The last edition of our Training Academy took place in heart of Athens, Greece, on the last weekend of September. Thirty-two representatives of SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation from more than 20 countries in Europe, met to participate in the training that aimed at strengthening international cooperation and advocacy strategies on both the national and European level.
SOLIDAR advocacy refers to efforts by organised civil society to influence the formulation and implementation of public policies and programmes by persuading and pressuring national and European institutions and other powerful actors. During the training participants were shown how advocacy embraces various activities that can differ from country to country and that will also vary according to the target group.
The intense training programme allowed participants to share best practice, develop synergies and build alliances around various topics. The planning and implementation of advocacy initiatives not only helps to solve immediate problems but also, over time, contributes to strengthening the SOLIDAR network and cross border cooperation among its members.
The programme concluded with a simulation game, featuring real-time consultations with experts, during which participants developed a proposal for a full scale advocacy strategy and presented it to the plenary, to demonstrate that they had taken stock of their newly acquired skills. In turn the SOLIDAR secretariat was able to collect valuable feedback on its work and produced materials that will be further analysed and translated to improve our work.
The training academy has become a regular feature of our autumn agenda. The atmosphere of this sunny edition and active participation and enthusiasm of our members left us full of energy and brimming with ideas for the next session.