ECOLISE is starting an intense process of developing our organisational culture with the support of external expertise. ECOLISE acknowledges tensions based on sexism and racism that have led to the departure of some team members and some network members expressing concern. Work of safeguarding development is thus essential for ECOLISE to be true to its values and regenerate itself as an organisation and network.


ECOLISE wishes to model an ethos of inclusion, mutual respect, justice and integrity. This implies creating a safe working environment for all, in a remote international working context. Hence, the ECOLISE team and Council members as well as close collaborators consciously and continuously try to overcome inherent bias in the work they do, including inter-personal communications and decision making. Besides creating a safe working environment, safeguarding will also require that adequate processes and procedures are in place to respond appropriately in the event of any misconduct.

We are inviting ECOLISE network members to join us on this learning journey. You are warmly welcomed to join our culture-building working group. We will also hold some online sessions on these topics later in the year.

Francesca Stuer, a safeguarding expert, is conducting an audit of the internal policies of ECOLISE (such as Code of Conduct, Misconduct Procedure, and others). She will lead us through a six-month process, strengthening our safeguarding policies. In parallel, and with the support of Actiris, the Brussels Regional Office for Employment, we are starting a process for developing a diversity plan. The objective of the plan is to define actions that ECOLISE will take in the coming two years for promoting inclusion and diversity, and fighting discrimination. We have also received support from two Belgium public agencies that promote equality, UNIA and IGVM, and we are learning about conflict transformation with Ben Yeger from Moving Conflicts.

If you are interested in joining our culture-building working group, please contact us at . The minimum commitment for engagement will be to join a meeting once a month. For the development of the diversity plan we are particularly looking for people from the ECOLISE membership with some of the following profiles: Age -26 / +45; Origin from the Global South / BIPOC;  Physical disability; Non-binary gender, Low level of formal education. These categories are defined as disadvantaged in the Belgium labour market by Actiris.


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