Visiting CLAYSS, Another View of Learning and Solidary Service

Framed by our monthly visits to member organizations, RACI visited CLAYSS (The Latin American Center for Learning and Solidary Service).

CLAYSS is an organization founded in 2002 with the objective to develop and create a practice of social service learning. Following a presentation about the topic of service learning, they presented their work on local, regional and international levels. CLAYSS develops successful programs, offers face-to-face and distance trainings in various languages, carries out research projects, publishes books and broadcast material, provides organizational advising and advocates for the implementation of policies.

Currently, CLAYSS operates in various countries of Latin America, including Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and more. Furthermore, it works on projects in Central and Eastern Europe and coordinates the Ibero-American Network of service-learning and the Workshop Network of Universities for civic and social commitment.

CLAYSS is organizing the 22nd international seminar on learning and solidarity service – free-of-charge – August 29th and 30th at UCA.  This is an opportunity to listen to leading international specialists, share knowledge and experience, and build networks. To sign up for the Seminar of Learning and Social Service, go to


New country classifications by income level: 2019-2020

The World Bank classifies world economies according to the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita into four income groups: high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low. This classification is updated on July 1st each year, since there are different factors which may alter the GNI, such as income growth, inflation or demographic changes. Moreover, the thresholds in dollars are adjusted for inflation annually.

During the 2017-2018 period, Argentina was classified into the upper-middle income category. In the following period of 2018-2019, Argentina rose to the high income category.  However, it was announced this July that Argentina has returned to its previous classification of upper-middle income in the period 2019-2020.

Ever since last year, the high-income threshold became a determining factor for lending rates, since surcharges are applied for lending rates of countries which have been categorized as high income for two consecutive years. Furthermore, this classification is decisive for other cooperation opportunities, as several of the calls take the World Bank’s classification as a reference to accept institutions or individuals from one country or another.

For more information, visit


Deliberative Democracy Exchange in the Kettering Foundation

During the second week of July, RACI team members participated in the Deliberative Democracy Exchange, organized by the Deliberative Democracy Institute (DDI) of the Kettering Foundation, in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

The Kettering Foundation is an organization dedicated to research, specifically focusing on citizens’ perspectives and collective action to solve problems that impact their daily lives and conditions amongst their communities.  Their research suggests that when democracy is working as it should, the following three elements align: citizen participation, communities in which citizens act to solve problems together and institutions that legitimately strengthen the work of their citizens.

At these meetings, participants attended different forums where presentations and discussions related to citizen participation took place in deliberative spaces to solve problems that affect their communities.

During the first few days, this year’s participants learned a methodology to help solve their community’s problems.  For their part, the participants of the previous year explained what actions they had taken in implementing what they had previously learned.  Both new and previous participants were able to work together in the implementation of the methodology.

In the final days, attendees participated in two forums.  One referred to issues of polarization in society, and another focused on the participation of young people. This cultural exchange between people from different countries allowed us to discover innovative ways of dealing with more or less known topics, creating an interesting dynamic for the work of the Network.


Seminar on Public Participation in the Australian Embassy

On July 15th, the seminar “The Creators of Change” was held at the Australian Embassy in Buenos Aires. This event was organized by RACI together with the Australian Embassy and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). The meeting allowed us to reflect on democratic life and the different practices of public participation around the world.

On this occasion, the emerging sublevel of IAP2, IAP Latin America, was presented. The seminar was led by Martin de los Ríos, a certified professor in the IAP2 Australasia courses and Coordinator of the Latin American Committee of the IAP2.

At the beginning of the seminar, some interesting themes were addressed, such as the practice of public participation amongst citizens, its main promoters and deliberative democracy. Afterwards, an exposition was held which focused on the core values of IAP2, with a goal of encouraging the practice of public participation in organizations throughout Argentina. As a result, experiences were shared and tools for viable and effective citizen participation were developed.

The meeting concluded by reflecting on the infrastructure components necessary for democracy to create spaces of participation. We examined the many diverse ways of how to enact change to the systems in order to achieve greater effectiveness in citizen participation.

We invite you to learn more about IAP2 by visiting their website.


DIGNA: CIVICUS’ New Group for Diversity and Inclusion

In July, RACI took part in the official launch of “DIGNA” (Diversity and Inclusion for the Creation of Networks and Actions). DIGNA is CIVICUS’ work project, whose primary goal is to understand, conceptualize and identify innovative practices that are able to adopt diversity and inclusion in different areas, themes and models amongst the workplace.

DIGNA offers a space for different representatives, activists and allies of the civil society the chance to speak, debate, analyze and share not only ideas, but resources, tools, and practices linked to diversity and inclusion in networks and organizations. Furthermore, it is a safe space for the members to offer mutual support, work towards strengthening organizational processes and structures and share work methods that have an impact on the focus of diversity and inclusion. To achieve these goals, the group relies on a channel of help, support and collaboration.

RACI, through our Deputy Director, Juliana Catania, also took part in an advisory group. She collaborated with the DIGNA Community as a discussion moderator with the rest of the members of the group, comprised of representatives from many different countries.

There is no doubt that those taking part in this group are activists and agents of change who have passion for strengthening an inclusive and diverse civil society. You are invited to join the group on Facebook: