Study Circles for Social Change Programme


Study circles enable small groups of participants to learn together about how to advance their interests and needs using a democratic, interactive and participatory method of education. Study circles of grassroots leaders in trade unions and community organisations are essential for building vibrant democratic organisations with an active membership.

2020 update

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, planned study circles with 8 IFWEA affiliates from Asia (CLASS Nepal, IDEA, FSPMI, ISD and LEARN); Africa (ZCIEA); and Latin America (INAESIN, PLADES and CENAC) on ILO Convention 190 – Violence and Harassment in the Workplace, have been adapted to become online study groups. Watch study circle members talk about their experiences here 

If you would like to start an online study group, or would like assistance in running a study circle, please contact


What topics do study circles cover?

Study circles cover a range of topics that can include training for shop stewards, training for women in leadership, organising migrant workers, IT skills, how to moderate online workshops, and more.

How does IFWEA support study circles?

IFWEA supports affiliates to develop a study circle programme through training and mentoring study circle facilitators to build confidence, encourage critical thinking and promote active participation.

IFWEA offers a Facilitating Study Circles course which is an open course on OLA. You can click here to access the course.

IFWEA also supports online interaction between study circle facilitators in different countries to share experiences on curricula, materials and pedagogy of study circles and build a global knowledge community.

How can I get involved?

Share your study circle curricula, materials and methods and meet up with study circle facilitators from other organisations by joining the IFWEA community on Facebook here

You can promote study circles in your organisation through running the various courses available on OLA. You can also contact the IFWEA secretariat for support at