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4th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and ---

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4th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and ---

    19 May 2009 Final

    th4 International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training

    Le Méridien Président, Dakar, Senegal, 27-30 May 2009

    Technology-Supported Learning for Environmental Education

    27 May 2009: Venue: Room C-12

    Implementation of Decision 6 of AMCEN-12 current progress and proposed actions

1. Background

    1The 12th Session of the Africa Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) held in

    Johannesburg from 7-12 June 2008, endorsed Decision 6: Environmental education and technology-supported learning (see Annex 1). This provides the opportunity for UNEP to promote environmental education (EE) that is complementary to UNEP‟s Medium-term Strategy 2010-2013 and focused on

    promoting the goal of healthy and sustainable management of environmental resources including green economy and sustainable consumption and production in view of the development in Africa of a Green economy. This paper addresses current progress and issues related to Decision 6, and proposes a set of key actions to further the implementation of the decision over the period 2009-10.

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with International Conferences, Workshops and Exhibitions (ICWE GmbH, Berlin) is organising a one-day seminar entitled Technology-

    Supported Learning for Environmental Education in Dakar, Senegal on Wednesday 27th May 2009. The

    seminar will be a pre-conference event affiliated with the 4th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training.

    The overall objective of this seminar is to further the implementation of Decision 6, which addresses the inter-related issues of environmental education and technology supported learning with the aim of mainstreaming technology-supported learning in African environmental institutions to enhance the delivery of environmental education, training and awareness-raising;

The expected outcomes of the seminar are as follows:

    ; Exchange of information and experience among African environmental institutions on

    environmental education and technology supported learning

    ; Agreement on function and structure of Pan-African Environmental eLearning Network

    ; Identification of capacity development needs to support the establishment and operation of the

    network

    ; Resource mobilization strategy to support the network

    ; North-South and South-South collaboration to support the network

    ; Action plan on implementation of Decision 6 of AMCEN-12 for 2009-2010

    ; Promote/strengthen ICT for Development programmes in African universities

The pre-conference workshop Technology-Supported Learning for Environmental Education will be

    comprised of three sessions:

     1 Established in 1985, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) is the main forum to strengthen co-operation on environmental issues among African governments. The mandate of AMCEN is to provide advocacy for environmental protection in Africa and among other things to ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner.

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    Official Opening

; Welcoming remarks by Gerard Cunningham, UNEP

    ; Opening remarks by representative from the Ministère de l'Environnement, de la Protection de la Nature, des Bassins de Rétention et des Lacs Artificiels, Senegal

    ; Keynote presentation on progress on the implementation of Decision 6: From eLA 2008 to eLA 2009 - what have we achieved? By Gerard Cunningham and Maria Eugenia Arreola, UNEP ; Strategic partnerships for implementation of Decision 6, Volker Lichtenthaler, InWEnt ; Implementing AMCEN Decision 6: The case of the Ministerial eLearning Development Committee - Ministry of Environment of Kenya, by Osoro Nyakweba, NEMA, Kenya.

Presentations on the application of eLearning in environmental programmes

    ; Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of its components into school curricula, Neckmen Samson, Centre for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, Cameroon. ; Provincial Environment Committees District for Environmental Sector Vicky Onderi, National Environment Management Authority, Kenya.

    ; Mainstreaming eLearning into the environment sector: information management, Agnes Akuvi Adjabeng, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana.

    ; Proper management of DDT used for Malaria control, Alieu Sallah, National Environment Agency, The Gambia

Implementation of Decision 6 Progress to date and plans for the future

    ; Pan African survey - presentation of results of the survey by Arndt Bubenzer, Managing Director common sense | eLearning & training consultants GmbH

    ; How to set up an eLearning Center by Andrew Gakiria, KeLC and Maggy Amiss, NOLNet

    Discussion: Pan African Environmental eLearning Network - functions and structure. Action plan for implementation of Decision 6 on environmental education and technology-supported learning.

    What approach should be taken towards establishing an African environmental eLearning network to share expertise, best practices and content? What is the best structure for such a network (coordinating hub, national nodes, etc)?

