Join us for our Annual Policy Dialogue!

Policy Dialogue 2021

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the SST Policy Dialogue for 2021 will be an online discussion.

To join our dialogue please register below.


UNESCO is 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 will be held annually. The purpose is 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 programme will co-develop monitoring and evaluation tools and evidence to inform policy from the capacity building processes and policy dialogues. The monitoring and evaluation tools and evidence from this programme will feed into national and regional reporting on SDG 4, Target 4.7, emphasizing the importance of strengthening teacher education for wider achievement of this target.

The Purpose of the Annual Policy Dialogue!

This policy dialogue gathers policy makers, senior education actors and teacher educators from six countries that are fully involved in the SST programme including Botswana, Lesotho Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as three countries that have joined the programme in 2021.  The purpose is 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. Additional three countries which have joined the programme in 2021 including, Eswatini, Malawi and Tanzania are invited to join the discussion as observers. 

The specific objectives of the policy dialogue are 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.


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 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.