Annual program meetings and follow-up between meetings have allowed for a sustained process peer learning. Partners exchanged lessons learned on providing direct services and conducting policy advocacy, which translated into improvements in institutional practices.
CWS and the partner organizations identified Staff Care (el eje staff care) as a pressing common issue (Staff Care refers to the attitudes and actions that institutions take to promote the well-being of their staff, and that staff take to promote their own well-being and that of each other). The five institutions analyzed the results of a regional Staff Care study, and incorporated the topic into groundbreaking work plans for the second program phase (2009-2012).
The program provided political and emotional support to the participating institutions and their staff, which shored up their ability to maintain their independence and their focus on defending the rights of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. This was especially pertinent in cases such as the Dominican Republic and Brazil where work conditions can involve significant personal danger, and Nicaragua where independent NGOs are questioned by a hostile government.