Construction of a European Network
for development education and awareness
raising on the Millennium Development Goals
in educational formai systems and local authorities

About Center for MDGs

The Activities

The activities of the “Center for MDGs” project are structured around four main lines of action: 

  1. Sensitisation and training for local authorities
  2. Sensitisation of local actors, civil society and citizens
  3. Development Education in secondary schools
  4. Collaboration with Mozambique 

The activities will be carried out by the Municipality of Foligno and by the European network of the Local Authority Funds for International Cooperation – consisting of Felcos Umbria (Fund for local enterprises for decentralised cooperation and sustainable human development), FPMCI (Provincial Fund of Milan for International Cooperation) and FAMSI (Andalusian Fund of City Halls for International Solidarity) – and by the other partners in the project: the PAIDEIA Association of Bulgaria, REDEL (Network of Local Development Agencies of Mozambique) and ANAMM (National Association of City Halls of Mozambique). 

1. Sensitisation, information and training for local authorities on the subject of human development and the fight against poverty 

Three types of activities will be organised for local authorities: 

1.1 Activity to inform and sensitise local authorities
Two informative days will be organised for local authorities in each area of the EU involved in the project (four in Italy, two in Bulgaria and two in Spain) to define a shared strategy. This activity will also be open to local actors and citizens.  The topics under discussion during the information days will be: “Local authorities and areas as key actors in human development and international cooperation” and “The Millennium Development Goals in local political agendas”, “Structuring around the multilateral framework”. 

1.2 Training activity for local authorities regarding development and international cooperationSpecific training courses for local authorities will be held which will aim to increase the ability of local authorities to contribute to the fight against poverty, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to use decentralised cooperation for sustainable human development.  Training will address the following topics: the Millennium Development Goals, the strategies and policies for human development and the fight against poverty on a local, national, European and international level, the challenges and international agreements, the role of local authorities and areas, decentralised cooperation, area partnerships and their structuring around the multilateral framework, the financial channels and instruments to programme and manage the projects. The course will be divided into a cycle of lessons totalling 25 hours and two refresher seminars. The training will be for local authority officials and administrators in the areas involved in the project.   

1.3 Creation of a Road Map for decentralised cooperation This consists of the definition of a common pathway between the local authorities involved in the project to order to share and sign a common, political and institutional agreement entitled “Common Agenda for the Millennium Development Goals at a local level”, as a commitment to carry out local development policies for human development and concrete actions for decentralised co-operation. The path of the Road Map will unroll in synergy with the multilateral framework of the United Nations, especially with the ART initiative of the UNDP and with the UNDP Millennium Campaign. Its aim will be to strengthen the structuring of decentralised cooperation around the multilateral framework, as an expression of a new multilateralism, and to guarantee a greater effectiveness and impact of policies and actions on the development processes. 
The agreement will provide for a series of objectives and concrete commitments in the fight against poverty and the achievement of the MDGs, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and will include the addition of initiatives of decentralised cooperation and activities of sensitisation addressed at the citizens and actors in the area in the annual planning. The political and institutional process that will lead to the definition of the Road Map will be divided into three national seminars and two transnational seminars.  

2. Sensitisation of local actors, society and citizens 

Local authorities are traditionally the level of government closest to the citizens and can play an important role in promoting and sensitising the social fabric about the themes of human development and cooperation, in order to create approval, responsibility and active participation by the areas.  As part of the project, a campaign of sensitisation on the themes of development, the fight against poverty and the Millennium Goals will be held for citizens, civil society and the local actors in the areas. Three types of activities in particular will be organised:
2.1 Initiatives for local actors
Three informative days will be held for each of the areas involved, one of which will be specifically dedicated to their relationship with the mass media.The topics addressed will be:

  • The international situation of human development, the Millennium Goals and other international challenges;
  • The interdependence between Europe and developing countries, with special reference to topics of public relevance, such as: migration, commerce, security, human rights, the social dimension of globalisation, employment etc.;
  • The role and the opportunities not only for local authorities and the areas, but also for local actors and people to be at the centre of attention as regards the theme of sustainable human development and the challenge for the MDGs. 

2.2 Forum on the Millennium Development Goals
A Forum will be held on the MDGs in each partner area in collaboration with the local authorities and the schools involved in the project. The forum will provide a space and an opportunity to sensitise public opinion about the most important global and local challenges, such as the fight against poverty, sustainable human development and the Millennium Goals, as well as about the importance of active participation and contribution by all the various social actors. The Forum will include various initiatives concerning the MDGs, such as photographic exhibitions, documentaries and multimedia productions, cultural activities, debates and others. 

2.3 Ad hoc meetings with the relevant actors During the project specific meetings will be held about sensitisation that will reflect on the themes of development and cooperation with some local actors such as: mass media, associations and NGOs, commercial organisations, chambers of commerce, enterprises, trade unions, universities and other organisations that will be contacted during the project.  These meetings will aim to sensitise and concretely involve some key actors in initiatives to create approval and in actions of decentralised cooperation between the areas. 

