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Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations, the University Award for Innovative Civic Engagement is a pilot program to discover novel research and learning strategies for university civic engagement among Talloires Network member universities. It provides direct support for the local expansion of civic engagement partnerships to build more equal and inclusive societies. It also facilitates critical reflection as well dialogue and exchange among awardees and members of the Network.


Selected universities will receive a grant award (up to 20,000 USD) and round-trip international air travel, lodging, and ground transportation costs to the Talloires Network Leaders Conference at Tufts University and Harvard University, 30 September – 3 October 2021.

After the conference, selected universities will share their ideas and experiences through a series of blog posts, short articles and online events including an international webinar. Blog posts and discussions will be assembled and edited into a case study narrative for public distribution. The purpose of the reporting requirement is to give participants an opportunity to rigorously reflect on their civic engagement practice individually and as part of a global community of practice.

See the press release announcing the winners: “Talloires Network Awards Grants to Five International University-Community Partnerships”

Read more about each grantee:

Cameroon: Health Care for Internally Displaced Persons in Cameroon to Mitigate the Impacts of COVID-19

Partners: Meridian Global University and the Access Care Foundation
Project: This initiative will provide basic healthcare services for people trapped or displaced by the conflict in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon. The partnership will focus on a hygiene and education campaign, and other preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the reduction of maternal or neonatal deaths. Read More. 

Kenya: Co-creation Strategies for Improving the Health of Children and Access to Safe Water in a Time of Crisis

Partners: Mount Kenya University and Partners for Care
Project: The partners will implement more sustainable and impactful interventions in rural East Africa to improve the quality of water and sanitation services. The interventions aim to reduce waterborne illnesses and preventable diseases and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are focusing on setting up handwashing stations to curb the spread of the virus. Read More.

Mexico: Food Security & Health Promotion Initiatives During the COVID-19 Crisis

Partners: Universidad Veracruzana and the Veracruz State Department of the Environment
Project: The initiative will involve indigenous youth in food security projects throughout the region. By way of participatory research and reflection-in-action, community members will work with students to incubate start-up projects in conservation of water resources, greenhouses, and agroecological farming. Read more here.

Nicaragua: Biopsychosocial Strengthening of the University Community and its Environment Against COVID-19

Partners: National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Managua in collaboration with municipal mayors and non-profit community institutions
Project: This campus-community effort will promote biopsychosocial health and wellness habits. The university’s Psychosocial and Community Clinic will be working with its partners to offer additional resources online and to promote community awareness of the importance of mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Read More.

Zimbabwe: Combating COVID-19 Through Digital Innovation and a Community-Driven Approach

Partners: University of Zimbabwe and the Glen Norah Community Cooperative
Project: This initiative will address the devastating impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods and the local economy. It will promote decent employment creation and income generation by providing entrepreneurship education and establishing a revolving loan facility for vulnerable small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs. Read More.