MECIS Economic Justice Community of Practice Learning Event March 10-13, 2015, Serbia

The countries in the Middle East and CIS (MECIS) region represent a wide diversity of opportunities for food security and livelihoods. The economic justice programmes in the region are active in developing economic well-being and creating diversified and sustainable livelihood opportunities for smallholder farmers particularly women. Our projects focus on value chain development, enterprise development, food security and resilience building with an overall objective to increase women’s economic empowerment.

The MECIS economic justice CoP was formed in 2013 to create learning space and knowledge management across teams and country programmes. The forum helped country teams to benefit from each other’s experiences. A learning workshop was organised in March 2014 that facilitated knowledge-sharing and increased impact of economic justice programs through systems thinking. The focus of this year’s learning event was collective action that examined:  How can we use collective action to ensure lasting impact on poor people’s empowerment and well-being?  


MECIS Country programs, partners and other Oxfam regions and affiliates were invited to develop and share learning papers and case studies on various models of cooperation.  Field visits highlighted successful experience  of cooperation.  Key questions asked during the field visit include:

  • Why collective action is so important to our interventions?
  • How the collective action can help in influencing policies, reaching out to more people and creating a long-lasting impact? 
  • How community groups/ cooperatives are crucial in providing empowerment of women?
  • How can we use collective action to ensure lasting impact on poor people’s empowerment and well-being?


We took a deep dive into these questions and explored how smallholder women and men farmers can influence through their collectives; gain confidence and gain leadership skills through cooperatives and work better through social enterprises.

Download a full report from the trip here.

Full learning papers from each of the countries will be published at the end of April and will be published on GST.

In the meantime, check out the individual countries' presentations, some more pictures and local media coverage by following the links.

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