SouthMed CV Expected results in relation to the networking strategy:
- Enhance technical skills for cultural actors
- Foster local, regional, national and international networking
- Bring culture from the margins to the center of the public sphere
- Explore its potential connection with economic, social and political development
- Local, national and regional exchanges and networking strategies
- Identification of learning opportunities among selected projects and their partners
South Med CV Networking Strategy (version 3.0., as of February 2017)
The special potential of this action lies in the option of identifying and developing local, national and regional networking opportunities of the sub-grantees of the 1st and 2nd call, having built a networking culture among the SouthMed CV consortium as a starting point in 2015.
The first implementation cycle became reality in spring 2016, and continued evolving throughout the project’s implementation period. The dimension of networking has nourished the peer to peer encounters and assessments, the identification of professional learning and development opportunities, thus contributing to empower the cultural professionals and CSOs active in the region. The empowerment of sub-grantees’ networking skills has contributed positively to achieve their project results and enhance their impact.
The following main priorities of networking were identified among the SouthMed CV partners:
- EMPOWER the sub-grantees of the 1st call to gear up their networking activities through peer-learning and coaching;
- EXPAND the outreach towards the sub-grantees of the 2nd call who were geographically more balanced by mapping accessible networks at the local, national and regional level;
- PRESENT the SouthMed CV project at relevant events and networks.
The Networking Strategy has addressed first and foremost the HOW of the project implementation and contributed to the quality of its results. As such, it has been closely connected to the building of Community of Practice and part of the overall activating methodology of SouthMed CV.
In the context of the project, four mobility and networking encounters have been organised with the sub-grantees of the 1st and 2nd call in Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan. Each encounter included special networking development workshops for and with the sub-grantees.
During the workshops each sub-granted project team was invited to do (I) a base-line analysis of its current state of networking on local, national and regional/international level, and to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
As a second step (II), each sub-granted project team was asked to go into the forward-thinking mode, and indicate future ambitions and the desired situation of networking development, building actively on SouthMed CV learning experience, as well as possible synergies with other sub-granted projects and with SouthMed CV consortium.
The five key steps to create effective networking strategies were part and parcel of these peer-to-peer exchanges:
- What do you want to achieve through networking? = the networking goals
- Assess the quality of your current network = audit
- Who do you need to meet, where can you meet them = find
- What will you do to progress to a high quality and mutually beneficial relationship = build
- How will you keep the relationships alive and kicking = maintain
The majority of the sub-grantees have been able to build quality cooperation with a wide array of partners.
Occasionally also media was mentioned, in particular radio and television.
Some sub-granted projects have indicated the need of very precise strategic partnerships with competent content and technical partners (e.g., the cinematography centres of their countries, film factory, artist networks, culture investment funds, production and distribution companies, etc.).
A strategic approach to political sparring partners deemed vital for successful action (e.g. Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Justice, municipalities, etc.).
Also, in the perspective of inclusive action, cooperation with cultural spaces and centres based in disadvantageous neighbourhoods as well as refugee camps has been shared as a priority as well as expanding the base of audience reached around the country (in combination with strong communication strategy).
Broaden the regional and international outreach in search for ideas and cooperation has also been mentioned. E.g. better network in the Southern Mediterranean region, spreading awareness through social e-networks, using MENA region festivals for targeted networking, as well as seeking partnerships in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Africa as well as Europe/North America (often content specific, sparring partnerships with art centres, theatre/dance companies, etc.).
Some projects have also expressed an interest to find access to international partners such as cultural initiatives (mostly the European culture institutes, embassies as in-kind sponsors), UNESCO and the Anna Lindh Foundation.