Description/achievement of initiative
Europe and Central Asia Sustainable Development Forum was launched to promote and accelerate research activities aimed at the achievement of 4th SDG in developing, low-income and middle-income countries of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Forum supports researchers and educators from this region who encounter difficulties including methodological (access to data collection), cooperation with colleagues and research results dissemination while working towards the achievements of the 4th SDG. Forum serves as a platform for increasing the production and use of research data and evidence in education policy and its’ further implementation.
Forum supports following types of activities: annual meetings (once or twice a year at the global conferences or as standalone events in one of the participating countries), maintaining the educational and communicational platform, provides support in writing and publishing of the scientific research papers, provides support in receiving grants and scholarships including research grants and travel grants, networking, promotes internships in partner organizations, serves as a focal point for young researcher who look for an advise in career start.
Members organize and hold small scientific conferences, scientific and practical seminars and thematic sessions within the framework of representative regional conferences, solving the task of developing expert capacity of the region and promoting expertise in international space. Thematic conference and seminar have become communication platforms for discussing ideas and progress on projects towards the achievement of the Fourth SDG in every participating country. The developers of education quality assessment tools receive feedback on the presented research results. It is also a great opportunity for networking and mapping of activities in the region to see where they cross and how can researchers joint their efforts.
Forum networking resources include members portal (communicational platform) and groups in popular social networks. These resources perform the function of informing a wide range of specialists on specific thematic topics about educational assessment, research and managements, current projects of members, the possibilities of advanced training educational programs and research calls, as well as the main events in the field of education: conferences, seminars, international studies and their results. The educational platform supports mutual integration with resources of professional communities and partner organizations, social networks, search resources, the blogosphere, social networks, as well as a database of experts and partners, an e-library and other resources.
Through networking Forum offers support in scientific writing and editing, helps contact specialists for secondary data analysis in the field of education and psychology. Through liaising with educational institutions Forum offers support in access to databases all over the World.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
The framework of the Capacity Building Program was accepted at the annual meeting in October 2018. The Program will run from 2018 till 2030. Capacity building activities are performed within this framework.
Forum’s mission is to provide young specialists and experts of the region with opportunities on life-long learning and capacity building. Very often due to lack of information and undeveloped institutions in developing countries specialists have very small chance to enter global expert community and be aware of the international educational agenda and initiatives. Activities help members by navigating them in the field of international approaches to education reforming and building career trajectory in accordance. Tools for capacity building, include:
a. Database of organizations and platforms that provide learning and training opportunities such online short-term courses and further in-profession training in specific topics related to research in education
b. Collecting, storing and distributing information on grant opportunities for researchers, including research calls, grant competitions, travel grants and other similar initiatives where researcher can receive financial support for the work
c. Helping in receiving post-graduate education including finding a sponsor for scholarship
d. Launching of research calls for women and young researchers
e. Promoting cross-country comparative research conducting
f. Making visible the researchers from developing countries
Building of the public good and knowledge and expertise sharing within the region lies in the core of the Forum’s activities. It works on developing and implementation of strategies to disseminate methodologic innovations, tools and approaches that are being discussed on its platform and already piloted and showed good results in some countries within the cross-country research and projects. This also includes initiatives on successful training and qualifying multipliers, tools for education quality assessment, that can be applied in more than one country or the one region. Forum stimulates activities and mutual projects that allow such technology transfer through project mapping and including help in technology localization in different cultural context and other languages.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
The partnership under the Forum was initiated by the group of experts who work in international development aid in education field in the region. At the moment Forum members represent 10 countries (Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Russia, Mongolia, Azerbaijan) from Central Asia and Eastern Europe. These countries still carry similar legacy in educational approaches and share a lot in common in many spheres of life, including language (sometimes Russian is the second state language in some of them or at least spoken widely everywhere including state authorities) and economy. The ties between these countries are not only economically derived but also determined by the mutual history of nations that had lived closely and shared same ideology. That’s why the regional partnership among countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe seems like a natural element of cooperation under the initiatives such as implementation of the Sustainable Development agenda.
Forum activities aimed at achievements of the Fourth Sustainable Development Goal in the region. They are focused precisely on targets of the Fourth Goal such as 4.1 (through accelerating, promoting and stimulating production of more scientific data in educational assessment. including research conducting, tools development, methodology transfer, effective knowledge exchange, teacher training and providing policymaking with rigorous data) and 4.B (through working with foundations and development aid agencies and providing researchers with opportunity to conduct researches that they have planned).
The members include individuals (researchers, students, analysts, academia and so on) and teams from the diversity of educational and academic organizations and from educational authorities (regional and state).
Governance. Strategical decisions are made by General Meeting of all members of the Forum that also selects General Committee which votes Executive Secretary that manages day-by-day activities.
Europe and Central Asia Comparative Education Society, National Center for Education Quality and Information Technologies under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Center for International Cooperation in Education Development, Educational Technologies Fund, Open Institute "Developing Education"