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Global education and development cooperation interacting in enhancing Southern voices in global education

Southern voices in Global Education peer learning group explored how global education and development cooperation could interact better in enhancing Southern voices in global education work in Finland on 11th of December 2014.
Paula Njeri Konttinen
29.1.2015

Setlementtiliitto and African care presented their cases in the meeting.

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Setlementtiliitto was interested in understanding how to enhance Southern voices in their global education activities through their development cooperation partners in Tanzania.

How to use diaspora in global education activities? How to help Southern partner understand the Finnish global education context? How to make global education interactive between North/South? How to get a diverse Southern voice in global education work?

Participants were concerned about utilizing the term 'use diaspora' used in the first question above. Participants argued that the diaspora should be appreciated as independent actors and experts in their own right. They should not be seen as a tool to be used only when needed.

It was also agreed that global education projects should be planned from the very beginning in cooperation between both parties in South and North.

Both parties also need to understand the operational environment in both contexts to be able to make the best out of the cooperation. Knowledge of the operational environment in both context is a prerequisite in determining what information from the south would best meet the needs of the audiences in the North.

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African care's case example presented a point of reflection on the cooperation with the diaspora in global education work in Finland.

Participants agreed that the diaspora should be allowed the space to take an active role during the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation phases of the project. The diaspora should not only be viewed as cultural ambassadors, their professional expertise should also be appreciated.

There is also a need to scrutinize the recruitment policy of organizations; All people living in Finland, including the diaspora should be able to access the Job market irrespective of their countries of origin.

Organizations were also encourage to lower the threshold for diaspora participation in their events. This would be made possible by using using a language that is understood by the diaspora, having social events between global education actors and members of the diaspora community and by improving the communication networks that are within reach of the diaspora communities.

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Southern voices in Global Education is a peer learning group hosted by Kepa but organized in collaboration with all participating members.

The group has met on various occasions since 2013. One of the groups achievements is the production of a tool on enhancing Southern voices in global education.