe to exchange their experiences, ideas, and goals. From these meetings emerge a shared vision and shared objectives that strengthen the work of all of the individuals and organizations that are participating.
WLP hosts two types of international gatherings of women’s rights activists each year:
- Transnational Partners Convening (TPC): The annual TPC is an opportunity for representatives from all of our partner organizations to review their organizational achievements with each other, and to discuss the challenges they are facing. The partners evaluate their progress on WLP’s collaborative initiatives, and set new goals for themselves for the coming year, including the development of new WLP programs and materials.
- Global Training of Trainers (GTOT) Institutes: WLP organizes GTOTs for leading activists to come together to practice and use WLP curriculum to strengthen their training and advocacy work. The GTOTs provide hands-on experience and critical knowledge-sharing among activists working on similar issues, such as empowering refugee women and reforming discriminatory family laws.
WLP Partner Hub Model
We launched our partner hub model of mentoring and program coordination in 2008, with the aim of building the capacity of our partners to create and sustain their own local partnerships, based on WLP’s international partnership. The partner-led hubs bring together like-minded organizations and activists to collaborate on expanding WLP’s training programs and advocacy campaigns nationally and regionally. The hubs provide their partner organizations with organizational, programmatic, and personnel support, serving to strengthen individual women’s organizations, and sustain civil society more broadly.