3. Development Education in secondary schools  

Development Education is an essential element in young people’s education and it will soon become more important and necessary to help them understand and find their way through the global context of increasing interrelationships. The project proposes a permanent pathway towards a shared, appropriate and effective training module on Development Education in annual, scholastic programmes in the secondary schools in the partner areas. The specific activities to achieve this result will be: 

3.1 The signing of a “Common Agreement of Collaboration”
A collaboration agreement will be signed as part of the project by the scholastic institutions of every partner area. The Common Collaboration Agreement will serve to share and define the stable introduction of Development Education in annual, educational programmes in the chosen secondary schools. 

3.2 School participation
At least five secondary schools will be selected from each area to take part in the initiatives scheduled by the project. 

3.3 Teacher training
The project will involve a 25/30 hour training course for two or three teachers from each of the schools involved (for a total of 40/60 teachers).  The aim of the training is to give the teachers the contents, instruments and the ability to effectively set up and run the modules for Development Education in the schools. Specific educational material will be produced during the course. Training will focus in particular on the basic elements of Development Education – human rights, respect for the environment, global interdependence, cross culture, MDGs, etc. – and on the instruments capable of facilitating the students’ greater understanding and need to be at the centre of attention as regards the dynamics of the globalised world, in order to transfer their enthusiasm and desire to become agents in the transformation towards a more equal, sustainable and balanced world.
3.4 Shared definition of the contents and of an educational Kit for Development Education
In order to achieve the best effect from an educational point of view, the teachers involved will collaborate with experts from the project to create a specific, educational kit and to define and devise educational modules for Development Education for use in their respective classes.  The educational modules will be developed on the basis of the guide lines shared by the project partners and where necessary, the contents, organisation and coordination with the school calendar will be adapted to each national context. 

3.5 Implementation of the training modules in the schools
The teachers involved will be supported by the project partners so they can follow the activities of the Development Education in the chosen classes, using the previously created, educational kit. Local authorities and other stakeholders will be involved in the training activities with the students. Each educational module will be divided into 25/30 hours of lessons per year. In order to heighten the impact of the project, the partners, the regional school authorities and the schools will draw up a plan aimed to diffuse the experience in mainstream schooling. 

4. Collaboration with Mozambique 

Sub-Saharan Africa represents one of the priorities in the fight against poverty and the achievement of the MGDs; for this reason and on the basis of the existing relationship with the Mozambique ART GOLD programme, a few of the activities in the project will be carried out  thanks to the involvement of two local partners: the National Association of City Halls of Mozambique and the Network of Local Development Agencies. The partners from Mozambique will act as “sensitisation agents” and will follow the entire process to create partnerships between schools and between local authorities in Mozambique and in Europe, as scheduled in the project.
Collaboration with Mozambique will be divided into four actions:  4.1 Twinning between schools in Mozambique and schools in the European countries involved in the project The project partners will encourage and closely follow the creation of a twinning between the 20 European schools involved and the 10 schools in Mozambique the aim of which will be to organise cultural exchanges of experiences and information between the schools.
4.2 Creation of a multimedia contest about MDGs  (“MDGs Multimedia Contest”)
In the final stage of the project a multimedia contest will be held, in which groups of students from Mozambique and Europe will face each other to make videos on the subjects of development and the Millennium Goals.. The multimedia productions made by the schools will be presented by the students at an international conference: a transnational jury, consisting of project representatives, teachers, representatives from the local authorities and other experts, will give an award to the best production from each area involved.  The multimedia productions will be shown on the project web site and on the partners’ web sites. In order to enable this multimedia activity to take place, the project will equip the schools in Mozambique with the necessary software and hardware technologies, and it will also supply the European schools with some of the technologies. 

4.3 Partnership between Local Authorities in Europe and in Mozambique
The project includes the set-up of a network of local authorities in Europe and in Mozambique whose aim will be not only to create a space, in which ideas can be exchanged and compared between life in Europe and that of the sub-Sahara, but also to create conditions in which cooperation projects can be developed.  It will be easier to set up these partnerships when they are structured around the UNDP ART GOLD Programme in Mozambique, which represents the meeting place for actors of international cooperation with their partners in Mozambique in order to support the processes of local development. 

4.4 Exchange and sensitisation
As part of the project, the partners from Mozambique will carry out missions in the European areas involved so they can participate in meetings with the European local authorities, schools and other local actors in order to sensitise and reflect on the situation of development in Mozambique and to facilitate the creation of partnerships with the European areas. The partners in Mozambique will act as “sensitisation agents” able to promote knowledge of the problems of development in sub-Saharan Africa and of the issues concerning the achievement of the Millennium Goals.