Higher Education and Participatory Development
Participatory processes have been identified as one of the most powerful engines to provoke real transformations in higher education institutions, in order to help them, and those with whom they engage, face the growing demands and challenges of an increasingly globalized and environmentally exhausted world. The forthcoming GUNI report will focus on these processes, among other emerging topics. Peter Taylor, the report’s Guest Editor, has prepared for GUNI, with input from a wider international group, an article that both explains and advocates for the need to start embracing participatory development from Universities.
In November, 2006, a group of academic-practitioners from Asia, Africa, South and North America, and Europe, came together at the University of British Columbia in Canada, to begin a collective inquiry into the theme of Universities and Participatory Development. This group developed a common understanding of participatory development as the process through which people, including those who are poor or marginalized, shape projects, programmes, and policies that affect their lives. It contributes, and responds to, poverty reduction, empowerment, gender equality, social inclusion, respect for human rights, and sustainability. It is an essential component of good governance, grounds development in people’s cultures and priorities, and is effective across a wide range of sectors— from sanitation, to literacy, to micro-finance.
About the author
Dr. Peter Taylor
Guest Editor of the forthcoming Higher Education in the World GUNI Report
Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
NOTE: This article has been elaborated by Peter Taylor, with the collaboration of Reuben Aggor, Debbie Bell, Peter Boothroyd, Grace Bunyi, Pirom Chantaworn, Myles Clough, Shafik Dharamsi, Margo Fryer, Jingjai Hanchanlash. Fernando Kleiman. Shelley Jones, Alice Ndide, Margot Parkes, Sheldon Shaeffer, Juliet Tembe, drawing on the perspectives presented and explored at the International Forum on Universities and Participatory Development, Vancouver, 20-22 November 2006.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007