Recently, the Local Capacity Development Activity (LCDA), funded by USAID, celebrated the graduation of 21 civil society organizations (CSOs) from the seventh instalment of the “Diplomado” certificate training course in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
The Diplomado combines classroom training, practical application, virtual discussions with topic experts and peer-to-peer learning networks to support CSOs in their continuous development and allow for greater collaboration, networking, and sustainability of results. Covering 10 modules of organizational management topics, the Diplomado curriculum earlier this year was updated to incorporate more virtual learning opportunities and a new module on complex local systems approaches and tools. This new curriculum was successfully piloted in La Paz.
Over the past three years of implementation, the Diplomado has grown to become a valued offering for CSO capacity building with increasing demand from participants and their partners. To date, over 150 Mexican CSOs and their leadership teams have completed the Diplomado, gaining necessary organizational management skills. In the last year, the Diplomado has expanded its geographic reach from Mexico City to the northern border priority regions of Tijuana, Monterrey and most recently, La Paz, actively contributing to the goal of strengthening civil society participation and efforts in Mexico’s northern border.
With this move to the north, LCDA has also taken a systems approach to capacity development to address USAID’s development objectives, including: crime and violence prevention, criminal justice system reform, human rights protection, transparency and integrity, and sustainable landscapes. Seeking to respond to the evolving local context and needs, the Diplomado incorporated a training module on complex social systems. The one-day module introduces local actors and other practitioners to systems thinking, to understand why our hard work often creates only temporary improvements to the development problems we face, and provides practical exercises to support improved systems assessment, network strengthening, and intervention design. The module was well-received by the La Paz participants who very positively evaluated the hands on teaching method, the introduction to a new way of thinking and the applicability of the approach to their work.
With the LCDA project coming to an end in 2019, the next the next cohort is expected to be delivered between February and April 2019.