“Education for Global Justice and Citizen Engagement” Working Group

The ways that we educate citizens, and how that impacts on our attitudes and actions regarding global social justice,are addressed in many different ways around the world. With the focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on lifelong learning, it is important that we broaden our understanding of what it means to educate citizens and the multifaceted ways in which we can do that.

What are the core topics?

The core topics include different ways of conceptualising how we understand global justice and how we address education that aims to engage people through formal, non-formal and informal education, in terms of understanding different worldviews, promoting global citizenship, or considering the role of social movements in education for social change.

What are our aims? What do we want to achieve as a Working Group?

We want to take a broad understanding of education, including schooling, life-long non-formal and informal spaces for learning, communication and influencing public perceptions, education through NGOs and social movements and experiential and voluntary opportunities for learning,and consider the different interpretations on how we might conceptualise education for citizens, challenge exclusive practices and promote social justice and development.


EADI Webinar on Citizenship and Civil Society in Development

Read more: EADI Webinar on Citizenship and Civil Society in Development
22 Jun 2018

The first webinar of the Civil Society and Citizenship in Development Working Group invites everyone interested to join the session (and the group) and share approaches and ideas.

Critical Perspectives on Governance by Sustainable Development Goals: Water, Food and Climate (25-26 June 2018)

Read more: Critical Perspectives on Governance by Sustainable Development Goals: Water, Food and Climate (25-26 June 2018) (external link)
15 Jun 2018

The Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) hosts and brings together partners at UvA and other locations in the Netherlands, which work on sustainable development. More information (programme, panels etc.) are available online.


The working group aims to promote research in the following areas:

Development Education as a Feature of Development Studies

  • analysing and conceptualising the relationship between development studies and development education including in different country settings
  • exploring how findings from development research can support development education, and vice-versa
  • positioning global learning and global education in relation to development studies perspectives
  • locating development education in emergent development discourse, particularly in the light of the ‘rising powers’
  • exploring development education as a translator of development scholarship

Global Citizenship and Global Civil Society

  • the role of development education in shaping discourses and practices of global civil society
  • analysing global citizenship in relation to discourses and practices of development
  • exploring global education as fostering citizens’ empowerment for change both in Europe and beyond
  • developing understanding of citizen engagement in development

Policy, Quality and Impact

  • understanding and tracking the effectiveness and impact of public support programmes for development cooperation
  • analysing the influence of funding instruments on development projects and development education projects
  • developing connections between global and development learning and development goals and objectives

Expected output

The working group will:

  1. Provide opportunities for sustained dialogue and critical space for researchers of both communities
  2. Develop a network of engaged scholars, policy makers and practitioners committed to working together to: develop innovative research; explore and build on synergies and connections across disciplines; raise the profile of policy and research around development education; disseminate ideas and findings that can foster connections between development education and development scholarship
  3. Facilitate a series of scientific workshops bringing this network together and expanding it to extend reach across development and development education scholars and policy makers
  4. Convene a panel at the 2014 EADI conference mapping the field and presenting research innovations
  5. Establish a web presence to facilitate exchange and dialogue
  6. Publish selected papers and presentations from events and workshops online
  7. Explore the scope for a Special Issue of the EJDR following the 2014 conference, and/or Publication of selected papers in an edited volume in the EADI Series “Global development studies”.
  8. Serve as a contact point for Master students/PhD students engaging in related topics and offer mentorship.

If you are interested in the activities of the working group, please send an email to the conveners.

About the Working Group

Despite widespread acknowledgement of the importance of broadening public engagement with and understanding of international development, there is no institutionalised scientific forum which brings together the development studies and development education research communities, and the practitioner communities working in both fields. As a result, the academic evidence base around development education and engagement remains fragmented and weakly connected to high quality development scholarship.

This working group will draw together academics and practitioners in the development education and development studies communities, establishing a platform for interaction, dialogue and research. This will serve to underpin policy development, address gaps in existing development and development education scholarship  and raise the profile of this area of development policy whose significance is not matched by scholarly attention.

The working group builds on the activities started at the EADI General Conference in September 2011 (Panel on “Development needs citizens: Development education as a tool for global social justice”, see http://headsupfordevelopment.tumblr.com/post/10686785012/report-development-needs-citizens-rethinking ). This panel highlighted: the limited academic evidence base linking development education to development scholarship; the persistent difficulty of narrowing academic specialisms which make it hard to draw connections between scholarships; the fragmentation of scholarships across national settings; the need for a growth in the numbers of researchers working in development education from a development studies perspective; the need to draw those that are working in the area, across global North and South, together. The panel also, however, noted the existence of European level frameworks around which to address these issues, making EADI the ideal platform for beginning this task. Accordingly, the working group will also build from the European Consensus on Development’s outline of the significance of Development Education and Awareness Raising:

The European Consensus on Development: The contribution of Development Education & Awareness Raising (2007)

“Both the raising of awareness of development, and development education make significant contributions to increasing public support for development. As important, however, are the contributions made to meeting the needs of the public for critical understanding, skills, and values that enable them to lead fulfilling lives in a changing and interdependent world. Quality awareness raising and education work support the meeting of these needs. (page 4)

Furthermore, it will draw on the Maastricht Declaration on Global Education (2002) to help frame the working group’s activities:

Global education

Global education is understood to encompass development education, human rights education, education for sustainability, education for peace and conflict prevention and intercultural education; being the global dimensions of education for citizenship.
Maastricht Declaration on Global Education, 2002


Eleanor Brown
University of York

Mark Griffiths
Northumbria University

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