Learning Community

Ways Of Life: Creating Prosperity for Indigenous, Local
And Afro-descendent Communities

Course type:



English, French, Spanish, Nepali

Estimated Effort:

4 hours per week


5 modules (1 module per week)


Johanna Luz Shorack, Educator and Facilitator

Contributors and Co-Facilitators from RRI Secretariat:

Natalie Caine, Senior Associate, Coalition and Strategic Networks

David Kroeker-Maus, Senior Associate, Tenure Tracking and Livelihoods

Graziela Tanaka, Director, Coalition and Strategic Networks


Schedule – 5 Weeks (June 17 – July 19):

  • Module 1
    June 17-23
    Live Session: Wednesday June 19
  • Module 2
    June 24-30
    Live Session: Wednesday June 26
  • Module 3
    July 1-7
    Live Session: Wednesday July 3
  • Module 4
    July 8 – 14
    Live Session: Wednesday July 10
  • Module 5
    July 15-19
    Live Session: Wednesday July 17


Live Session A
14:00 – 16:00 UTC
10:00 – 12:00 EDT (Washington)
14:00 – 16:00 GMT (Lomé, Monrovia)
15:00 – 17:00 WAT (Kinshasa, Libreville, Yaoundé)
17:00 – 19:00 EAT (Antananarivo, Nairobi)
19:30 – 21:30 IST (New Delhi)
19:45 – 21:45 NPT (Kathmandu)
More time zones, click here.


Live Session B
18:00 – 20:00 UTC
13:00 – 15:00 PET (Bogota, Lima)
14:00 – 16:00 EDT (Washington)
19:00 – 21:00 WAT (Kinshasa, Yaoundé)
21:00 – 23:00 EAT (Antananarivo)
More time zones, click here.


A Zoom link will be shared by WhatsApp and a calendar invitation (for the session you were assigned).

Course Index & Description

Learning Objectives

To foster a collective understanding of livelihoods by exploring different perspectives, voices, and experiences., so we can then explore  innovative livelihood-initiative ideas.

In this module you will:

  • Articulate the values and vision of prosperity within your community or territory, a necessary part of envisioning potential livelihoods initiatives.
  • Describe sustainable livelihoods conceptually and practically, and give examples of  various types of livelihoods.
  • Define “assets” within the livelihoods framework and gain an understanding of how to map them, in response to your community needs and aspirations.
  • Begin sharing and building mutual understanding and connection with other participants in the course.

Learning Objective

To deepen our understanding of common barriers and challenges affecting livelihoods, including by internal and external factors, in order to inspire new initiatives or actions in our territories.

In this module you will:

  • Specify common struggles, including those that women and youth face, in relation to livelihoods in your community and/or territory.
  • Explain responses employed by individuals or communities facing similar challenges to overcome these barriers.
  • Classify the natural and human assets in your territory.

Learning Objective

Identify factors that enhance the viability of initiatives through collaborative strategies and collective governance. We will be discussing conditions that create attainable opportunities.

In this module you will:

  • Compare different autonomous and self-determining collective governance structures.
  • Analyze the benefits of self-organizing efforts, utilizing both competition and collaboration, with an emphasis on security.
  • Identify social capital and potential collaborators through the process of mapping key connections and potential allies.
  • Identify physical assets in your territory.

Learning Objective

To better understand financing options for sustainable livelihood initiatives and help you envision the options for your community’s financing needs.

In this module you will:

  • Outline available financing options and resources for sustainable livelihood initiatives, by mapping your community’s financial assets.
  • Identify potential livelihoods strategies based on assets mapping, that could develop into an initiative and prepare a group presentation.
  • Compare types of financing according to the scale of the initiative and prerequisites.

Learning Objective

Participants will present their findings from the asset mapping and ideas that came up during the course. They will receive collective feedback, explore new opportunities, and validate proposals within the group, with the aim of enhancing each other’s initiative ideas.

In this session we will:

  • Practice concise presentation skills by effectively summarizing the key concepts and ideas of your potential initiative related to your community and/or territory, gathered throughout previous sessions and homework.
  • Enhance the initial proposal for your livelihood project by incorporating feedback from other participants provided in small groups during the session.
  • Identify the next steps for sustaining this learning community within the RRI coalition and continue to advance livelihoods work in the territories.

Purpose of the Learning Community: A Journey into Sustainable Livelihoods

This course aims to build a common and practical understanding of livelihoods, to inspire participants  with new ideas and useful tools that will strengthen the well-being, income sources, and cultures related to livelihoods in the participants’ territories.

Course Background

This Learning Community stems from a collective vision for the RRI coalition to support the self-determined economic and development visions of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples (IP, LC, and ADP), including women and youth, to fully realize their customary rights to their lands, territories, and resources.

From RRI’s livelihoods program vision:

“The struggle for land rights is intergenerational, long term, and at times indeterminate while livelihood needs are a question of everyday basic survival. Livelihood security means local peoples’ are able to meet immediate needs and provide a viable future for generations to come, thus affecting their capacity to pursue other goals and priorities, including advocacy for, and defense of, their land rights. Conversely, land tenure security shapes communities’ livelihood opportunities, and the possibility of just and equitable outcomes or agreements with third parties”.

The Livelihoods Learning Community aims to provide a space for knowledge exchange within the RRI coalition, focusing on topics crucial for understanding livelihoods and inspiring the development of new livelihoods and income-generating activities, with a special focus on youth and women.

Course Specific Objectives

  • Gain a broad comprehension of livelihoods for economic self-determination, and forest, land, and resource rights, including recognizing threats, barriers, and opportunities.
  • Inspire new livelihood ideas and/or income-generating activities based on case studies and connecting with individuals in similar situations across different contexts through the online platform.
  • Learn practical tools to identify, map, research, and develop ideas that can be put into action

Participation Requirements 

Please ensure that you’re able to attend the weekly Live Sessions. These will be the main platform for dialogue and collective learning – as each person brings a wealth of knowledge from their respective territories.

5 weeks of virtual learning, 4 hours per week time commitment:

  • Weekly live sessions on Zoom, 2 hours each (with a break)
    • Dates: June 19th, June 26th, July 3rd, July 10th, July 17th
  • 2 hours of self-directed learning each week: reviewing study materials online (readings, videos, case studies) and group homework.
  • Closed WhatsApp group for participants to discuss course material and ask questions between live sessions.

This image depicts our cyclical process for learning, reflection, and action, which builds week by week. There will be both individual and collective built into assignments and our live sessions.

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