Panelists:

    ; Hossam Allam, Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region & Europe, Egypt. ; Osoro Nyakweba, National Environment Management Authority of Kenya

    ; Dr. Assize Touré, CSE, Senegal

    ; Beatrice Adimola, National Environment Management Authority, Uganda

    ; Sani Dawaki Usman, Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria

    ; Mr. Gift Sikaundi, Environmental Council of Zambia

    ; Dany Mpolesha Kankonda, Ministère de l'Environnement / Kinshasa, République Démocratique du Congo

    ; Amidou TRAORE, Ministère de l'Environnement et de l'Assainissement, Mali

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    2. Pan-Africa survey on existing environmental education strategies, needs and challenges facing Governments in the area of technology-supported learning

Paragraph (a)(i) of Decision 6 called for an assessment of existing environmental education strategies,

    needs and challenges facing Governments in the area of technology-supported learning. In response to

    this request, UNEP and the Common-Sense eLearning consultancy conducted an online survey to assess the current status of environmental education and technology supported learning within African institutions working in the areas of environmental protection and sustainable development. The survey was made available online in two languages:

    http://www.surveyconsole.com/console/TakeSurvey?id=526331), and English (

    French (http://www.surveyconsole.com/console/TakeSurvey?id=544404).

    The survey was conducted for four months from early February to May 2009 and by the end of the survey, the online questionnaire was viewed 2380 times. In total, 550 complete responses were received from 45 countries, 370 responses in English and 180 responses in French. The results will be presented in UNEP‟s

    preconference workshop at the eLearning Africa Conference and will help revitalize and strengthen relevant strategies, programmes and action plans, and establish new initiatives on environmental education and technology supported learning.

3. Proposed actions on implementation of Decision 6

    The results of the survey will be used to guide the following two main actions called for in Decision 6.

    Action (a)(ii) - The development of a strategic approach to mainstreaming environmental education across all relevant governmental institutions, including the design of programmes suitable for the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors; and fostering cooperation with the non-formal education sector;

    Action (a) (iii) The development of an action plan for technology-supported learning in conjunction with the Human resources, Science and Technology Department of the African Union (including e-learning) in follow-up to the strategic approach

Paragraph (b) of Decision 6 calls upon UNEP to provide strategic guidance and technical advisory

    services on the implementation of the above-mentioned activities. A set of proposed actions are described

    in the following sections A-D.

A. PROPOSED ACTIONS (Environmental education):

    UNEP‟s Environmental Education and Training Unit based in the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) is responsible for catalyzing, supporting and coordinating all proposed actions under para (a)(ii) of Decision 6.

The following actions are proposed:

    A.1 A strategy to mainstreaming environmental education for sustainable development and Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC).

    UNEP will provide advisory and technical services to develop a strategy to mainstreaming environmental education for sustainable development and Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) across all relevant governmental institutions, including the design of programmes suitable for the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors; and fostering cooperation with the non-formal environmental education sector in African countries.

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    A.2 Mainstreaming toolkit on Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education Institutions involved in training teachers.

    Together with regional partners, UNU and UNESCO and Higher Education Institutions involved in teacher training themselves, UNEP will develop a toolkit to mainstream ESD in teacher training institutions. The toolkits will be developed in a consultative process with the higher education institutions themselves. Once developed, a series of Train the Trainer workshops will be held to develop understanding on the toolkits and increase usability of the toolkits.

A.3 Environmental Management Courses for Africa (targeted at policy makers).

    This course will be delivered to policy makers in collaboration with UNEP Thematic Area focal points and UNEPs Regional Office for Africa. The course will be structured on increasing the policy-makers decision making capacities on the thematic areas. It is further envisaged that they will use this knowledge to make informed decision on the environmental challenges facing their respective countries.

A.4 Training courses on the thematic areas for select MESA university professors and students.

    UNEP will host training courses for select MESA universities professors and students for enhancing environmental education on the 6 thematic areas in MESA participating universities. This will build upon the MESA Partnership's component for capacity building for university professors and students. The trainings will be held in collaboration with select universities under the MESA partnership. The existing MESA toolkit and other relevant resource materials will be used to mainstream environment and sustainability concerns in select MESA universities.

