Knowledge for Change (K4C)
Knowledge for Change (K4C), will train next generation of mentors and leaders in Community Based Research (CBR) to a global standard developed by UNESCO Chair on CBR around the world, especially in global south and excluded north.
The critical challenges facing humanity today require new understandings and solutions. Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require new insights and connections locally and globally. New understandings and innovative solutions have been shown to be catalyzed through co-construction of knowledge carried out in respectful partnerships with local communities. UNESCO Chair has developed global standards of curriculum and pedagogy for training next generation of researchers in CBR. Recent studies have demonstrated a growing demand for learning CBR methodology amongst practitioners and students alike, especially in hitherto excluded contexts in global south.
Canadian contribution to the development of CBR spans four decades of innovation beginning with practice of participatory research by Budd Hall in 1970s. International Network of Participatory Research was founded in 1978 by International Council for Adult Education in Toronto, under the leadershipof Rajesh Tandon. Hall and Tandon were appointed as UNESCO Co-chair on CBR in 2012 which produced global assessments of practice of Community-University Research Partnerships and analysed gaps in rigorous training of next generation of researchers equipped with ethical, normative, conceptual, professional and experiential repertoire critical to effective practice of CBR.
This initiative aims to build on this analysis to train next generation of mentors and students in rigorous and ethical CBR. UNESCO Chair produced curriculum and pedagogy of global standards in training in CBR will be used to train certified mentors and students worldwide. The Training Consortium, based at Sassari, Durham, South Africa, Cuba, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Canada will deliver this training over the next 4-5 years. Each Hub will be a community-university partnership and mentors and students will comprise of practitioners and undergraduate/graduate students. Modular training approach will combine face-to-face, online and field practicum in local settings. Each Hub will be provided technical and professional support to adapt this global curriculum and pedagogy to their specific country/region context to develop courses in which students will enroll for learning CBR.
Mentors and students will contribute to development of local language learning materials and case studies through their field practicums. The field research projects undertaken in partnership with local communities (as a part of the learning CBR course) will produce impacts in producing innovative solutions to problems of poverty, exclusion, gender-based violence, climate change, etc (as relevant to local contexts). Mentors and students will undertake analytical reflections on learning pedagogy and socio-economic impacts of their field research, which will be synthesized and disseminated widely. Training strategy has built in components of knowledge mobilization. Additional and focused efforts at knowledge mobilization would include participation in conferences, targeted policy dialogues, and sharing of locally produced compendium of teaching/ learning materials in open source. UNESCO Chair website will carry data base of certified mentors, trained students and catalogue of learning materials for ongoing access by new partners.
The training consortium will gradually expand to include new Hubs and partners. Delivery of training during the project period is so designed that it becomes financially viable in the long run and institutional ownership creates a multiplier effect within those Hubs and beyond in the country/region. Existing partners have co-produced this training strategy keeping this in mind. Monitoring progress of training, performance of Hubs and impacts on addressing problems in communities around the world will generate insights and recommendations for use by the Consortium and others. Support to policy development at institutional and government levels for integrating CBR in post-secondary education system will be provided strategically through partners, Hubs and Global Advisory Council.
A flyer of the K4C project is available here: https://unescochair-cbrsr.org/pdf/K4C_flyer-Final.pdf
• Development of Mentor Training Program
The first stage in the development of the K4C Consortium is the Mentor Training Program (MTP). The MTP will provide 24 weeks of training to Mentors who will be selected by the various training hubs in the Consortium. The course design is underway for a 24 week course that will have on-line, face to face and field experience components. The MTP course design is led by the UNESCO co-chairs with inputs from the 60 or so partners in the emerging Consortium. It is expected that the MTP will begin in early 2018.
• Formal launch
The Knowledge for Change (K4C) global consortium was launched last week, at an exclusive session on June 22, 2017 at the Talloires Network Leaders Conference 2017, in Veracruz, Mexico. The session, titled ‘Knowledge for Change & Social Responsibility of Higher Education’ was jointly hosted by University of Victoria, Canada, and UNESCO Chair. President Jamie Cassels from University of Victoria, chaired the session, while Dr Tandon facilitated the proceedings and deliberations. President Cassels & Dr Tandon also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), marking the official launch. Read more…