Progressio is an international development charity that enables poor communities to solve their own problems through support from skilled workers. Throughout its history, the organisation has attempted to influence decision-makers, secular and religious alike, to support liberation movements and to guard against human rights abuses. It also lobbies legislators to change policies that keep people poor. It was formerly known as The Catholic Institute for International Relations.
On 14 September 2016, Progressio announced that due to funding issues, it was shutting down operations , it closed in March 2017.
It was created in 1940 as Sword of the Spirit, a Catholic movement aiming to promote Christian social teaching as the foundations of post-war society and working closely with the parallel (non-Catholic) Religion and Life campaign. In 1965 the name Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) was adopted. On 1 January 2006, CIIR changed its name to Progressio.
Progressio works with partner organizations in 11 countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Progressio's way of working is to combine skill-share with advocacy. With its partner organizations it identifies areas where the input of a development worker might lead to real change. It then recruits people for these jobs.
Progressio development workers are people who want to share their skills with communities that need them. Each development worker is professionally qualified with a minimum of two years' work experience, and often with a background in training — formal or informal.
In sharing its skills with partner organizations, its development workers aim also to improve the ability of its partners to advocate for change locally and nationally. At an international level, it supports and supplements the voices of its partners in seeking to change the systems and practices that create and perpetuate poverty in the global South.
Throughout its history, the organisation has attempted to influence decision-makers, secular and religious alike, to support liberation movements and to guard against human rights abuses.
In March 2009, it had around 90 development workers in post coming from 30 different countries.
- Institute of Commonwealth Studies - Catholic Institute for International Relations
-  McEnery, Martin. Progressio to close after 75 years. Progressio
- Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, s.v. "Sword of the Spirit".
- History page on organization website
- entry in the City of London Family and Young People's Service Directory.
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