By Jamil Derbashi, from Palestinian Centre for Communication and Development Strategies (PCCDS), Palestine, and CIVICUS member
How the Bridge 47 project relates to our work in Palestine
My participation in the Bridge 47 Event in Brussels was one of my most important international meeting involvement in 2018. It focused mainly on the seventh objective of the fourth Sustainable Development Goal as defined by the United Nations for 2020-2030 (SDG4.7). The SDG 4.7 focuses on quality education towards a fair and resilient world (goal 4) and educating people as citizens of the world particularly (objective 7).
SDG4 is the framework of the Palestinian Centre for Communication and Development Strategies (PCCDS)’s work on education in Palestine. We will further be focusing on having a dialogue with the Palestinian Government and building coalitions to reach the objective of integrating “global citizenship” education within our strategic educational plan.
Indeed, the Sustainable Development Goals were approved and signed by the Palestinian President who has the highest authority, and he has demanded the various ministries to apply them, with the Ministry of Education being one of these ministries. The Ministry of Education responded gradually to address some objectives of goal 4, but hasn't yet implemented SDG 4.7.
How my participation at the Bridge 47 will further nurture our work
My attendance to the Bridge 47 event was side by side with 100 of the largest institutions working on global and/or sustainable education from Europe mainly, and from around the world in general, as well as representatives of international alliances. I was one of the members of these alliances: CIVICUS – the World Alliance for Citizen Participation.
I have engaged in exchanging expertise and experiences with representatives of partner institutions who have been doing extensive work on developing tools and mechanisms to implement activities and achieve the SDG 4.7.
I have also acquired a wealth of information, knowledge, skills, and tools that could be applied within the PCCDS for our education program to adapt with the SDG 4.7. This knowledge and tools that were acquired from the event were transferred to the PCCDS staff to make a qualitative shift in the PCCDS' plans and strategies. For instance, I have trained the staff on mechanisms to get decision makers in Palestine open to discussions and changes, so that they adopt the SDG 4.7 within the sectorial educational plans in the Ministry of Education and get the support of the government and the Legislative Council. This includes, for example, creating a human connexion, appealing to their own interest, persevering etc. We will further be working on building a strong institutional alliance in Palestine that can influence the Ministry of Education to make changes in its current strategic plan and align with the SDG 4.7.