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A common vision for global citizenship: IDEAS and SIDA join forces

Scotland’s International Development Alliance (SIDA) and the International Development Education Association Scotland (IDEAS) share a common vision and understanding of the critical importance of engaging Scottish society with global citizenship.

We understand that an informed, engaged public has the potential to drive significant global change, taking effective action and holding governments to account.  

Both of our organisations engage Scottish people, communities, and institutions in conversations about global citizenship. We emphasise the importance of creating spaces for individuals to explore their place in the world and understand their responsibility and agency in local and global issues.

While IDEAS specialises in Global Citizenship Education in schools, ensuring that every learner can become a critically engaged global citizen, SIDA concentrates on promoting global citizenship amongst the Scottish public more broadly. Despite our differing areas of focus, both organisations are committed to advancing this shared goal, and so, after a period of discussion, we have decided to formally combine our efforts.

For quite some time, our collaboration has deepened across various projects, yet we’ve also encountered shared challenges amid increasingly limited funding opportunities. As many are aware, funding for locally implemented but globally focused engagement and education is scarce, as it falls outside the criteria of many funders. Moreover, despite the vital role of Global Citizenship Education (GCE) in advancing the Learning for Sustainability agenda, financial backing for such initiatives has waned in recent years, particularly due to the UK’s departure from the European Union.

We believe that pooling our resources and strengths will fortify us to confront this situation more effectively and achieve greater outcomes together. Our values and our advocacy objectives align, and our educational and engagement efforts with young people and communities complement each other. Committed to enriching public understanding of global sustainable development and fostering Scottish society’s engagement with global citizenship, we believe this partnership offers a distinct opportunity for synergy and collective impact.

Together we have laid out a roadmap for joint action over the next 12 months:

  1. Advocacy: Establish common advocacy goals to amplify the value of GCE, increase educator engagement, promote synergy between Learning for Sustainability, International Development and Anti-Racism in Education, and enhance policy coherence across Scottish Government portfolios.
  2. Community engagement: Facilitate deeper engagement with global citizenship across Scottish communities and in settings of lifelong learning, including co- hosting the Global Citizenship Community, a Scotland wide cross-sector community of practice.
  3. Funding: Collaborate to secure alternative funding for GCE activities, extending beyond formal education to regional networks and partnerships with local councils, NHS, police, and diaspora groups.
  4. Knowledge sharing: Share and promote GCE/Development Education Centre knowledge and training content through SIDA communication channels, leveraging existing resources to enrich educational initiatives.
  5. Toolkit enhancement: Seize the opportunity of the National Performance Framework outcomes review to update and promote existing toolkits, aligning them with evolving educational priorities.

The governance of the IDEAS Network will transition to the oversight of the SIDA board. However, to maintain its influence, it will include representation from a specialised IDEAS and global citizenship education trustee. Additionally, a fresh Global Citizenship Education sub-committee will be established within the SIDA board, providing a distinct voice in our policy development work. It is a key priority for us that throughout this transition, the IDEAS Network upholds its influential name and reputation.

With shared goals and complementary strengths, we hope to increase our impact together, envisioning a future where active global citizenship flourishes across Scotland.

Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to get involved in this work.

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