A Truly Collaborative Learning Network

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Every year, the Care and Protection of Children (CPC) Learning Network, whose secretariat is based at Columbia University in New York, USA, holds a meeting for its advisory board members. These members are renowned leaders in the field of child protection and wellbeing, and they provide strategic guidance, support, and inspiration for CPC Learning Network. This annual meeting provides input to the CPC Learning Network with possible ways forward for re-envisioning how the Network and all relevant actors in the field can come together.

This year, taking advantage of VOICE conference held in Bali, Indonesia, from 12-14 December which many CPC advisory board members are also attending, the CPC held its advisory meeting on 11 December in Nusa Dua, Bali. As a member of the advisory board, Santi Kusumaningrum, Director of PUSKAPA, attended the meeting along with PUSKAPA’s Head of Programs, Putri Amanda. In total, twenty members who came from all over the globe such as the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Bangladesh, and Colombia, participated in the meeting.

Despite long travels, jetlag couldn’t prevent the highly motivated members from actively contributing to the meeting. The meeting was designed in such a way to be fun, challenging, and generative. During the morning session of the meeting, the participants focused on understanding the changes in the global child protection and family welfare landscape. Everyone offered their opinions on the current state of child protection and wellbeing, who is involved, and whether they share desired collective learning outcomes.

One of the challenges discussed was the way digital platforms have compelled the need for greater speed in communicating to external stakeholders. Thinking about the chestnuts of institutional communications, tools like annual reports and news releases, as recently as five years ago, organizations could take their time presenting their objectives or reporting on data. Peter Taback, a communications consultant and member of the Advisory Board, said, “Today, if we're not routinely putting ourselves in front of key audiences of policymakers, donors, and media, we risk losing their interest or worse, disappearing entirely."

The meeting will continue on Friday, 14 December after the completion of the VOICE conference 2018 where CPC Learning Network and the advisory board members will look into the key learnings prompted by reflections during and experiences at the VOICE Conference and reflect how these new insights might help in finding solutions to the identified challenges. The VOICE conference and the advisory board meeting have proved that despite being one of the youngest affiliate organizations of CPC Learning Network, PUSKAPA has been able to contribute more than its fair share in growing and advancing the work of CPC Learning Network as well as in generating learning for global advancement in child protection and wellbeing.