The implementation of Learning Initiatives has been designed to further expand our operative framework, providing our Partners, and other actors, with new possibilities of engagement with smallholder farmers.

Learning Initiatives, differ from SAFE Project formats (Individual Projects and Small Interventions); and are seen as complementary to these learning processes. They will aim to:

  1. Use and leverage information and learning products into concrete and tangible processes and activities, transitioning from learning to action.
  2. Consolidate the learning process, enhancing the visibility and analysis by Partners, and other actors, over field experiences, new approaches, methodologies and tools.
  3. Stimulate and steer the joint action of Partners, and other actors, towards specific collaborative efforts.

Learning Initiatives are actions:       

  • Of short duration, with a maximum timeframe of 8 months.
  • Of low budget, funded directly by the SAFE Platform with a budget of about $25,000 per initiative. These resources can be used to hire consultants, local technical staff, researchers or facilitators; for the editing and publication of documents; for the organization of activities or meetings; among many other alternatives. In some cases, additional resources could be provided by other actors interested in promoting the activities.
  • Oriented to produce very concrete, tangible and final results, considered of high added value for the generation or diffusion of knowledge and experiences. It is mandatory for these results to be shared openly with all Platform Partners.
  • That will be administered by the SAFE Platform.
  • That, preferably, will have the involvement of at least one Platform Partner or its allies.

Selection and Initiation 

The SAFE Executive Committee will analyze each initiative, based on the participation and commitment of Partners, the availability of resources, the thematic and geographical balance, the strategic importance of the initiatives, the added value of the generated products, among other variables.

Each initiative will be analyzed separately, and the Executive Committee will decide whether to approve or deny each proposal, taking into consideration the aforementioned variables.

In order to be selected, applicants must fill out a Learning Initiative proposal form, which can be sent an any time of the year. This form can be requested by email at: [email protected], and should be sent to that email once complete. 

Approved Learning Initiatives:

So far, we have approved four proposals. Here is a summary of each one: 

  • Barometer:

The aim of the Coffee Barometer is to create an up-to-date, fair, and clear overview of the state of sustainability in the global coffee sector. This Barometer will look at both trends and development within the sector as a whole, and appraise the major industry players (roasters and traders) within the coffee value chain; coupling data with clear visualizations and fair contextualization of challenges, commitments and accomplishments, on an international level.


  • Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy:

This initiative, led by Hivos, will produce a route map of initiatives in the area of climate change that are being executed and planned in the Central American region. It will also generate a participation strategy for SAFE, taking into consideration collaborations with the different partners and allies that have linkages with these regional initiatives.


  • Integrated Intelligence System for Aldea Global:

Aldea Global is a model that provides insight to how cooperatives can profitably operate in a volatile and quickly evolving coffee market. This initiative’s goal is to develop an integrated data system that will streamline and leverage data collected through various channels to improve managerial decision-making and simplify reports required by roasters and/or retailers for their sustainability programs to meet the evolving data demands from roasters/retailers.


  • Increased women participation in cooperatives:

The initiative seeks to increase the direct affiliation of women to cooperatives, allowing them to personally access and benefit from the services offered by cooperatives to their affiliates. The initiative will promote the transfer of partial payments for product deliveries to women of the farmer units, plus a proportional premium, for them to manage these family economic resources. The project will collect information on the use given to these resources and compare it with the traditional use that would have been given under normal circumstances.