Supporting Processes

Reflection & Learning

Reflection and learning is essential to maintaining the integrity of CLP’s practice and its accountability to its mission and to the people it works with. The ‘good activists’ that CLP staff aspire to be are the product of practice and reflecting on and learning from practice. Reflection embraces all aspects of CLP’s work and organisational life, including both its programmatic work and the administration that makes that work possible.

It is structured through the following activities and facilities:

  • CLP follows a rigorous process of internal reflection structured to include monthly reflection days during which staff share their experience of practice in their fields of work, quarterly review and planning sessions which provide for a critical assessment of the effectiveness and impact of CLP’s work in each location, an annual review and planning session and half day staff meetings to report on current activities and administrative matters. Reflection also includes more formal processes of research and writing.

  • The resource centre will provide the knowledge and informational resources that staff need to take with them into the field. CLP is also exploring ways of making it useful to the people it works with and to allies.

  • As occasion demands, CLP needs to be informed by external resource people to respond to the expressed needs of local activists. This may include technical advice or expert inputs.

  • Knowledge sharing – as ‘good activists’ working in a professional manner, CLP staff are engaged in the networks of knowledge production. CLP recognises that knowledge is produced in a variety of locations including in local struggles and the reflections of activists, in CLP itself and in collegial organisations and in academic and theological institutions.

  • The internal reflection process culminates in the strategic evaluation and planning process following CLP’s three-year work cycle.

Dissemination is about how CLP takes its practice, experience and knowledge into the
world. It is composed of two parts:

  • Structured processes of critical reflection flows from and intrinsic to the core process of animation serving both to connect different localities and formations of struggle and to deepen democratic practice. CLP will host activists from several fronts of struggle to support their reflection on practice.
    • CLP has valued and drawn regularly on its relationships with collegial organisations as we seek to collectively deepen critical reflection on our practice, and strengthen emancipatory practices within our region.

    • CLP may host interns who are committed to learning in the context of CLP’s work. Interns may include activists engaged in local struggles where CLP works, activists from other localities or countries wanting to make connections with local movements, students wanting to engage in praxis, and colleagues from other organisations.

  • Communication flows from CLP’s work and includes documentation or events.
    • Documentation itself is viewed by CLP as a political act, consciously choosing whose voice is heard, and creating and distributing resources to affirm and strengthen emancipatory practices. Such documentation may take various media forms including print, website and video and be published in English, isiZulu and other languages as appropriate. It provides for communicating the fruits of reflection on practice, as well as stories of formations’ egalitarian struggles for justice and dignity, directed towards particular audiences and to the world. CLP has developed digital and print publications available on its website or distributed in hard copy. CLP will also support local activists’ own documentation of their stories and reflections by facilitating access to various forms of media production, including video, photography and print.

    • Padkos – ‘food for the road’ – provides sustenance for thought along the way. Padkos uses an email list to introduce and share resources that come from, or connect with, the thinking and reflection that is part of CLP’s praxis. Padkos offerings have also included events at which the authors of articles that have been distributed can present their thoughts and enable critical discussion on our context and a politics of dignity within that context. CLP often speaks of its work as a journey and is inspired by Paulo Freire’s phrase that “we make the path by walking”.

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