John Wood Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities
Update from the Chair: President Mark Gearan
Several members have urged that the Network address the challenge of how to effectively measure the results of university civic engagement and social responsibility – impacts on what our students learn and impacts on community conditions. Therefore I am pleased to invite members to join a new working group on strengthening impact measurement. Communicating electronically, the group will exchange about current practices and explore alternative approaches to improvement. If you would like to participate, please contact Prof. Rob Hollister, Network Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This issue was a frequent topic at our recent conference in Madrid and is raised regularly in other discussions. Most recently, Rector Ignacio Sanchez and his colleagues at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile recommended to Rob Hollister in his meetings in Santiago that the Network take action to advance impact measurement. I strongly support this initiative. The engaged university movement often is held back by the lack of credible and practical information about what our programs are actually accomplishing. This is a promising opportunity for collective action – to learn from each other’s experience and to work together to develop and test new tools. As the group makes progress, it will share its work-in-progress with our full membership.
In collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation, the Talloires Network is planning a new initiative that will mobilize the capabilities of universities in developing countries to expand economic opportunities for university-educated youth. The initiative will support a number (to be determined) of demonstration projects run by Talloires Network institutions over a four-year period. Prospective activities include curriculum reform and innovation, applied research, and public policy development, internships, or community engagement programs oriented to developing job skills.
A planning process is currently underway to design the initiative in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders. During the past few months, we have worked with colleagues at the youth consultant group DECODE to conduct youth outreach through peer-to-peer interviews in ten countries, organized a dynamic global advisory committee, and initiated an online learning community composed of professionals working on programs that aim to bridge the gap between higher education and employment.
The online learning community began on November 7 and will run for six weeks. We can accommodate a few more participants, so please contact Jennifer Catalano at email@example.com if you or your colleagues are interested in joining the conversation.
RFP: "Pathways to Cleaner Production" Higher Education for Development (HED), a USAID partner, expects to make one (1) award of up to $759,000 for three (3) years for a regional higher education partnership between one U.S. institution and three to four Latin American universities. Two to three of the partner universities will be selected from among the following countries: Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Additionally, one university will be selected from among the countries of Chile, Panama or Peru. This multi-country partnership will increase and utilize the capacity of higher education institutions to contribute to cleaner production practices in the region. The application deadline is 14 December 2011. Learn more>>
Jenzabar Foundation Grants The mission of The Jenzabar Foundation is to recognize and support the good works and humanitarian efforts of student leaders serving others across the global community. The Foundation seeks to foster a culture of service and to educate and inspire future generations to create a better world. The Jenzabar Foundation issues grants to institutions of higher education and other charitable organizations with similarly aligned missions, and helps promote the activities of grant recipients within their communities and on a global level. The Foundation accepts proposals on a rolling basis. Learn more>>
Hosted by Virginia Tech’s Engagement Academy, the Institute brings together service-learning leaders and engaged scholars, with a well-established foundation in service learning pedagogy, who seek to enhance their leadership capacities, deepen their institutional and community impact, and chart the next steps in their professional development as change agents on campus, in communities, and across the field. Learn more>>
Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, national youth organizations, topic experts, and public figures discuss solutions to pressing global issues. CGI U 2012 will be held at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Attendees will come together to make a difference in CGI U’s five Focus Areas: Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. Learn more>>
Amplifying Grassroots Community voices was launched in response to a disconnect between the local government and the communities that this sector is supposed to represent. To overcome this disconnect, Amplifying Grassroots Community Voices works to create all-inclusive community platforms where people have the opportunity to express their views on local development issues. Through reflection circles that are facilitated by students and mediated by peers within the community, local development issues are discussed in a democratic manner and decisions are made by the grassroots community. The program engages different cohorts within the community, including children, teenagers, men, women, and the elderly, then brings these voices together. Rather than giving resources to the community, the program seeks to empower the community to use its own resources to achieve development aims. Learn more>>