ICA USA celebrates fostering change across the globe

ICA USA has over 30 sister ICAs around the globe. Many ICAs partner together on efforts. In general, the ICAs in the global North focus more on using ICA’s Technology of Participation methods to provide organization development support, and ICAs in the global South use the very same methods to create and implement community development efforts.

A key element of each ICA’s strategy has been curriculum development and training to build the capacity of the individuals, organizations, and communities they work with. Just as ICA USA builds curriculum related to sustainability initiatives in Chicago, through its ISEIF toolkit and its current Coastal work, ICAs around the world continue to innovatively build engaging curriculum to help positively transform the communities and organizations they work with.

The following are a few snippets of work currently in motion:

East Africa AIDS-Free Community Campaign Toolbox

Recently, ICA-USA staff and colleagues partnered with ICA Zimbabwe in launching the AIDS-Free Community Campaign Toolbox, a toolbox that lays out the curriculum for a one-year plan for leaders and communities to take action to control HIV/AIDS at the community level.

ICA Zimbabwe finished piloting and evaluating the one-year plan in areas surrounding Harare in 2016. Since then, ICA Zimbabwe staff and ICA-USA colleagues have distilled the process, steps, and lessons learned into the Campaign Toolbox. In an effort to share the toolbox across East Africa, ICAs in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe met to talk about possibilities for collaboration and dissemination. Each East African ICA started marketing the Campaign Toolbox locally in 2017. ICA-USA staff member Dick Alton visited the four countries in September to support their efforts. Each country has made key strategic partnerships to move forward the work of the AIDS-Free Campaign.

Learning Basket in the Americas

South American ICAs have been meeting with renewed interest in Learning Basket curriculum, ICA’s well-known curriculum for Early Childhood Development. The Learning Basket curriculum was created in the US and piloted with the Early Head Start, Healthy Families, and Migrant Head Start programs, as well as Family Literacy Programs funded by the Secretary of State’s Literacy Office in the State of Illinois.

Learning Basket training is generally offered to daycare providers or home outreach workers who then use it to create accessible ways for parents to learn about activities that promote healthy brain development for children ages 0-3. Learning Basket’s unique intervention strategy is to improve parent literacy as a means to foster healthy brain development in infants and toddlers.

ICAs in Peru, Guatemala, and Chile have met twice in 2017 for a Train the Trainer event for Learning Basket and are currently implementing the program with community partners in their own locales.

Regional Conferences

Regional meetings have been one of the main catalysts for regional collaborations taking place around the globe. ICA International (ICAI) is a membership organization that promotes peer-to-peer collaborations among ICAs. ICAI has been supporting these regional conferences for the past several years and is proud of the resulting energy and new projects. From October 30th to November 3rd, two separate regions met: Asia Pacific, hosted by ICA Nepal, and West Africa, hosted by ICA Benin. These gatherings serve as a great way for ICAs to connect, learn about each other’s work, provide trainings for one another, and find ways to collaborate.

This article was first written for ICA USA Winter Initiatives.