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Who is eligible?

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Azerbaijan, Brazil, Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Serbia, Samoa, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan,  Venezuela. Cameroon, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa, Tajikistan, Vietnam. Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gambia, Haiti, Lesotho, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda.
  • If your host country is currently sanctioned by the US, please contact us before applying.
  • If your university is not yet a member of the Network, you must become a Signatory Member of the Network (there is no fee) by April 1, 2020 to be eligible for the award.
  • Innovative research and/or learning partnerships between member universities and the community in which they are located (e.g., community-based research, action research, applied research projects, service-learning, experiential learning, community organizing and activism, policymaking and public governance). Partnerships must be at least 2 years old to be eligible. No more than 2 proposals are allowed from each member university.
  • Innovative university civic engagement partnerships that focus on at least one of these four themes: (1) Access to Higher Education, (2) Health and Well-being, (3) Displaced People, (4) Climate Justice.
    • Access to Higher Education – partnerships that expand access to higher education for excluded and disadvantaged populations such as persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, low-income individuals, displaced people, and others. Examples include: inclusive admission policies implemented in consultation with community leaders, financial and other forms of support to under-represented students who engage in community-based research, teaching methods and systems designed to include persons with disabilities in community organizing, pedagogies or curriculum reform to encourage learning with indigenous communities.
    • Health and Well-being – partnerships that promote health and well-being for girls, women, and other excluded and disadvantaged populations. Examples include: research projects that increase access to sexual and reproductive health-care services (e.g., family planning), outreach and education to reduce maternal mortality or reduce preventable deaths of newborns and children, policymaking to increase provision of medicines and vaccines to underserved communities, student activism to raise awareness about epidemics and communicable diseases (e.g., AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria) or to decrease substance abuse (e.g., narcotic drugs, alcohol).
    • Displaced People – partnerships that support the needs and build the capacities of displaced people to cope, recover, and transition in the medium and long term. Displaced people include internally displaced persons, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Examples include: the establishment of universities of sanctuary to create an environment for re-integration, faculty research that addresses the root causes of forced displacement (e.g., poverty, climate change, violent conflict), student activism to advocate the protection of displaced people (e.g., exploitation, trafficking and violence).
    • Climate Justice – partnerships that raise awareness, improve education, take action to advance, or increase institutional capacity about the ethical dimensions of climate change. Examples include: research with local governments to identify risks and implement disaster risk reduction strategies, service-learning courses to engage students in the development of place-based resilience policies; student activism to mobilize voter awareness on issues of climate justice, structured dialogue with indigenous communities for the purpose of co-authoring adaptation policies.
  • Innovative university civic engagement partnerships that actively contribute to Gender Equality by promoting gender equality in their composition, structure and activities and also advance Diversity and Inclusion as demonstrated by the partnership’s origins, stated values, leadership team, strategic priorities, methodologies, programs, activities, and/or outcomes.
  • Innovative university civic engagement partnerships that can demonstrate support from the head of the university (letter of support from the university president, vice-chancellor, or rector is required).
  • Innovative university civic engagement partnerships that can demonstrate reciprocity and mutuality in relations between the university and its local community (letter of support from the head of a community-based organization or prominent community leader is required).

Examples of Eligible Partnerships:

  • University president’s office in Pakistan nominates a service-learning course that connects medical students with a refugee settlement adjacent the university. The first year the course is offered, students partner with government organizations to provide health care and education to women. The second year of the course, women in the settlement open several small schools and teach classes with university students. The university revises its promotion and tenure policy to recognize engaged teaching and learning methods.
  • A university forestry professor in Uganda initiates a multi-year action-research project with a women’s group in a nearby village. The women express an interest in community a tree nursery. Villagers and students work to cultivate a tree nursery on campus property. The professor manages the nursery, conducting research with community leaders to calculate the potential impact of the trees in stabilizing soil to prevent mudslides and producing food for local consumption. Their early success leads to the development of an outreach program for advancing UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • A university biology department in Mexico provides a one-year, tuition-free course on practical and theoretical approaches to sustainable development to women in nearby neighborhoods. More than 50 students take part the first year, receiving a university certificate upon successful completion of the requirements. University leadership modifies its strategic plan to include specific goals for expanding access to higher education.
  • A university public service center in Kenya supports a partnership with journalism instructors and students who engage with women in a nearby prison. Together, they make handicrafts and raise awareness by telling the stories of imprisoned women to the public.The handicrafts are advertised and sold online to support the development of women-owned businesses. Women return to their communities with a sense of dignity and the confidence to start businesses of their own.
  • A university law professor in India engages student activists in development projects with nearby villagers. Law students organize public dialogues; villagers learn about their rights to water and sanitation services and practice collective decision-making. The voices of children, women, and village elders are elevated and documented. Municipal officials use the development plans created by the villagers to improve service delivery.

More Information: 

Overview  Selection Criteria   Frequently Asked Questions

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