VET Africa 4.0: Reducing Inequality And Enhancing Sustainability Through Skills Development

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Education

Abstract

A new approach to vocational education and training (VET) in Africa is needed to address the insights of Agenda 2030 that development cannot have meaning without concentrated attention on overturning complex disadvantage and securing environmental sustainability, as well as on economic growth and employment.

Since the African independence wave began 60 years ago, VET in Africa has gone through three phases, reflecting wider development orthodoxies of modernisation, basic needs and neoliberalism. With a new UNESCO VET vision and the SDGs, it is time to look at what a fourth phase of African VET theory and practice might look like that can address not just economic considerations but also issues of equity/inclusion and environmental sustainability.

To do this we draw on three main theoretical traditions: i) a political economy of development approach that combines learning from evolutionary, institutional and complexity economics with the existing political economy of skills tradition; ii) a new wave of human development and capabilities research that combines the capabilities approach with critical sociological traditions and applies this to VET; iii) accounts of skills development for sustainable development that emphasise the need for pro-poor and community-owned approaches to green skills. The fourth part of our thinking toolkit is provided by the methodological approach of realist evaluation, focused on how to ascertain what different stakeholders think works (and doesn't work) in each case study setting, when, where and why, and for whom.

We will use these four parts of our toolkit to examine four case studies:
1. Uganda - attempts to build local skills and employment into a major oil and gas project (Hoima)
2. Uganda - youth-entrepreneurship and community development in a post-conflict setting (Gulu)
3. South Africa - major infrastructure development initiative in Durban as part of larger ambitions regarding an economic corridor from the port to the industrial heartland of Gauteng
4. South Africa - rural, community-driven green skills (E Cape)

These provide a range of contexts in which skills development takes place within complex skills and work ecosystems. These include massive infrastructure projects, both urban and rural; green skills initiatives alongside continued developments in extractives; and small community projects, including in post-conflict contexts. They also all have important and complex dynamics of gender and economic inequality.

We will answer four research questions:
1. Is there evidence that different emergent approaches to skills for development in Africa are viable, both at the project level and, potentially, at larger scale?
2. What do different stakeholders think works (and doesn't work) in such initiatives, when, where and why, and for whom?
3. To what extent do the different interventions offer a fruitful approach for promoting decent work and sustainable livelihoods for all, with a particular emphasis on meeting the needs of those facing multiple forms of disadvantage? What enables and/or constrains this?
4. Are skills interventions such as these capable of overcoming the old productivist approach so
as to address the rising challenges of environmental sustainability?

By operating at both theoretical and applied levels across multiple cases, this research will make a significant contribution to addressing the grand challenge of successful VET reform. It will produce strong academic research, built through continuous engagement with stakeholders, that will be communicated in appropriate ways to academic, policy, practitioner and community audiences. This will enable the project team to offer new practical insights into how better to support VET system transformation through an ecosystem approach. This will result in new knowledge that can contribute to meeting the needs of the most marginalised, national development needs and the global SDG agenda.

Planned Impact

The overarching challenge that this project seeks to engage with is that the orthodox theory of change about how to support VET system reform does not work.

A key part of the overall problem of VET system change is that VET institutional reform programmes are largely unsuccessful. Moreover, whilst there is much rhetoric about engaging more with employers in VET systems, there is little good practice in this regard. Crucially, young people's voices remain marginal to VET reform processes. We also know too little about whether new approaches such as work readiness, green skills and supplier development programmes are effective in economic and equity terms. Finally, the SDGs point to new challenges regarding equity and environmental sustainability, challenges that VET reforms have been slow to address.

We seek to make a significant contribution to addressing these interrelated issues as part of meeting the grand challenge of successful VET reform. We will produce strong academic research, built through continuous engagement with stakeholders, that will be communicated in appropriate ways to academic, policy, practitioner and community audiences. This will enable us to offer new practical insights into how better to support VET system transformation through an ecosystem approach. Such transformation requires all relevant stakeholders to work more effectively together. We will also offer new insights into the effectiveness of specific interventions, and how equitable they are.

We will engage with a range of stakeholder groups. These include marginalised youth and communities, particularly young women, both in and out of VET. Access will be achieved through the existing networks of the national teams with such groups. National small and medium enterprises, particularly those who are engaged in supply chains to larger projects, are another important group and engagement with them will also be facilitated by existing team networks. Large companies, including transnationals, involved in some of the case studies are also strategic stakeholders. Here, existing relationships will be utilised and gatekeepers will be identified to help with introductions to other important enterprises. Government officials in relevant ministries form another stakeholder group along with key intervention programme staff. We have considerable experience of working with a range of ministries in both countries (up to ministerial advisor level) and will use these relationships to build project-policy/programme relationships from project inception. The final key national stakeholder group are the managers and staff of vocational institutions. The Gulu Chair has key provider institutions within its formal Chair partnership, whilst both Wits and Nottingham have longstanding relationships with a number of South African institutions, including in the case study settings.

Additionally, we seek to influence international development practitioners and international development policies. Here the PI's experience for more than a decade of managing the discussion paper series of the VET donor working group will be crucial as will his experience of contributing to video and written materials for DFID advisors through HEART.

The project team are highly experienced in working with a range of stakeholders to maximise impact. Both the UK and Ugandan teams are built around a UNESCO Chair and a UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre, with detailed workplans for engaging with national stakeholders. Both feed directly into UNESCO regional and global processes of improving VET policy and practice. The South African team feature two NRF-SARCHI chairs, with national stakeholder engagement mandates. As all three main partner institutions have extensive impact experience, it is envisaged that this will be a shared function, with one member of each team being a designated impact lead. The PI will liaise with the three impact leads to support this key element of the project.

