New Capacity Building and Solidarity Unit gears up to build union power

published 14 October 2021 updated 27 October 2021

Education International has taken up an ambitious plan to renew its structure and adapt it to the strategic directions adopted at its last World Congress in Bangkok. Its new unit in charge of solidarity and capacity building has been set up to enhance Education International’s work in these areas, keeping in mind member organisations’ priorities, for the next 3 years.

New unit to ground activities on decades of experience in development cooperation and solidarity

Education International can look back at several decades of development cooperation and solidarity work. Hundreds of projects and several million euro have fostered solidarity and cooperation among its members and created a stronger, more efficient education union movement. With the new strategic plan of Education International unfolding and Congress resolutions demanding bold action to curb injustice, build a stronger education movement and upgrade the skills and capacities of education unions, the unit in charge of this priority area was reshaped to reflect this new thinking.


Its acronym CBS stands for Capacity Building and Solidarity. The vision it follows, as stated in its 3-year-plan is “to inspire solidarity and cooperation among members of Education International for a united and empowered trade union movement.” The unit’s work will be tailored to member organisation’s needs and adapted to their strategical orientation. The unit, working closely with other units at the EI headquarters and EI regional offices, relies on internal and external funding for the design, implementation, and evaluation of its projects. These vary according to the needs and demands of affiliates, ranging from developmental and organisational assistance to capacity building and emergency support.

Areas of work

The unit has set itself three main areas of work:

  • Assist EI members’ efforts to meet their developmental needs, mainly through capacity building, the coordination of consortiums and the monitoring and evaluation of its projects.
  • Assist members in their response to crisis through a more transparent access to the Solidarity Fund and by providing support to member organisations facing emergencies.
  • Build bridges to support a strong education trade union movement, by fostering cooperation and solidarity among member organisations and by sharing tools, information and experiences among member organisations

Focus on regional priorities

This plan is going to unfold with the constant and systematic involvement of Education International’s regional offices, which, based on their own strategic plans, will show the direction to take when it comes to implementing the unit’s workplan at their level.

Meet the members of the unit

Last but not least, who is part of this new team? You will recognise colleagues who have been working at EI for quite some time already, some of them in new roles: Florian Lascroux, Helena Schulz Jimeno, Jefferson Pessi and Nicolás Richards are led by Education International’s Deputy General Secretary Haldis Holst in her role as Director of the unit.