The Partner Meeting 2014 took place between the 28th -31st of July 2014 in Da Lat, Lam Dong province. Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Southeast Asia (RLS SEA) invited 66 participants, including some potential future partners.
The program was designed and facilitated by Gabriele Struck, who managed to create a good atmosphere within this large group of different partners ranging from state-level authorities to local civil society organizations. The main program contained three parts which met with RLS SEA’s objectives, firstly to analyze the program achievements after three years and secondly plan the next term of 2015-2017.
The inspiring surrounding of the venue contributed positively to the work, which was considered as participatory and transparent by the partners themselves. Experiences and expectations were exchanged, first in group sessions and afterwards in the assembly or, voluntarily, in the final podium to evaluate the results at the end of each day.
The first day began with a moving welcome speech by Nadja Charaby, director of RLS SEA, who shared with the audience that with the end of the term 2012-2014 she will also step back from her position after 4 years. By doing that, she reminded the participants that the Partner Meeting 2014 provided a unique opportunity to look behind on what was achieved and to speak about opportunities of feasible co-operation in the future, despite there will be some changes coming up.
A highlight of the first day was the poster-competition and the awarding ceremony, presented by our RLS staff. So, the participants could get to know each other better and by doing that, they already discussed the achievements of the last years. But also the project managers of RLS were asked to give insights about their personal achievements and shortcomings by a partner.
The second day began with a presentation by Nadja Charaby about the three different components and what RLS wants to achieve in the next term. Everybody seemed to be interested in RLS’ strategies to promote Social Justice, Social-Ecological Transformation (SET) and Participatory Politics. But especially the component on SET raised further questions, as it is very new. However, newer partners more often asked about the potential links between the components and the role of media, which is inherent in each of the components.
In the group sessions of the second day the partners were asked e.g. what they want to achieve with their respective project within the next three years. How this might contribute to the future RLS program and about potential regional cooperation and other ways of using synergies. As those answers about the various expectations were presented in the assembly, RLS and its’ partners now have a common basis of knowledge. On the third day, the project managers Nguyen Van Tung and Manuel Palz from RLS SEA gave presentations, which provided further insight about what is meant by SET and participatory politics. Generally, both of it is meant to be understood as a process of learning and constant improving, rather than a recipe to be followed.
All in all, in terms of content, structure and venue, the Partner Meeting 2014 was considered as a very interesting, useful and extraordinary event. By providing this possibility of networking and gathering experiences within a regional / international context, RLS hopefully gave a strong signal to everybody involved, that their efforts are highly appreciated by RLS and their partners. In order to secure that the results and the feedback given are being taken into consideration well, the outcomes are checked by RLS and its staff, again.