The RINGO Learning Festival took place on 31st October – 3rd November 2022, and received 1000 registrations from allies in 57 countries around the world. The free four-day online event was the culmination of two years of intense work in the RINGO Social Lab; a collective systems-change process intended to reshape and re-imagine what INGOs could and should be. However, what emerged from this phase of our work was altogether more holistic and all-encompassing of what we need to strengthen in civil society: not just how INGOs work and are structured, but also the role of national and local civil society too.

Click here for the full RINGO Learning Festival Report

During the festival, we ran a series of Innovative Edge sessions where members of the RINGO Social Lab shared learnings from the prototyping process:

  • The team trialling a new approach to risk and compliance management discussed the need for building trust and having brave conversations
  • The Pledge for Change demonstrated a new learning and accountability mechanism
  • Transform Trade and Norsaac shared case studies from Kenya of how Participatory Grant-Making (PGM) can shift power dynamics
  • We considered how technology can address one of the key barriers to systems change: language and inclusive communication
  • We heard how the idea for a Decolonising Advisory Community was driven by a long-standing demand from local actors to challenge the ‘superiority’ of views from INGOs
  • GFCF invited us to join the campaign to End Tied Aid to Northern CSOs, a practice that sees only 7% of funding from bilateral donors go directly to southern civil society
  • We were introduced to an Alternative Solidarity Model that is developing a reverse call for proposals that puts the needs of the people at the centre

Over the four days we also hosted several plenary sessions and workshops. At our opening session – RINGO: Ready for Change – RINGO’s Nana Afadzinu (WASCI) reminded us why we embarked on this process of re-imagining the INGO, and welcomed Everjoice Win (SOAS, Shine Campaign) and Peter Walton (CARE Australia) to discuss innovative solutions that can transform the sector – and how the time for action is now. On day two, Janet Mawiyoo (former KCDF) and Deborah Willig (InterAction) interrogated power and ownership while asking Whose change is this? 

After hearing from the prototypes, a host of fantastic speakers including Jenny Hodgson (GFCF), Tijani Hamza (Oxfam Ghana), Miguel de la Vega (Unidosc), Wolfgang Jamann (ICSC), Elisa Lopez Alvarado (Accountable Now), Osai Ojigho (Amnesty International Nigeria), Atje Drexler (Robert Bosch Stiftung) and Rachel Smith (GlobalGiving) joined us to Map the Change we want to see. During these workshops, we collectively explored how to leverage what we’ve learned to influence the wider system in these key areas: resource flows , accountability, solidarity, governance and leadership.

To close the festival, we invited you to consider Beyond RINGO: What Next? RINGO’s Nana Afadzinu and Deborah Doane (Rights Colab) reflected on what we have learned over the previous days, and Bheki Moyo (CAPSI, Wits) and Danny Sriskandarajah (Oxfam GB) discussed the roles we can each play to drive the transformation of INGOs and global civil society.

You can watch recordings of all the sessions here.