Global education: the European context

Posted on July 22, 2013

May was an important month in the global education sector on the European scene with three noteworthy events, where GLEN also participated. With Ireland holding EU presidency in the first half of the year, all events took place in Dublin. Let us give you a quick overview on them.

1.      GENE Roundtable discussion

GENE (www.gene.eu) is a network of governmental organisations (ministries, agencies and other bodies responsible for development and global education) on the implementation and funding of national global education policies all over Europe. The GENE roundtable takes place twice a year. The roundtable early May in Dublin gave a good opportunity to have a deeper look on the perspectives of the national ministries in this field, understand more of their difficulties and opportunities and also to exchange best practices. The new book „Global Education in Europe: Policy, Practice and Theoretical Challenges” was launched on this roundtable, which also might be interesting for GLEN. Two of the nine GLEN member organisations, BRECI and ASA, are similarly governmental organisations.

GLEN received commendatory feedback from some of the national ministry representatives as a well structured, managed and reported program.

Laure Heinrich went to the meeting on behalf of the ASA-Program, Engagement Global and of course at the same time GLEN; so if you have any further interest or questions, do not hesitate to contact her: laure.heinrich@engagement-global.de. The next roundtable will take place in October 2013 in Brussels.

2.      DARE Forum meeting

DARE Forum („development awareness raising and education”) is a work group of CONCORD (www.concordeurope.org), it meets biannually and is made up by national platform representatives with the aim to establish common strategies to strengthen global education in Europe and also to offer space to share best practice, network and do advocacy.
DARE Forum owns a project, called DEEEP. The 4th „three-year” project, DEEEP4, was approved by the European Commission last year. Following the lead of CONCORD, the project has embraced the logic and the framework of SmartCSO, which is a network of organisations and individuals who think that the current NGO methods and activities have generally failed to tackle the global problems. “We are winning lots of battles but so far have been loosing the war…” As we are headed towards making irreversible damage to our planet, SmartCSO calls for change in our attitudes from “system improvers” to “system changers” to hit the root causes. It also uses the terminology (1) “systems thinking” meaning that NGOs should step out of the “market niche” that they fill in currently as all civil society niche (human rights, green, gender, agriculture, development, animal rights, etc. etc.) are inter-linked, (2) also the term “Great Transition” referring to the societal change that has to take place, that’s amplitude should be similar to the industrial revolution, (3) the “New Narrative” meaning the new comprehensive arguments built up on the notions above and the new courses of actions stemming from them (talking e.g. about social justice instead of being bogged down in the “development discourse”).
If you would like to know more about the DARE Forum or DEEEP4, please visit their website (www.deeep.org) and contact the network officer (andras@glen-europe.org) who represented GLEN at the meeting, for the event report.

3.      Seminar – Development education – Responding to the Global Crisis?

The seminar aimed to bring together development education practitioners, policy makers and members of civil society from across Europe to network and exchange best practice ideas and experience. In light of the global financial crisis and the Beyond 2015 agenda, this seminar explored ways in which development education in the non-formal education sector can foster community resilience and enable citizens to advocate for change.

On the seminar’s plenary session three passionate speakers talked about how they coped with the global crisis in their work (community work, research). Cathleen O’ Neill, an Irish community advocate, talked about the importance of resilence and the grassroot community initiatives in the fight against the global crisis and criticized the Irish government that withdrew funding from community development projects. Micha Narberhaus introduced the SmartCSO framework (as mentioned above at DARE Forum). Dr Momodou Sallah spoke from both as practitioner and as researcher on the role of DE and resilience. All presentations are available from the network officer at request.

If you are interested and would like to know more, please consult the mentioned websites and contact GLEN network officer. Event report, agendas, policy documents and further information are available upon request

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