In order to reinforce the capacity of SMOs and educators, Spur Change seeks to convene 50 representatives of SMOs as well as 50 educators from coast-to-coast-to-coast to learn from experts, and share expertise, approaches and good practices for inclusive, gender transformative, sustainable development; to identify and form partnerships; and strengthen the sector’s collective work to more effectively engage all Canadians as global citizens.
The theme of each annual conference over the next five years will be tied to one of the six Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) action areas, with Action area 1 : Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls will be cross-cutting for all five years of the program. The theme of the 2019 Annual National Conference will be tied to FIAP Action area 5 : Inclusive Governance.
SMOs should expect to:
- Learn about and integrate current international and national frameworks and approaches to their development practices, including: a feminist approach, and the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Share expertise, good practices and resources on inclusive governance;
- Identify and establish potential partnerships and synergies;
- Share experience and knowledge on effectively measuring the quality and impact of their efforts towards meaningful participation and inclusion;
- Communicate and celebrate successes and collaborate on finding solutions to identified challenges.
Educators should expect to:
- Learn about the latest thinking on and response to global issues from sector leaders, experts from the Global South, as well as practicing civil society organizations;
- Receive training specific to teachers on how to teach and inspire engagement on global issues from pedagogical experts;
- Engage and share in peer learning and collaboration through the sharing of resources and experiences across Canada;
- Facilitate connections and dialogue between civil society organizations eager to learn from and work with schools and educators;
- Collaborate with and support civil society organizations in creating classroom relevant resources.
The Spur Change program was officially launched during its first national conference taking place from November 20-22 in Edmonton, AB. The 2-day event allowed 130+ participants from coast-to-coast-to-coast of the country to connect, and share experiences and resources with other SMOs and educators, identify partnership opportunities and learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to integrate them into school communities. The theme of this first conference was “Inclusive Governance: Meaningful Participation towards Gender Equality” and sustainable development practices were discussed through priority areas such as the integration of community-led monitoring and evaluation into programming, integrating gender equality, inclusive governance and the SDGs in teaching about global issues and tools & resources for prevention from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). As this year’s theme was tied to the 5th area of the Canadian Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) “Inclusive Governance”, compelling exchanges occurred around the importance of “bringing all voices to the table” to ensure gender equality, Indigenous and youth participation, while avoiding tokenism.
The conference took place after a national initial needs assessment was conducted through roundtables and online survey from September to October 2019, and the combined feedback gathered allowed to inform capacity-building priorities to develop Spur Change programming.