One year ago, the first Spur Change team staff were hired and laid the groundwork for this five-year initiative. A first learning event on the Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) was organized in the summer of 2019 to meet the immediate needs of Canadian Small and Medium Organizations (SMOs). Early fall 2019, the team conducted a comprehensive national needs assessment process in order to assess the capacity building needs and knowledge gaps of Canadian SMOs and appropriate learning methods. This consultation culminated in the first Spur Change Annual Conference in Edmonton in November, which brought together 84 SMOs and 27 educators involved in Global Citizenship Education (GCED). With this first step accomplished, the team was able to develop a capacity building program adapted for SMOs, including for SMOs funded by Global Affairs Canada funding through the Development Impact Window of the Initiative for SMOs for Impact and Innovation. In January 2020, the team officially launched its Youth Champions program, bringing together Canadian SMOs and Canadian and international youth in a multigenerational and peer-to-peer learning exchange and collaboration in implementing and strengthening public engagement. As per identified in the needs assessment, the collection of feminist and community-based data was at the center of Spur Change’s first national training. The year ended with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which required the program to pivot its activities to respond to the emerging needs of SMOs and equip them to face the crisis, by offering a series of online learning opportunities.
Here are a few highlights of Year 1:
- A national needs assessment process was conducted with over 150 Canadian SMOs;
- 290 unique SMOs from coast-to-coast-to-coast participated in Spur Change activities;
- 10 online and 4 in-person training opportunities were held across the country;
- The first National Conference was held in Edmonton;
- The first edition of the Youth Champions Program gathering 17 youth from 11 countries and Canadian SMOs was launched;
- A first SMO report addressing questions about the capacity building and knowledge sharing needs of Canadian SMOs working in international cooperation was published;
- A website was developed, regrouping news, capacity-building opportunities, information about the different components of the program, and resources.
Here’s an overview of Year 1 results:
Click here to learn more about the Spur Change program.