Country Platforms grow together through Knowledge-Sharing sessions
Building on the successful annual in-person GCP Country Congress, the GCP network of Country Coffee Platforms has embarked on a series of tailor-made online discussions to help stimulate knowledge sharing and essential information transfer between coffee producing countries.
The series, involving 11 Country Coffee Platforms of GCP’s network, has helped showcase best practices on sustainable coffee production, provided opportunity for collaboration and innovation, and encouraged knowledge sharing among the platform coordinators.
According to Melissa Salazar, GCP Manager – Countries, the series aimed to foster cohesion and build relationships across the various platforms in the GCP network. “While each Country Platform and national context is unique, many key sustainability challenges are faced by all of the platforms.”
Salazar added that GCP provides this safe space for learning about successes and challenges and the strategies to overcome these. The series allows participants to encourage each other and inspire more local action for global sustainability results.
For Carlos Isaza, Coordinator of the Sustainable Trade Platform in Colombia, the sessions “are vital to build trust and generate motivation to do collaborative work”, while for Guillermo Alvarado, Program Manager Honduras, the sessions have been a knowledge-building forum, and something that has been enriching both “as a member of the audience as well as presenter”.
“When you are part of the audience, one learns from the speaker and from the colleagues who make questions and comments and further share their own experiences. You also learn through presenting; one learns from the interaction with the colleagues.”
Three sessions have taken place so far, addressing the topics of National Sustainability Curricula, measurement & data collection for sustainability progress, and stakeholder engagement and convening with all participants acting as both presenters and audience members. “This format allows coordinators to learn, share their own experiences and receive new input on country initiatives,” said Salazar. “Ultimately, these sessions save time and enhance knowledge on shared sustainability challenges.”
“The National Sustainability Curricula session was perfect in timing and content for Honduras, as we were initiating our own. It was an essential meeting to guide our effort to develop our NSC,”said Alvarado.
“We can also implement successful practices from other countries.
Collective learning is generated by taking advantage of shared strengths from different countries.”
CARLOS ISAZA, COORDINATOR OF THE SUSTAINABLE TRADE PLATFORM IN COLOMBIA
According to Parmita Mentari, the Executive Director of the Sustainable Coffee Platform on Indonesia (SCOPI), the virtual series has provided “an opportunity to share knowledge and cross-learning among country platforms, peer- learning – a sentiment the Colombia Coordinator echoes, highlighting the opportunity to “share learnings and not repeat past mistakes”.
For Alvarado there are common issues to the sustainable coffee world and the role and experience of the Country Platforms and GCP. “These sessions serve to address common challenges and opportunities for a thriving and sustainable coffee sector,” said the Honduras Program Manager.
“The sessions may save a lot of time and enhance immensely the knowledge of the public-private Country Platforms members and the coffee world as a whole.”
“The series has provided an opportunity to share and exchange ideas on country level activities which has brought the realisation that as platforms our challenges and opportunities are not all that different,” said Samson Emong, Country Coordinator Uganda, Café Africa Uganda. “We can borrow a leaf from each other to better the country platforms.”
The series will continue throughout the rest of the year and will tackle new topics such as GCP Collective Action Initiatives, fundraising, and communications.
The Learning and Exchange sessions have already proven to be building blocks for increased and renewed collaboration amongst the GCP network. According to the GCP Secretariat, the hope is that the country platform network can take vital learnings from the first iteration of the virtual series and further expand the Learning and Exchange Program in 2021.