We are delighted to share some exciting news. We have embarked on a new effort to strengthen member engagement and improve coordination within the network, particularly at the regional level.
As our network grows, both in size and in geographic coverage, opportunities for deeper engagement are surfacing. Members are seeking a greater role in steering the network towards our collective aspirations.
As a part of this trend, we are developing a cadre of “regional anchors” that will assume lead roles in organizing collective action and learning in their respective regions. Through their coordination, our network will be able to act more nimbly and responsively than it could under any global coordinating entity. With regional anchors at the helm, network members will also gain more opportunities to focus on the knowledge gaps or policy reforms most relevant for their political, economic, and cultural contexts.
Last year, we identified two pilot regions and anchors to coordinate regional activities. These are Latin America and Southeast Asia, with ACIJ (Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia, based in Argentina) and ALG (Alternative Law Groups, based in the Philippines) as the anchors. These organizations have served for years on our Network Guidance Committee, and have hosted a number of network events in that time. In general, we seek regional anchors who are respected and established legal empowerment organizations with a history of leadership in our field.
This year, we are supporting these pilot anchors with funding for regional-level activities. Next year, we plan to expand to other regions. In addition to Latin America and Southeast Asia, we want to explore the possibility of having regional anchors for at least two more regions. In the long term, we hope to have an anchor for every region where a substantial number of network members are active. Eventually, we envision having a consultative and participatory process for the selection of the regional anchors, and the integration of the regional anchors as members of the Network Guidance Committee.
What do you think the priority areas for regional anchors should be? Let us know what you think is most important by completing the quick poll below (maximum of three choices).
- Growing network membership in each region.
- Developing opportunities for practitioners to meet and learn from each other, e.g. by coordinating regional learning exchanges, leadership courses, or webinars.
- Developing multilingual resources; identifying and collecting materials of regional relevance for the network resource library.
- Initiating and building momentum around regional advocacy campaigns, based on collective priorities drawn from network members.
- Consulting and collaborating with members on how to best contribute to a collective learning agenda for the field of legal empowerment.
- Exploring avenues for increasing funding for legal empowerment work in the region.
In addition to the poll, please feel free to post your thoughts in this topic. What region do you think we should target next? Do you have an additional ideas about what regional anchors can accomplish?
Looking forward to hearing from you!