Organisational Learning Path: skilling up Caritas' capacity across Europe
Mon, 15/06/2015 - 10:48

Caritas Europa launched the Organisational Development learning path on 28-29 May. 17 people with key organisational responsibility in their Caritas attended the first module of this learning path held in Caritas Czech Republic’s training centre Marianna.

Learning path is a new learning approach that Caritas Europa is offering to its members. It has been developed for Caritas organisations that want to improve their organisational capacities and strengthen their sustainability through a series of learning activities spread over 18 months and divided in 4 modules:

  • The Organisation - What is an organisation and what makes Caritas different? Key elements, different models, identity.
  • Organisational development - What is this? How is it done? Practice and Caritas tools.
  • Leadership - What are the roles and responsibilities in a Caritas Organisation? Governance, executive leadership management.
  • Planning - How to improve strategic planning in your organisation? And, How can planning prevent threats to the organisation?

During the first module, dedicated to the organisation, participants focused on learning with and from each other. They shared and exchanged experiences and analysed concrete cases.

“The friendly setting, the open atmosphere and the wealth of visual aids, music and videos set the scene for a very rich workshop, “ said Miriam Pikaar, ID Officer at Caritas Europa in charge of the Learning Paths.

Working in pairs, groups and plenary discussions, the group dug deeper into the following questions and themes:

  • What are the elements and requirements for Healthy organisation and how do you recognise them in your organisation?
  • Caritas identity: What makes a Caritas  Organisation special? How is Catholic Social Teaching embedded in practice.
  • Bringing about changes: What does it take to be a change agent ?
  • The organisational triangle shows how the objectives, activities and resources of an organisation are linked – and need to be balanced: What does our own organisation look like in terms of objectives, resources, and activities.
  • Caritas Internationalis Management Standards: using our global common set of standards.

Alongside the upskilling purpose of the Learning Path, this first workshop was also about community building. The building of a solid group is key to the learning path’s success. The group will be learning with and from each other for 18 months. They will get together once every 4 months for 2 to 3 days and put into practice what has been learnt in our own organisations in-between these meetings.

“I am pretty sure that the dynamics between them and their organisations will be positively impacted by this experience,” said Miriam Pikaar.

Participating Caritas

15 Caritas organisations are taking this learning path:

Albania Latvia Spain
Armenia Lithuania Turkey
Azerbaijan Luxembourg Ukraine
Bosnia and Herzegovina Poland  
Bulgaria Portugal  
Georgia Romania  







Next steps

The next module will take place in Rome, end of November, and will be about what organisational development is and how it is implemented.

Read more about this learning path:



For more info, please get in touch with 
Miriam Pikaar at


European Commission This Learning Path has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" (2014-2020). For further information please consult: