Education for Sustainable Development and Gender

The Education team uses the SDG 4 framework to engage with NGOs and local and national governments to use action research on life-long learning opportunities internationally. The team works at the intersection of environment, education, gender social justice and economic development. Sustainability and partnership building are at the core of CSD-Education’s program design research.

Geo-spatial Data for Education Planning for Nigeria: CSD Education is also working with on Geo-referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3). This is a project run by Columbia’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). GRID3 is facilitating the collection, analysis, integration, dissemination, and utilization of high-resolution population, infrastructure, and other reference data in support of national sectoral development priorities, humanitarian efforts, health, and sustainable development goals (SDGs). The project aims to increase developing countries’ capabilities for mapping population distribution as a way of ensuring that everyone, especially the most vulnerable, is counted, refining development priorities and extending and improving the scope and efficacy of countries’ development efforts. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). CSD has been applying the GRID3 geo-referenced maps to align in the Nigerian Education Policy to aid in decision making. 

Crafting m-Education data policy for Ghana: CSD Education is working with Millennium Promise, a New York-based non-profit to provide technical assistance on framing policy on e-data for education. This will include providing guidelines on indicator framework, frequency of data collection, use of data at both local and national levels.  This white paper will be used as the basis for moving paper-based data collection to digital mapping of schools with their relevant indicators to track the progress of schools and student performance. 

Making Technical Vocation and Education Training (TVET) Green in Ghana: Tara Stafford is spearheading Education for Sustainable Development in collaboration with a local NGO Youth and Women Empowerment (YOWE) in Ghana. Eight young women were trained in the trade, receiving companion training by CSD and YOWE teams in business planning and marketing. The program is now adding a digital skills component to help the apprentices have skills to be able to research new market opportunities, promote their products, and communicate with potential buyers beyond their own communities.

Strengthening Education in North East Nigeria States (SENSE) Project: Tara Stafford is the project lead for Columbia in a joint project with American University of Nigeria and Kent State University to boost quality education in northeastern Nigeria. The project team will work in two states- Adamawa and Gombe by training 100 education managers, improving the instructional skills of 5,000 teachers, and focusing specific training for female teachers in 200 primary schools. These efforts are expected to improve the learning outcomes for 200,000 primary school boys and girls. Access to education in the northeast has severely declined since the Boko Haram and Islamic State-West Africa insurgencies began displacing families and communities a decade ago. The project will address the resulting acute educational needs while laying a foundation to rebuild and transform the education system.  It will help provide educational continuity, stabilize intuitional capacity, improve the quality of teaching and learning, increase equitable access, and integrate peace-building and safety considerations into school communities.

ICT led skilling in informal vocational centers in Myanmar: Haein Shin leads the curriculum development for the Center for Sustainable Development. She is currently planning the ICT and Education curriculum for adolescent girls and women in India, Rwanda and in Myanmar. This ICT intervention requires effectively utilizing computer skills for business promotion and marketing, concise and effective communication using social media, presentations and official correspondences and handling customer complaints or inquiries. Based on the curriculum plan, the first weeks focused on creating a familiar and approachable environment for the participants with numerous rounds of group activities, brainstorming session, ice breakers and reflections on personal successes and helping factors for their successes. While providing training, the Center aims to create a foundational support network where personal and interpersonal development can take place.

Education for Sustainable Development in the backyards of the Union Carbide Factory in Bhopal: In November 2018, Radhika Iyengar set out to central India, her home town, to do an exploratory study on environmental education. Her research question is –what makes informed consumers of environment-related knowledge to pro-active advocates. She collaborated with Lamont researchers, Joaquim Goes and Margie Turrin, to use their science to contextualize and effectively communicate environmental messages to bring about behavior change. Videos of the research can be found here-on plastic and on climate change. 

Education on Fluoride Awareness in tribal districts in Madhya Pradesh State of India: A tribal district in the heart of India- Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh has seen abnormally high rates of fluoride in the many Government hand-pumps and wells. The village residents know about this issue, yet continue to drink water from these toxic wells. Radhika Iyengar is working with Lex van Geen from Lamont and INREM (http://www.fluorideindia.org) a local NGO, to create awareness through various community and school-based education approaches.

Women led ICT Center in Mahbubnagar, Telangana: A unique SDG oriented intervention can to fruition in Mahbubnagar district in Telangana State in India. CSD partnered with the District Government to provide technical inputs to the curriculum of a Women’s Computer Center. The project is a under the study “Towards a New Indian Model of ICT-Led  Growth and Development”. The main leads of the study are Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Dr. Nirupam Bajpai. The project is geared towards highlighting multiple SDGs- Education, Gender, Environment and others.

Eco-Ambassadors Program: This is a joint program at the Center for Sustainable Development, in partnership with Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)’s Global Schools Program and Design for Change. Parents and children participate in to put into motion communal action to protect the environment. The project is driven by youth, children and parent mentors to identify and resolve an environmental issue of their choice in their communities, homes and schools. The project has its online presence with monthly meetings, podcasts that help to educate the ambassadors on science-based decision-making as well as an eco-activism component to bring the necessary change in the local communities.  

Power in Praxis: The Center for Sustainable Development has started a forum for amplifying work at the intersection of research & practice for sustainable development & gender equity. The Power in Praxis  group organizes regular events, invite guest speakers to talk at various events and conducts inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional research to promote gender equality.