Over the course of our operation in Egypt and around the MENA region, we have established a solid base of contacts. This base has been instrumental to our involvement in the creation of regional and global networks to share ideas, information and experiences.
Our role in the process of strengthening relationships and development of learning networks varies based on the clients' requests. We offer, for example, the establishment and management of new platforms and networks, as well as organize national and international workshops to share experiences and plan action.
CDS has participated in the establishment of several networks including the creation of the Urban Planning Steering Committee in 2010, the Community of Practice of Eco-health in the Middle East and North Africa (CoPEH-MENA) in 2008 and the Resource Center for Participatory Learning and Action (RCPLA) Network in 1997 Resource Center for Participatory Learning and Action (RCPLA).
Other examples of our experience in establishing learning networks include:
+HIV-Related Legal Services and Rights in the Middle East and North Africa Region, International Development Law Organization
CDS began a partnership with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in 2011 to collaborate with its Health Law Program in order to improve the rights and legal services provided to people living with HIV. The center also collaborates with IDLO on several regional and interregional meetings, which foster greater understanding of issues surrounding HIV and the law. These meetings include the regional consultation held in Cairo in April which was jointly organized by CDS and IDLO, and the international consultation, which was held in Rome, Italy in July 2011. A third regional consultation meeting will be organized by CDS in Cairo in February 2012. The IDLO program is funded by Ford Foundation and OPEC Fund for International Development. (2011-2012)
+Building Common Grounds project, Ford Foundation.
The Building Common Grounds Project, funded by Ford Foundation aimed to advance joint learning, based on appropriate knowledge and analysis in several project areas: Youth sexual and reproductive health education (YSRHE), Addressing and protecting the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), Inclusiveness and quality of higher education (HE) institutions for poor and under-represented students, and The transparency, effectiveness and accountability of government institutions in urban planning and housing. CDS implemented activities towards creating and strengthening effective partnership for advocacy in the four project areas and establish platforms for networking and learning amongst the stakeholders involved in the specific project areas. (2010-2011)
CoPEH-MENA was established as a response to the interest and consensus expressed by six IDRC project partners in the MENA region, during a peer-review workshop held in Cairo in January 2009. The overall objective of CoPEH-MENA was to support and strengthen collaboration and capacity building among researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in the MENA region on integrated health and environmental approaches to development. In this context, the network also aimed to support innovative critical thinking, knowledge generation and sharing, in line with the eco-health framework. This is undertaken not only among current eco-health practitioners, but also extends to a broader range of potential partners interested in the approach within the MENA region. This project provided ongoing support to the Community of Practice and its website interface. (2008-2010)
+Promoting Participatory Development in the Arab World .
This website aimed to better capture the diversity of experiences implementing participatory development in the region and spreading best practices among development practitioners and non-governmental organizations.
The site promoted participatory development approaches while addressing the limitations of information exchange and distribution. The website was created by the Near East Foundation in cooperation with CDS, and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Department for International Development (DFID), London, UK.(2004)