New publication provides a comprehensive account of CISP's work on socio-emotional skills
Luigi Grando, Director of CISP in the Latin America and Caribbean Geographic Area, reflects on CISP's work in the field of socio-emotional skills as a tool for integral human development.
"Rights, facts, people" is a motto that CISP has adopted many years ago to represent its mission. It is a synthesis that was created on the occasion of CISP's 25th anniversary and now, as we reach 40 years, it continues to represent very adequately what CISP has done and continues to do in over 35 countries worldwide.
CISP operates in many sectors, from agriculture to humanitarian assistance, from education improvement to food security, from environmental protection to disaster mitigation, among others. However, the focus has always been on the most excluded and marginalized people and communities, those who really need support and accompaniment, mostly because they do not have other options. In this sense, CISP places individuals' rights at the core of its work and effectively and pragmatically implementing this principle through concrete actions.
Similarly, CISP, in its action, has always operated in line with the existing and established public policies at the local level, working within the framework provided by these public policies and, trying to improve them with the support of acquired experiences. This is done with a clear purpose and a transparent position: people are the protagonists of development, and the primary responsibility for their well-being lies with the institutions and entities of the country in which they live. Therefore, international development cooperation cannot replace the function and role of the state, institutions, or local communities.
Therefore, we have created this volume that serves a dual purpose - first, to collect the invaluable reflections that have accompanied CISP's activities over the years, and second, to articulate a coherent and strategic approach that will serve as a guiding light for the organization's future endeavours.
CISP recognizes Socio-Emotional Competences as a pivotal and transformative field of reference to create real and sustainable changes in the pursuit of integral human development: to achieve a deep transformation that really allows to combine the fundamental rights of the people with the opportunities to improve their material, social and overall well-being condition. The proposals presented in this essay provide a clear conceptual approach that translates into actionable strategies, ensuring that fundamental rights are transformed into tangible facts for individuals.
Emphasizing the need to reverse top-down power dynamics, the proposals in this essay advocate starting with individuals and communities. This approach emphasizes that only empowered individuals and communities can be true agents of substantial changes in their lives.
Working on socioemotional skills is a valuable and effective approach to promoting empowerment. By focusing on these skills, interventions and action plans can be tailored to address the specific needs and complexities of each context.
Recognizing the "right to act" of each individual is a fundamental step in enabling spaces for empowerment and seizing opportunities within the territorial context.
This is especially crucial within the context of short-term projects like the ones executed by CISP. It is our responsibility to create sociocultural spaces where people’s participation, autonomy, and empowerment of are the basis for those significant changes that our projects promote.
We would like to thank our colleagues Paolo Raciti and Paloma Vivaldi for this important contribution, which will serve as comprehensive reference for future implementation, as well as other colleagues and experts who are in the field every day and, through their work and dedication, seeking to turn rights into facts for people.