    A.5 Encourage organizations working in the area of environment and sustainable development to participate in environmental education networks

    UNEP will consider the results of the environmental education component of the survey for the purpose of planning the future direction of its programme in Africa, particularly the development of a strategic

    approach to mainstreaming environmental education across all relevant governmental institutions, as

    stipulated in para (a)(ii) of Decision 6

B. PROPOSED ACTIONS (Technology supported learning):

UNEP‟s Capacity Development Branch based in the Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA)

    is responsible for catalyzing, supporting and coordinating all proposed actions under para (a)(iii) of

     African Ministerial Decision 6. In addition, para (d) calls upon a small group of members of the

    Conference on the Environment to undertake, on a trial basis, the development of 1-2 year pilot action plans for technology-supported learning. Finally, para (h) of the decision provides an overarching

    framework for multilateral institutional cooperation on eLearning across Africa i.e. to invite countries to

    establish an African environmental e-learning network to share expertise, best practices and content and to identify a coordinating hub.

The following actions are proposed:

    B.1 Identify at least 15 volunteer AMCEN member states, taking into account geographic and linguistic balance, and develop a set of 1-2 year action plans for technology-supported learning (including eLearning in these volunteer countries.

    In conjunction with the Human Resources, Science and Technology Department of the African Union and UNESCO, UNEP will provide strategic advice and technical support in the development of Plan for

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    Technology-supported learning. A task team comprised by a technology supported-learning expert, representative of UNEP, UNESCO and African Union will undertake a mission to the selected countries and will organise meetings with the key stakeholders (National Environmental Authorities, environmental NGOs, universities, private sector and civil society).

    The purpose of national policy is to define public goals for a given sector and to chart a course for attaining them. Although very few African nations possess a formally articulated policy to guide eLearning, the existence of a publicly accepted strategy in this area will prove essential for setting priorities, marshalling resources, and launching a meaningful initiative.

    B.2 Identify institutions that can act as national eLearning centres and sub-regional network hubs in the following sub-regions - East, West, Central, Northern, Southern Africa and West Indian Ocean Islands.

    For the purpose of coordinating and implementing programme activities, UNEP has divided Africa into 6 sub-regions as shown in the map below. In addition, Africa has four major linguistic groups English,

    French, Arabic and Portuguese therefore it is important that collectively the sub-regional hubs can also cover these four languages.

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    An eLearning Centre is a coordinating mechanism for eLearning development and, in broad terms, its catalytic and coordinating role would certain around the following fives areas of support:

    An eLearning Centre may have a national or sub-regional focus. In the proposed pan-Africa network the majority of centres will have a national-level focus whereas the network hubs will have a sub-regional focus and the capacity to work in more than one language. As a coordinating mechanism at the sub-regional level, the Centre would be expected to perform the following expanded set of functions:

    (i) build synergies among stakeholders to promote consensus and collaboration on issues of concern in

    eLearning

    (ii) provide a suite of e-services and facilities to stakeholders

    (iii) respond to specific needs of stakeholders

    (iv) build a sub-regional eLearning network with appropriate governance structure

    (v) promote a culture of eLearning in the sub-region

    (vi) promote south-south cooperation on eLearning through partnership building

    (vii) act as a sub-regional training facility offering basic and advanced eLearning courses (viii) oversee the development of a suite of eLearning courses on environmental matters (ix) establish expert working groups to address relevant eLearning issues such as content development,

    quality assurance, monitoring & evaluation, capacity development, ICT infrastructure, etc. (x) coordinate the activities of stakeholders and provide technical and professional guidance to the

    stakeholders involved in eLearning activities.

    The sub-regional hubs will be responsible for developing sub-regional networks as shown schematically in the map below. This will obviously entail identifying more countries that may be interested in having a national eLearning Centre.

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B.3 Adopt the multi-sectoral network model for sub-regional eLearning centres.

