About EngageSDG

Aims and objectives of the project

Funded by the European Commission in terms of the Erasmus Plus Programme, the overall objective of EngageSDG is to build capacity in SADC universities to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs in their local environments using participatory approaches (PAs). The project intends to promote the engaged university model by focusing on the use of PAs for the production of knowledge, and their potential to create innovative relationships between SADC universities and the communities within which they are embedded, in addressing the SDGs.

The project targets HEIs in South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia. It includes 6 SADC institutions, 5 EU HEIs, and 2 associations, SARUA and OBREAL Global. Beneficiaries include university leaders, academic staff, administrative and technical staff, and role-players in communities across the SADC region. The project which will commence in 2024 and run till 2027 aims to provide a sustainable set of capacity-building tools that will support our network members in the use of participatory approaches. We intend to embed the results of this project into our community of practice for engagement.

Specific Objectives

  • To develop a report on the State of Play relating to the use PAs in HE in three SADC countries.
  • To develop a conceptual framework, and supporting digital ecosystem, to support decision-making, capacity development and collaboration amongst HEIs in the SADC in the use of PAs for local engagement.
  • To develop the capacity of HEIs in South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia, and in the SADC more widely, to adopt PAs for local engagement.
  • To create a sustainable SARUA community of practice for the use of PAs in community-oriented knowledge production.

Partner institutions in SADC

  • Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA)
  • University of the Western Cape
  • North-West University
  • University of Zambia
  • University of Lusaka
  • University of Mauritius
  • University of Technology Mauritius

Partner institutions in Europe

  • Sociacion Observatorio De Las Relaciones Union Europea-America Latina(Obreal-Global Observatory)
  • Universitat de Barcelona
  • University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork
  • Alma Mater Studiorum – Universita di Bologna
  • Technische Universitat Dortmund
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
African people sitting at a table in an office setting

Anticipated outcomes

An Integrated Participatory Framework to support decision-making on the use of PAs among university leadership and staff within the SADC HE sector through:

  • A digital academic eco-system to support learning and collaboration amongst HEI in the SADC in the use of PAs for local engagement.
  • Implemented pilot projects on the use of PAs by the SADC partner institutions.
  • A capacity development programme for HE leadership and staff from 20 HEI in SADC, on the use of PAs for local engagement.
  • A sustainable SARUA community of practice for HE engagement.
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