In 2005, the Council of the European Union, representatives of the governments of EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament issued a joint declaration on development, called “The European Consensus on Development”.
The text of the European Consensus on Development: the contribution of Development Education & Awareness Raising can be consulted in all the official languages of the European Union. The document sets out the concrete action to be taken to implement the European Consensus on Development and is based on the following statement: "The EU will devote special attention to development education and raising the awareness of EU citizens". The European sets guidelines for the development of a strategy at local, regional, national and European level.
We have a twofold mission regarding this task. On the one hand our objective is to encourage Belgian citizens to try and understand and take an enlightened position regarding international challenges and development issue and on the other hand to promote the adoption of individual and collective attitudes and behaviour in favour of a more just and supportive world. This mission is laid out in our strategy paper that was approved by the Minister of Cooperation at the beginning of 2012. In order to achieve it, the Belgian Development Cooperation has called on qualified players and is co-financing a large number of educational projects and programmes for development that are being implemented.
DGD raises Belgian public awareness of the importance of development cooperation and values like international solidarity. This is done by communicating directly with the public (own awareness raising activities) or via partner organisations.
Annoncer la Couleur/Kleur Bekennen (Speaking Out) is an educational programme designed to promote and support worldwide training and world citizenship for young people. Speaking Out helps teachers and youth trainers to gain a critical understanding (skills, values and attitudes) of globalisation processes and global development issues.
This programme is managed by Belgium Technical Cooperation (BTC) which coordinates operational partners such as the provinces and educational organisations.
The general information cycle: an overview of international cooperation
Anyone wishing to learn more about the problems associated with development cooperation or to work the South as part of a cooperation programme can gain new knowledge and skills from the General Information Cycle. This training is primarily aimed at young adults who want to turn a personal commitment into practical efforts in the field. Cycles are organised 10 times a year by Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC), mandated by the DGD.
A series of lessons, workshops and debates explore various aspects of the priority issues and sectors involved in development cooperation. The programme provides a general overview of international cooperation. Participants passing the final exam receive a universally recognised certificate.
For all the information you need on these information cycles, see the BTC website.
Development education by third parties
Support from civil society
A great many people and organisations are involved in cooperation campaigns for development. They work towards ensuring that global development issues are taken more seriously. They share the same values as the DGD and are thus a great help in allowing more Belgians to gain access to education for development. They may benefit from financial aid from the DGD in order to do this.
NGOs are important partners among these organisations. Those who are accredited have access to multi-annual co-financing in order to carry out educational projects or programmes for development. The granting of amenities and co-financing are subject to very specific regulations that are currently being reviewed.
Organisations also exist that are not specialised in development cooperation, but which do nevertheless have a presence in that field and carry out occasional activities that contribute to a greater understanding of the challenges and the interdependency between the North and the South. The DGD therefore supports some of them in their activities on condition that they meet a certain number of conditions and criteria.
Media and audiovisual sector
The audiovisual sector also offers support for the DGD’s education for development mission. This can contribute to the production of films or documentaries and TV or radio programmes that report on North-South relationships or a certain development issue. To obtain co-financing, these projects also have to meet a number of conditions and criteria.
Some partners such as scientific institutions and museums also develop programmes as part of the structural collaborative ventures with the Belgian Cooperation to generate awareness among the public about very specific themes. The Central African Museum for instance offers a vast programme of educational activities relating to Africa with the financial support of the Cooperation.