    Some of the reasons for establishing an eLearning Centre include the need to learn about the know-how, best practices, rules of thumb of implementing eLearning when new organizations enter the eLearning field. Many institutes/organizations that think of taking the step to implement electronic learning environments face the problem of not knowing where to start from, or what to do. Instead of re-inventing the wheel why not take advantage of the expertise and know-how of existing eLearning centres. There is also a need to identify, share and disseminate the know-how, best practices, and rules of thumb of eLearning between various organizations, already involved in eLearning. To make effective use of eLearning methods, and to meet the changing educational needs, many organizations will have to find ways of identifying and sharing best practices, collaborating in the exchange of competence, experiences, „lessons learnt‟, tools and materials. Annex II outlines the steps that need to be taken to establish an

    eLearning centre using the multi-sectoral network model.

    UNEP has been engaged with the establishment of the Kenyan eLearning Center (KeLC). KeLC is a national platform for the coordination and maximization of efforts, enhancement of capacities, forums, networks and creation of partnerships for sharing and collaboration, human capacity development, setting of standards and development of a conducive environment in supporting the public sector‟s initiative of

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    better service delivery through eLearning and development of e-content. At present, approximately 50 organizations are engaged as stakeholders in KeLC under three sectoral pillars:

    ; Education,

    ; Health and

    ; Environment.

    Within each sector, a lead agency was democratically appointed to coordinate establishment and operations of working groups with focus on four priority areas:

    ; Content Development;

    ; Human Capacity Development;

    ; Quality Assurance, Monitoring & Evaluation; and

    ; ICT Infrastructure & Connectivity.

    The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) is the lead institution for the environment sector in KeLC. In response to the 'technology support' element of the Bali Strategic Plan, DEWA has

    Directorate of e-Government in the Office of the President and NEMA to been working with the

    support this process of establishing the environmental pillar of KeLC. Currently, there are over 25 environmental institutions represented in this sectoral group that are already benefitting from training and technical support to design and implement eLearning programmes.

    In partnership with InWenT, KeLC, NOLNet, UNESCO and other partners 5 national and 5 sub-regional eLearning Centers will be established in the period of 3 years replicating the NOLNET and KeLC model.

B.4 Identify coordinating hub for the African Environmental eLearning Network.

    Para (h) of Decision 6 calls for a coordinating hub. As UNEP hosts the secretariat of AMCEN, it is proposed that in the interim period UNEP acts as the coordinating hub for the network until such time as the sub-regional hubs are operational and other international organisations (UNESCO, AU, COMESA) are on board and supporting the initiative. A final decision on the coordinating hub can be taken in 2010-11.

C. PROPOSED ACTIONS (Partnerships):

    Paragraphs (b), (c), (e) and (g) of Decision 6 call upon UNEP to work with various partners to support the implementation of the other actions specified in the decision. Some partnership actions have already been taken and others are planned as described below.

C.1 Strengthen the UNEP-UNESCO partnership

    On 4 April 2009, the Executive Director of UNEP signed a framework agreement with the Director-General of UNESCO. One area of collaboration is that agreement is education, awareness raising and training and includes an operative paragraph on eLearning. This framework agreement is now commencing implementation and paras (c) and (g) of Decision 6 will be addressed.

    C.2 Strengthen the UNEP-InWEnt-NOLNet-KeLC partnership and build capacities at the national level on basic eLearning skills taking into consideration regional and linguistic needs

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    In 2008 UNEP in cooperation with InWEnt (Capacity Building International - Germany) and its partner organizations in Africa, namely the Namibian Open Learning Network Trust (NOLNet), and Kenyan eLearning Center (KeLC) organised 2 eLearning in Practice courses (eLIP) for environmental institutions in West and East Africa. Participants from Ghana, Togo, Egypt, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Cameroon, Niger, Benin, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda were trained.

    The two main types of eLearning courses are offered by InWEnt in collaboration with its partners in Africa are:

(1) “eLearning in Practice (eLIP)” training courses for environmental institutions

    UNEP in cooperation with InWEnt (Capacity Building International - Germany) and its partner organizations in Africa, namely the Namibian Open Learning Network Trust (NOLNet), and Kenyan eLearning Center (KeLC) are organising a new blended learning format “eLearning in Practice”- course

    programme (eLIP) which has been developed by InWEnt?s international eLearning experts.

    eLIP is an eight week-long blended learning program consisting of an online phase between two short face-to-face workshops. The program starts with an online introduction phase, continues with an introductory workshop of 2 days and ends with a second workshop of 4 days. In between, an eight week-long online phase on InWEnt?s Global Campus 21 is conducted and supported by tutors who are specialists in information and communication technology as well as in instructional design.

