Ref.: PTDC/AFR/103240/2008

Funding institution(s): FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

Participant Institutions: Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Fundação Evangelização e Culturas (Moscavide), Universidade Politécnica (Maputo)

Keywords: development, civil society, education/training, cooperation


Education and Training are priority sectors in the development politics of Guiné- Bissau (GB), São Tomé e Príncipe (STP), Angola (ANG) and Moçambique (MBE), and consequently in the international cooperation politic. These countries strategic documents about fight against poverty and the international concerns expressed in the Millennium Development Goals, give prominence to 2 specifically associated to the relevance of Education and Training in development: 2 and 3. The opening of the African States to multiparty systems led to a more visible participation of civil society in key social sectors.

In order to overcome shortcomings in the education and training sector, populations and civil society groups have been searching for answers for their educative needs.  The creativity of responses varies depending on the country and its educational policies and on the location (urban / rural). In this scope, we find multiple actors: the base communities, national and international Non-Governmental Organizations for Development (NGO), the Muslim and Christian religious institutions, and companies.

For this project, we selected 4 African portuguese speaking countries: GB, STP, ANG and MBE. In 8 studies, 2 per country, we will characterize and analyze the role of civil society in strengthening education and training formal and non formal systems.

In GB, we will study the role of the Islamic communities in the madrassas schools in the Tombalim region, Quebo sector, and the role of migrants of the manjaca ethnicity in the sustainability of public schools in the Cacheu region, Canchungo sector.

In ANG, in one of the studies, we will analyze the contribution of companies in the formulation of universitary curricula of the Universidade Agostinho Neto. The other study will be developed in the Moxico province, and will analyze the role of the congregation of the Salesianos, of the Luena Diocese and of the base communities, in the training of people enrolled in literacy in rural areas.

In STP the 2 studies will focus on the role of NGO and base communities on secondary education and vocational training.

In MBE, one of the studies will focus on the collaboration between traditional Muslim authorities and NGO’s in the creation and implementation of madrassas schools in the province of Nampula, Nacala district. The other will focus on the role of companies in the vocational training ministered in the Quelimane School, in the Zambézia province.

The action of these civil society actors in these countries has been studied sectorally. The innovation of this project is the study of its complementary relationship with the State, and the comparison between the four countries.The team consists of ten people from different areas of knowledge (management, international relations, sociology, education, cooperation and development), all of them with educative experience in these countries.

All the researchers have been participating in development projects. 4 of them are descendant and live in GB, ANG and MBE. The others travel many times to those countries, in the aim of projects that they are implementing. Besides land experience, 5 researchers play functions of leadership in the education sector in Portugal and/or in the counties that will be studied, participating inclusively in forums of definition of the bilateral cooperation strategy for education and training. One of the researchers is a consultant of the Norte-Sul centre of the Conselho da Europa in Lisbon.

The research project, focused on comparative case-studies, will be developed in Portugal and in the referred countries. In the first stage, we will do the lifting of documentation and we will build the theoretical and methodological framework. In the second stage, we will apply the interviews, the questionnaires, the scales of observation, using common models in the four countries. We will privilege direct observation, taking into account the specificity of the civil society organization.

The project aims at: characterize the intervention of civil society organizations in the areas of education and training; identify the existence of partnerships with the State; identify innovative ways of civil participation; disseminate educative good practices developed by civil society in the four African countries and in Portugal, among the various actors of cooperation and development.

The dissemination assumes an important role in the team tasks, concretizing on the use of informatics technology (project newsletter, use of institutional sites) and through radio programmes, the most used mean of communication in Africa. Besides these means, the result of the research will be disseminate among the various civil society actors and among the actors of the national and international scientific community related to cooperation, through workshops, project bulletins, reports, communications, articles in national and international magazines, seminar minutes, a photographic exhibition and a video documentary.

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