A vibrant and resilient civil society is the foundation of a healthy and prosperous nation. By engaging people with common interests and collective activity, societies can improve their quality of life, driving necessary and sustainable progress through their communities.
Building on this ethos, Aga Khan Foundation and the ”la Caixa” Foundation have been forming and empowering Juntos! – an innovative learning and knowledge sharing platform for local civil society organisations (CSOs) for the last eight years.
During this time, Juntos! – meaning ‘Together!’ in Portuguese – has helped 25 CSOs support over 700,00 people in Mozambique to better understand and respond to development challenges across education, women’s empowerment, human rights, access to information, early childhood development, health, economic development and more.
How does it work?
Juntos! provides a space for local CSOs to share their project experiences and lessons learned; collaboratively improve organisational effectiveness, reach and funding; and coordinate to reduce overlap in programming to ensure gaps in services are addressed and filled. Local CSOs can also access, create and deliver cost-effective and engaging training courses that reach their members in an innovative way, build knowledge and skills, and improve organisational sustainability. This is done primarily through a blended learning approach, which combines digital and face-to-face teaching.
“I am able to train myself and others thanks to Juntos! I have worked on some proposals and my presentation skills have improved a lot. It has transformed me professionally.”
Juntos! partner CSO member
When Juntos! started in 2014, the first phase included just eight partner organisations getting involved as ‘learners’. AKF created and delivered three blended learning courses on effective presentations, storytelling and monitoring and evaluation. This transformed learning within the partner organisations, unlocking the potential to build the platform further and expand with more partners. The second phase in 2016 saw the number of organisations partaking more than double to 20. This second phase also saw the transition of CSOs from being ‘learners’ to ‘providers’ of blended learning, with more courses available in financial management, communication and collaboration.
To ensure the platform was flexible, adaptive to and relevant for Mozambican civil society, AKF conducted human-centered design workshops – engineered, contextualised and tailored to Mozambican society and their needs – between phases of the project to discuss the future of the platform, challenges faced by civil society, and innovations opened by new technologies.
“In the last three years with platform Juntos! we realised that when we join forces with partners, we become more powerful, and we can make our information reach distant places such as rural communities which are very far away from us, but we are able to reach.”
Participant in Juntos! supported training
In 2018, Juntos! entered its third phase with 25 partner CSOs who transitioned from ‘providers’ to ‘creators’ of courses and content. Juntos! partners were trained to write and develop training materials for bilingual courses and were even trained to film, edit and finalise blended learning courses by AKF. This phase saw a shift towards local ownership of content creation and delivery. This process inspired the creation of The Learning Hub, a new platform designed by AKF’s development practitioners and partners where others can grow their skills and knowledge.
Meet the CSOs which Juntos! supports
25 Mozambican CSOs small and large have partnered with Juntos! to reach and serve their communities more effectively and efficiently. These CSOs, in turn, provide support for over 700,000 people. Some examples of the CSOs Juntos! supports include:
EcoSIDA’s mission is to mobilise the business community in Mozambique to play an important role in increasing social responsibility in the fight against HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in the workplace. EcoSIDA is made up of 23 member companies.
The Civil Society Support Facility Foundation (MASC)
MASC works to improve governance and accountability to Mozambican citizens, strengthening and diversifying the involvement of Civil Society Organizations in Mozambican monitoring and advocacy on governance. The MASC Foundation has 12 employees.
TV Surdo is a television platform dedicated to the production and publication of news content in inclusive language and sign language. TV Surdo is dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities and making Mozambican society more sensitive to issues of inclusion.
Rede da Criança (The Children’s Network)
The Children’s Network aims to improve the impact of the activities of organisations that work with children in difficult situations. They do this by coordinating resource mobilisation efforts to support children’s socio-educational activities, public awareness, and children’s rights.
Explore the full list of CSO partners here.
We are excited to be delivering phase four of Juntos! over the next two years. Introduced in January 2022, this phase is empowering partners to take ownership of the direction of the platform through a steering committee, where they can strategise the platform’s future and continue to grow it for the needs of Mozambican civil society. Partner CSOs will continue to share project results, lessons learned and best practices whilst working together with government and private sector entities.
Phase four will encourage local CSOs to find and implement innovative solutions to better serve communities and increase organisational effectiveness and sustainability. With an aim to solidify previous learnings, AKF and ”la Caixa” will encourage partner organisations to holistically create and deliver content, whilst managing the platform from start to finish – working towards transitioning the future of Juntos! to an independent and self-functioning platform.
This pivotal phase aims to elevate Juntos! to a leading civil society platform in Mozambique, adding value for its member organisations, and connecting public, private and civil society to coordinate integral action for the needs of society.
Many of the Juntos! blended learning courses can be found on The Learning Hub, a new platform designed by AKF’s development practitioners and partners where others can grow their skills and knowledge.
Juntos! has been implemented, maintained, and jointly funded since 2014 by ”la Caixa” Foundation and the Aga Khan Foundation.
”la Caixa” Foundation is a leading foundation in Spain with a mission to build better and fairer societies by providing opportunities to people most in need. Focusing strategically on social, cultural, educational and research programmes in global health, job creation, humanitarian action and emergency relief, ”la Caixa” helps combat inequalities across Africa, Asia and Latin America.