Activity 1 - Curriculum development
During the initial phases, the project will carry out a needs assessment by analysing the existing curricula and needs in the partner countries. This analysis will review already present components and identify gaps such as those related to local training provisions on international development cooperation and education. Such assessment will involve all the relevant stakeholders including people from the Universities, NGDO Platforms and officials from the Ministries of Education and of Foreign Affairs. Once the needs of each country are defined, the curriculum development plan will be elaborated according to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). This will facilitate the formal implementation of the modules in the future and for them to be adopted by institutions and organisations in other countries.
Activity 2 - Information toolkit development and distribution
The participating universities and NGOs will first review the key documents and policies on international development cooperation. The toolkit, which will target NGOs students and University staff, will entail the following components: - Summaries and samples of the modules in print and on CDs - Methodological ideas on how to present the modules according to different contexts; - List of resources (including some of the above mentioned key documents and policies); - Evaluation rubrics and checklists for assessing the effectiveness of the toolkit - Case studies from the 4 participating countries (to be added at the completion of the project). These case studies will build on all the activities of the project, and bring together findings from NMS and the Old Member State and specific examples of the special needs and contexts of each country. They will include testimonials, best practices, and resources for each country.
Activity 3 - National Workshops and Seminars
The consortium will offer workshops targeting students, teachers, adult learners, representatives of student organisations and volunteer centres, to be implemented two in each country. These will be based on the curriculum, the modules and the information toolkits as described in Activities 1 and 2 above. They will target students, NGOs and interested members of the public. Specific emphasis will be given to preparing lecturers and teachers to integrate the modules into their teaching. The 8 national seminars will involve NGO activists, members of civil society, and representatives from the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs and will advocate for putting development education at a higher level of priority within the educational agenda. In addition, national seminars will involve university lecturing staff and administration officers, pre-service and in-service teachers and educators from lower levels of the educational system (non-tertiary), and representatives of the respective Ministries of Education and will advocate for the inclusion of development education in the national curricula of education.
Activity 4 - Development and maintenance of a web portal and social networking applications
The portal will be built using open source technology in order to enable maintenance with a minimum of financial and human resources. The site will also include web management and monitoring tools that will provide the consortium with usage statistics. This will serve as a basis for the evaluation of the portal. After being given the initial brief, the web developer will submit the preliminary plans, designs, site maps, etc. for review by the consortium partners. They will then revise these initial plans and provide necessary feedback before the structure is finalised and published. The 3 main steps in the development is the design of the portal, digital content development, and maintenance. More universities, NGOs and other interested stakeholders will be involved beyond the completion of the project. Any development implemented at this stage will take into consideration the evaluation reports carried out as part of the project. This will encourage the scaling up of the web portal with the fresh input of new partners and collaborations. The site will be utilising the English language. Several parts of the site will also have content in the three national languages of the countries in which the project is being implemented (Maltese, Romanian, Greek). The web portal will be promoted at the national level in the four partner countries. The website will also be disseminated at the European level at educational institutions at all levels, NGOs and networks (such as CONCORD), and other important multipliers.
Activity 5 - Dissemination and Media Events
One of the priorities of the project is to raise awareness on development issues within the general public. The most effective means to foster a debate within society is the use of mass media channels, such as daily newspapers, radio stations and television. The consortium will be developing optimised strategies to target the media, identifying key factors which will increase the attraction of events. Press conferences will be used to bring the activities and results of the project to the attention of the media. Press releases will be disseminated in the official languages used by the media in the four partner countries, so as to increase the visibility of the project’s activities within society and to engage in a public debate. Articles will be published by both, members of academia and NGO staff, to further stimulate such discourse. Furthermore, the consortium partners will be elaborating and disseminating press releases and position papers focussing on the agenda of the MDGs and the coherence between policy areas that affect development issues. The press releases and position papers produced will also be disseminated to national and European educational institutions and conferences on development education and cooperation. The consortium partners will use the meetings within the national platforms and the European networks to inform and influence the discussion about the collaboration between civil society organisations and universities. An international conference will be held towards the end of the project to present and discuss project results.
The overall objective of the project is to mobilise the active support of European citizens, specifically in the New Member States (NMS), for the fight against global poverty. By raising awareness about the MDG agenda, and the historical background, aims, and scope of the European Union’s Comprehensive Development Cooperation policy we envision to enhance the prospects of attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) goals. We will infuse knowledge and encourage the adaptation of the project’s outcomes with particular reference to the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) region. The strength of this project stems from the long-standing positive collaboration between the participating NGOs and universities, from three New Member States and one Old Member State.
The specific objective is to increase the capacity of European citizens, NGOs and Universities to cooperate with each other and to engage in the Development Cooperation debate and Development and Global Citizenship Education at national, regional and European level, by creating educational resources and tools and develop the mechanisms to enhance the capability of these organizations to help them promote Development Cooperation. The primary outcome of the project will be the development and implementation of an introductory and culturally adapted curriculum on development cooperation in direct alignment with the priorities of the MDGs agenda, coherence for development issues, and the media.
NGOs working in the field of Development Cooperation and Education, and having experience at grassroots level, will be able, and will be encouraged, to inform and persuade those University faculties, departments and research centres that would be responsible for the content of modules, as well as for their implementation. Thus universities will gain from the input by development practitioners as well as informal/non-formal educators on Development issues.
We envision that when our project reaches maturity it will have direct and indirect impact on approximately 11,000 project ambassadors every year.
The project aims to mobilise the support of Cypriot, Maltese, Romanian, and Greek citizens for the fight against global poverty and the MDG agenda with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. This mobilization will have a snowball positive effect towards the eradication of global poverty. In the new Member States (NMS) of the EU, the lack of education and academic resources has negative consequences and contributes towards a lack of interest in development and on the public debate on MDGs. These problems are interrelated. Development Education resources are needed, and in particular those that facilitate the anchoring of Development policies in the NMS’s societies. Currently, there are no opportunities in any of these countries to take introductory courses on international cooperation for development, and neither do secondary nor higher education institutions offer a program for development studies. However, Development has only a marginal role in the teaching process; it is entirely dependent on the level of knowledge and interest of the individual professor.
As a group of concerned NGOs and universities, we realized that Development studies are hardly accessible for students in our countries, especially if they want to study in their national language or have a preference – for any reason – to register at a local university. This action aims to produce topic specific educational resources, designated for secondary schools, universities and NGOs that can be adopted in their national education curricula and activities. Thus, they will actively contribute to the development debate and policy-building processes on a national and European level.
Beyond the general awareness raising efforts, the Development problems addressed by this action are co-related with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agenda and other Development-related issues, through the modules that each country will develop. The modules will be developed to target the specific subjects, and they will be aligned with MDGs and Development Policy documents, as well as be contextualised within the national and other NMS settings. A cross-cutting theme for all modules will be the gender and equal opportunities issues, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. The modules were assigned in this particular way to resonate with national capacities and sensitivities.
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