    The course program introduces educators, instructors and managers implementing training programmes in African environmental authorities to the concept of eLearning through the medium of eLearning. Four online modules and a case study provide an in-depth and practical insight into the preparation and delivery of eLearning from four different angles - that of an eLearning Manager; Instructional Designer; Content Developer; and Online Tutor.

(2) eLearning Development and Implementation (eLDI) training course for eLearning managers

    The eLearning Development and Implementation course (eLDI) program is an 8 month blended learning course that provides knowledge, methodologies and technical tools to further develop participants‟ competence and skills in the area of eLearning. It prepares participants for analysis, planning, development and implementation of eLearning training programs according to their working environment and needs. This course is targeted for eLearning managers.

Content: The course offered in-depth training on the following modules:

Instructional Design (ID)

     Content Development (CD)

     Interactivity (INT)

     eLearning Technology (eLT)

     eLearning Management (eLM)

     Tutoring & Support of Virtual Learning Communities (VLC)

    The tentative eLearning course portfolio to be offered for 2009-11 is as follows:

2009

    (1) Online course on eLearning strategy development (available on Global Campus 21)

    (2) One Green eLiP Senegal 2, May August 2009

    (3) One Green eLiP East Africa 2, September November 2009

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    (4) One advanced course for eLIP environmental sector alumni under InWEnt‟s Alumni Support

    Programme

2010

    (1) Online course on eLearning strategy development

    (2) One eLIP for francophone West/Central Africa

    (3) One eLIP for North Africa

    (4) One eLDI targeted at eLearning development managers who will be based in the institutions

    acting as sub-regional hubs

    (5) One advanced course for eLIP environmental sector alumni under InWEnt‟s Alumni Support

    Programme

2011

    (1) Online course on eLearning strategy development

    (2) One eLIP for Anglophone West Africa

    (3) One eLIP for Southern Africa and West Indian Ocean islands

    (4) One eLDI targeted at eLearning development managers who will be based in the institutions

    acting as sub-regional hubs

    (5) One advanced course for eLIP environmental sector alumni under InWEnt‟s Alumni Support

    Programme

C.3 Strengthen the UNEP-ICWE partnership

    International Conferences, Workshops and Exhibitions (ICWE) are the organizers of the elearning Africa series of conferences. The fourth eLearning Africa conference (Dakar, 2009) has, for the first time, a specialized track on Mainstreaming eLearning for the Environment and Sustainable Development. This

    was included in order to draw attention to the importance of eLearning for environmental training and awareness-raising and to strengthen the application of eLearning within environmental authorities and

     other environmental institutions.

In addition, UNEP has convened a Pre-conference seminar on Technology-supported Learning for

    Environmental Education to showcase eLearning applications for environmental training and to discuss the implementation of Decision-6 of AMCEN-12.

    C.4 Identify other strategic partnerships, both North-South and South-South, that can contribute to the implementation of Decision 6

For example, one strategic partnership currently under development is the COMESA KeLC UNEP

    partnership. The Common market for Eastern & Southern Africa secretariat has indicated a strong interest to adopt e-Learning in implementation of capacity building programs in the 19 COMESA member states. In this regard, COMESA is soon entering into cooperation with KeLC to develop and implement a regional capacity building program for e-Government implementation in COMESA. Under this partnership, KeLC will provide the content, course management and administration, certification and participant support while COMESA will provide the platform, content and funding for implementation of the program. Already, 2 technical officers per country have been nominated from the 19 member states to serve as the focal points for e-learning and e-Government. This provides an opportunity for a tri partite cooperation to leverage on the existing partnership between KeLC and UNEP. This will help to fast track the establishment of the sub-regional e-Learning hubs and also spur rapid establishment of e-learning centers all over Africa. Working with COMESA also opens up opportunities to bring into the partnership other regional and sub-regional integration bodies such as EAC, SADC and ECOWAS.

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