Weaving the Strength of Collaboration: GCED Global and Regional Networks
Despite the presence of efforts around the world to promote Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there has been limited initiative in developing a systematic approach to connect relevant stakeholders in order to strengthen implementation in the field. As a leading agency in this area, APCEIU has launched GCED networks at the global and regional levels, supported by UNESCO Headquarters and Field Offices. The initiative gave way to consensus building among participating institutions on what constitutes as the main priorities for GCED implementation at the global and regional levels, and a mechanism for partnership which will serve as the working tool for the realization of the GCED Network.
In 2016, the first global meeting convened GCED key partners around the world in 2016 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, to embark on the formation of GCED Network. The 2016 meeting was a stepping stone of the initiatives by setting its main principles, the ABCs of the GCED Network, particularly: to Accelerate GCED implementation by obtaining innovative ideas and lessons from other regions, Bridge partners, and build Communities.
Addressing the call to support actions on the ground as was identified by partners in 2016, the Regional GCED Networks were launched in 2017 and 2018. Launched in five geographic regions - Asia-Pacific, Arab States, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Regional GCED Networks aim to address identified priority areas and operate planned coordination mechanisms towards sustaining local action for GCED. In order to increase the relevance of GCED at the local levels, respective networks have their core groups of dedicated individuals and partners, convened by the Regional Coordinator and in close communication with key partner organizations. Since 2019, APCEIU co-organizes activities with the Regional GCED Networks. These have motivated individual partners to develop their own autonomous activities, aligned with regional priorities. In 2020, the activities supported by APCEIU are as follows:
- Asia-Pacific Regional GCED Network: 2020 Asia-Pacific Regional GCED Network Meeting, Development of “How to GCED” Mini Guide Series
- Arab States Regional GCED Network: Strengthening GCED in Arab Higher Education Institutions
- Europe and North America Regional GCED Network: Research Study on “Understanding and Building Europe and North America as a Regional Network Promoting GCED”
- Latin America and the Caribbean Regional GCED Network: Development and Dissemination of a GCED Youth Massive Open Online Course for Latin America and the Caribbean
- Sub-Saharan Africa Regional GCED Network: Strengthening GCED in Curricula in Southern Africa
As an effort to envision a strategic framework through a retrospective look of regional activities and experiences, APCEIU organized Technical Consultation Meeting on the GCED Network in 2018 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. While wide-range of insights of facilitating GCED were presented, the participants including key stakeholders and partners from the five Regional Networks have reached consensus on fostering closer GCED collaboration and stronger solidarity inter-regionally and globally. Thus, in 2019, co-hosted by UNESCO Headquarters and APCEIU, the “GCED Actors’ Platform” was inaugurated. With the presence of 17 key GCED-implementing organizations across the globe, the Inaugural Meeting of the GCED Actors’ Platform worked towards establishing a global platform, in which different actors and stakeholders could share, review and update their achievements and progress of implementing GCED. In the light of the theme of 2019, “GCED Capacity Building of Teachers”, the key players of GCED have imparted currently on-going initiatives and challenges that they have encountered along with further discussions on the plans of GCED partnership strategies. Apart from Regional Coordinators and representatives from partner organizations, youth have also contributed to the dialogue through the GCED Youth Network, an international group of young GCED advocates. Kicking off with the topic of GCED educators capacity-building in 2019, the GCED Actors Platform will cover different themes every year. For 2020, the platform focuses on GCED research and policy development.
In light of strengthening global and regional action for GCED through the GCED Network initiative, APCEIU calls on partners to focus on the following priority lines of action: 1) exchange of information on GCED, 2) peer learning, monitoring and evaluation, 3) mutual invitations to GCED meetings and events, 3) co-organization of GCED meetings, conference and seminars, 5) co-organization of GCED capacity-building workshops, and 6) co-publication of GCED resources and materials. In the next ten years before the target date of 2030 for the SDGs, APCEIU is committed to support the efforts to work together for GCED, weaving synergies towards more peaceful, sustainable and tolerant societies through education. Inquiries or suggestions on the GCED Network initiative may be shared to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) Final Reports of the Regional GCED Network Meetings (2017-2018) (http://www.unescoapceiu.org/post/3641)
2) Inaugural Meeting of the GCED Actors’ Platform Final Report (http://www.unescoapceiu.org/post/3642)
3) GCED Network Initiative: Introductory Brochure (http://www.unescoapceiu.org/post/3546)