Who we are

Learn about why and how
Spark was developed

Space for practice, action, research, and knowledge

Spark provides a space for learning resource exchange, practice, preparation for action, research, and knowledge mobilization among civil society and independent media actors. Spark is an initiative of the Civil Society and Media Strengthened Together and Advancing in New Directions (CSM-STAND) project funded by USAID and managed by Pact with a consortium including talented and committed global, regional and technical partners who bring deep expertise in the regions and sectors covered by the programs. 

Spark aims to improve the accessibility of quality digital and non-digital learning content for civil society and media actors to encourage and support self-guided learning. Resources hosted on Spark have been created, tested, and adapted by local, regional, and global civil society and independent media actors.

Our Principles

We understand that effective adult learning happens when content is relevant to the learner’s life and that such materials are developed for action rather than theoretical use.

We acknowledge that learners visiting Spark bring extensive experiences and knowledge with them as the basis for future learning and are motivated to engage in self-directed learning including identifying their own needs and goals. 
We understand that learners learn best when the content is relatable and therefore, we continuously strive to create and curate resources reflective of the diversity of civic and media change agents whom we intend Spark to serve. This is reflected in the growing library of resources in multiple languages, tested in different geographical, cultural, and political contexts, and the provision of resources in a variety of formats to support learners’ diversity of learning styles and needs. 
We employ participatory approaches to design Spark and will continue to rely on participatory processes to identify, curate, and create new learning resources featured. We work with local knowledge holders and content producers to translate information into accessible formats. We do this so that we remain people-centered and focused on civic and media change agents.

Find out more
about CSM-STAND

CSM-STAND

Civil Society and Media-Strengthened Together and Advancing in New Directions (CSM-STAND) is a USAID funded, five-year Leader with Associate (LWA) Awards cooperative agreement to foster independent civic forces; enhance civic engagement; and build vibrant, resilient, and self-reliant civil society and media sectors that cultivate more pluralistic, democratic societies.

CSM-STAND is comprised of leading global, regional, and technical practitioners specializing in different sectors who bring extensive practical experience and knowledge of fundamental principles, key issues, current practices, and emerging trends in the DRG community.

CSM-STAND is organized around three key objectives:

1

CSM-STAND implements broad and contextualized civil society and media interventions – termed Associate Awards (AAs) – across the Africa-MENA and Asia-EE-LAC regions.

2

CSM-STAND co-creates and leads a transregional learning agenda, which contributes to innovative technical products and resources that positively shift practice within the civil society and media sectors.

3

CSM-STAND maximally leverages its diverse consortium, with a focus on connecting regional partners to AA design processes and Leader Award decision making.

The CSM-STAND consortium include talented and committed global, regional and technical partners who bring deep expertise in the regions and sectors covered by the programs.
GLOBAL PARTNERS
AFRICA & MENA
REGIONAL PARTNERS
ASIA-EE-LAC REGIONAL
PARTNERS
GLOBAL PARTNERS

Pact: Civil society strengthening, global award management

IREX: Media strengthening and positive youth development

Aga Khan Foundation: Community philanthropy, online learning

ICNL: Enabling legal environment

The Asia Foundation:
Civil society strengthening and
protecting civic space in Asia

AFRICA & MENA
REGIONAL PARTNERS

Samir Kassir Foundation:
Media development

ANHRE: Civic education
WACSI:
Civil society strengthening, resiliency, sustainability, and use of technology

Sonke Gender Justice: Women’s rights and community mobilization

AfriLabs:
Innovation and startup accelerator

ASIA-EE-LAC REGIONAL
PARTNERS

Fundación Gabo:
Ethical and creative journalism

Makaia: Technology for social change

FORUM-ASIA: Expanding and
protecting civic space, human rights

Prague Civil Society Centre:
Civil society and media strengthening

European Journalism Centre:
Digital innovation and media development

Pact: Civil society strengthening, global award management

Samir Kassir Foundation:
Media development

Fundación Gabo:
Ethical and creative journalism

IREX: Media strengthening and positive youth development

ANHRE: Civic education
Makaia: Technology for social change
Aga Khan Foundation: Community philanthropy, online learning
WACSI:
Civil society strengthening, resiliency, sustainability, and use of technology

FORUM-ASIA: Expanding and
protecting civic space, human rights

ICNL: Enabling legal environment

Sonke Gender Justice: Women’s rights and community mobilization

Prague Civil Society Centre:
Civil society and media strengthening

The Asia Foundation:
Civil society strengthening and
protecting civic space in Asia

AfriLabs:
Innovation and startup accelerator

European Journalism Centre:
Digital innovation and media development

Techinical partners

Moonshot: Countering misinformation

TechSoup: Technology for civil society

Deflect: Digital and information security

Omdena: Ethical AI solutions and data innovation

Acknowledgements

Spark is an initiative of the Civil Society and Media Strengthened Together and Advancing in New Directions (CSM-STAND) project funded by USAID.

Spark is built on the Learning Management System (LMS) gifted to CSM-STAND by the Aga Khan Foundation.

The following organizations have generously made their resources available on Spark.