2022 UNESCO / SADC Policy Dialogue

Dates:  14-15 March 2022
Venue: The Capital on the Park,
             Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

Environment and Sustainable Development are among the crosscutting issues highlighted in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020–2030 of SADC. Since the beginning of 2021, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO ROSA) and the SADC secretariat have been collaborating to strengthen and advance Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through a series of initiatives.
These include:

1) a teacher capacity development programme known as Sustainability Starts with Teachers (SST),
2) ESD for 2030 country initiatives, which bring together actors from government and non-government organizations active in ESD implementation at country level and
3) youth empowerment programmes on sustainable development. It is within the framework of these three initiatives that UNESCO in collaboration with the SADC secretariat is organizing a high-level policy dialogue.

The UNESCO-SADC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Education for Sustainable Development is the next step in these series of  initiatives.The policy dialogue will take a hybrid format, gathering approximately 150 participants in a face-to-face format with others joining virtually. Proposed delegates are from 11 SADC countries mostly from Ministries of Education, Environment and Sustainable Development; key NGOs, SST alumni, ESD for 2030 focal persons, policy makers, senior education actors and SADC secretariat.

Click here to access the draft concept note for more information. The event will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 13 to 16 March 2022.

The Purpose of the 2022 UNESCO / SADC Policy Dialogue

POLICY BRIEFS

One of the outcomes of the UNESCO Sustainability Starts with Teachers programme is increased national capacity for monitoring and evaluation of Sustainable Development Goal 4, Target 4.7. It is important to start with what is already in place, in the form of national policies and curriculum plans, and to build on this.

To this end, a set of policy briefs, one for each participating country, is currently being developed. The policy briefs focus on key issues emerging from policy dialogue in national consultation workshops of the Sustainability Starts with Teachers programme. Participants from teacher and TVET education institutions as well as government officials attend these workshops. The workshops build on progress made in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in teacher education in the various countries over a fifteen year period since the start of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in 2005.

  • Sustainability Challenges
  • Sustainable Development
  • Integrating Education for Sustainable Development in Teacher and TVET Education
  • Education for Sustainable Development Challenges in Teacher Education
  • The Contribution of the ‘Sustainability Starts with Teachers’ Programme in the particular country.

The last section gives examples of the institutions participating in the programme and of how participating teacher educators have conceptualised various Change Projects to respond to specific sustainable development challenges.
The policy briefs can be used by governments and institutions to describe current sustainability efforts, or by participants to motivate for support for individual change projects.

Policy briefs for Malawi, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia can be downloaded below by clicking on the links below. Further briefs will be added as the project progresses.

2021 Annual Policy Dialogue

In 2021 UNESCO was working with education and sustainable development government partners to ensure that the Education for Sustainable Development is integrated at policy and practice level. UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa activities are aligned with national and regional aims for inclusive sustainable development. Policy dialogues to advance Education for Sustainable Development in teacher education were held online in 2021, due to covid and will be held annually. The purpose of the 2021 Policy Dialogue was to engage policy actors and educational leaders in capacity-building programme activities in countries as a way of advocating for Education for Sustainable Development integration into policies and leadership activities in teacher/TVET education.

The Purpose of the 2021 Policy Dialogue!

During the 2021 policy dialogue session policy makers, senior education actors and teacher educators from nine countries that are fully involved in the SST programme gathered together. These countries included Botswana, Lesotho Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as Eswatini, Malawi and Tanzania that have joined the programme in 2021.  The purpose was to engage policy actors and educational leaders on ESD activities as a way of advocating for ESD integration into policies and leadership activities in teacher/TVET education.

The specific objectives of the 2021 policy dialogue were to:

  1. Share the achievements of the SST programme in the six countries;
  2. Showcase selected change project initiatives and their impact on teacher/TVET education policies;
  3. Launch and present the interactive alumni website and the regional course of the SST;
  4. Show case ESD in policies in Southern Africa;
  5. Engage with policy makers and education practitioners on ESD;
  6. Share ideas on using data and information collected from the SST programme for national reporting on SDG 4.7; Highlight the synergies between the SST programme and other ESD for 2030 country initiatives.
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