The Nordic Network Meeting in February was hosted by our Norwegian sister organisation Digni, which brings together 20 member organisations with projects in 35 countries. Also participating was our Danish sister organization, which has just changed its name to Center for Church Development Cooperation (CKU). CKU has 38 member organizations with 120 partners working in 40 countries. Common to all three of us is our Christian identity and ecumenical community. We transfer all three money to aid efforts through our well-established networks of partners in many countries.
Current issues on the agenda were, of course, the pandemic and crisis management, as well as communication and influence initiatives linked to it. Part of the meeting was also devoted to experiences on digitalisation processes. The past year has accelerated this development for everyone, including us Mission Councils. We at SMC – Faith in Development told about how we have transferred much of our capacity-strengthening work to the digital learning platforms FORB Learning Platform and Fabo. Digitalisation is also central to efficient management and climate adaptation in the business.
– Both Digni and CKU are members of Fabo. So we had a good discussion about the opportunity to collaborate more closely on issues of digital capacity development,” says Charlotta Norrby, who participated together with several from SMC’s office during the two days of different network sessions.
The meeting also included trends and discussions on how we can be more effective in our advocacy work. Digni presented her new report The Changing Landscape in World Christianity and North-South Diaconal Partnership. It is about how our partnerships with organisations in other countries can become more equal.
SMC’s Charlotta Norrby, Dignis Hjalmar Bø and the Danish CKU’s Peter Blum Samuelsen agreed that we have a lot to learn from each other and that there are several opportunities to develop Nordic co-operation.
“We have identified several areas where we want to develop cooperation over the next year, ranging from Fabo to joint advocacy in religion and development. We will also try to exchange experiences on assembly-based development cooperation in partner countries based on Digni’s initiative they call “Use Your Talents” and which they describe in the book of the same name. In this area, we hope to be able to include several member organisations in the three countries,” says Charlotta Norrby cheerfully.