Publications

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McGrath S (2019) Vocational education and training for African development: a literature review in Journal of Vocational Education & Training

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McGrath S (2022) Vocational education in the fourth industrial revolution by J. Avis, Palgrave Pivot, 2020 in Journal of Vocational Education & Training

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McGrath S (2022) Skills futures in Africa in PROSPECTS

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McGrath, S. (2022) Towards Sustainable Vocational Education and Training: Thinking Beyond the Formal in Southern African Journal of Environmental Education

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Monk, D. (2022) Breaking the epistemic silence: Youth innovation, TVET, and environmental leadership in Uganda in Southern African Journal of Environmental Education

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Ramsarup P (2023) Reframing skills ecosystems for sustainable and just futures in International Journal of Educational Development

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Ramsarup P (2022) A laminated, emergentist view of skills ecosystems in Journal of Critical Realism

 
Description The project undermines conventional approaches to vocational education and training (VET) in Africa and offers new ways of thinking about this field, which are of relevance to theory, policy and practice in Africa and beyond.

Conventional approaches are locked into path dependencies that poorly equip them to meet either present or future needs. With a focus on the present, they are based in assumptions about VET being inferior to academic education and, as a consequence, an assumption that only those who cannot get into academic education would pursue vocational learning. This is linked to a further assumption, an institutional blindness, that formal vocational learning is the only or main form of vocational learning. Moreover, it is assumed that formal VET graduates will transition into formal sector jobs concentrated largely around metals, motors and manufacturing. None of this is true.

As for the future, when it is contemplated at all it is in terms of two further untruths - that VET systems and learners will adjust to a fourth industrial revolution and move into "21st century jobs"; and that those who don't will become successful entrepreneurs.

These tall stories about VET and jobs ignore important realities that most Africans are working and learning in informal settings; that many have a powerful vocational impulse; and that even many of the poorest are utilising digital technologies for their learning. It ignores the important fact that work is a means to the end of individual, collective and planetary flourishing; and that a focus on skills to produce more is pushing us further and further beyond the boundaries for the safe operating of this planet.

As well as acknowledging this set of neglected truths, our research also seeks to go beyond the current marketised understandings of how VET is organised. Instead, we argue for a focus on social skills ecosystems in which a range of actors come together to negotiate about skills needs. We deliberately look at these in informal and rural settings and in the production of skills for the maintenance and replenishing of the natural resource nexus rather than for carbon capitalist extractivism. We show the complexity of interactions between local and horizontal relationships between actor-citizens in a place and the often top-down and disabling actions of states trying to do development to subject-recipients.

We offer an original political ecology approach to thinking about skills that insists that we cannot simply bracket off questions about planetary boundaries / just transitions / equitable access to livelihoods and resources from a hollowed-out notion of skills for employability and productivity as the VET orthodoxy has sought to do.

We focus on key aspects of what a skills ecosystem means in practice. First, what an inclusive skills system might look like and how this might include informal learning and work without forcing these into a formal frame. Second, which jobs and livelihoods are actually emerging and what qualifications are needed to support these. Third, what this inclusive vision of VET means for notions of vocational teaching and learning, for the preparation of vocational teachers and for the work and lives of these teachers. Fourth, how universities can engage with other actors in their locality to be agents for the strengthening of skills ecosystems and regional sustainable development.
Exploitation Route For academic audiences, this project breaks new ground in its thinking about the relationship between vocational education and development, offering an innovative and radical account of an alternative theoretical model. This has the potential to take the field of study in a radical new direction. The preliminary findings of the project were fed into the background resources for the GCRF Network + programme "Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures", the leadership team of which contains our PI and one Co-I. This has fed into the design of several of the projects commissioned under that programme and the take-up of the project's ideas in several Southern countries. In February 2022, the PI led a workshop on skills for sustainable livelihoods for 40 researchers in India, Rwanda, Somalia and South Africa, leading to the establishment of a community of practice organised by these researchers. The PI is currently collaborating in a BA network that builds on the project in a collaboration with scholars from design, industrial relations, English and geography, as well as the C40 Cities coalition and the TUC. This is strengthening the interdisciplinary impact of the project and taking the city focused aspects to a wider audience, as well as deepening them. An event is planned for mid-2022 to bring South African and British cities together to take this work further with the PI and one of the South African CoIs as key resource persons.

The project has already sought to engage with development studies audiences, with presentations at the 2020 and 2021 Development Studies Association conferences.

The project has also built the wider strategy for sharing the outcomes through assisting in the strengthening of an academic community around the project's concerns. As detailed already, the project has been catalytic to other funding being secured to take the work further. Two research chairs have been confirmed for the next phase of funding; one CoI was promoted to a full chair; all early career staff have had postdocs or research contracts extended; and all junior staff have progressed to research degrees and/or additional research contracts. All of this builds the field in crucial ways.

At the policy level, the most immediate engagement has been with UNESCO. Based on the close interaction of several of the team with multiple teams within UNESCO over several years, the project is likely to influence UNESCO's advice to member states. A planned final workshop with UNESCO staff had to be postponed but a face-to-face meeting in Paris will take place around the book launch in summer of 2022. The team have been asked to feed their work into activities at UNESCO-UNEVOC and UNESCO IBE. Additionally, the PI was asked to assist the ILO in preparing a background paper for the G20 2022 summit in Indonesia on rural skills development. This provided an opportunity to showcase some of the project's findings.

At the next scalar level, the findings are beginning to get traction with bilateral international development agencies from Europe. We have engaged already with Belgian, British and German agencies, and a process of engagement with these will continue through 2022 around our book launch. The Ugandan partner university has entered into a new partnership to deliver innovative VET based on project findings supported by two such agencies. In 2021 South African and UK team members worked with an Austrian development NGO to disseminate ideas about skills for just transitions to the German-speaking development community.

National level influence is being developed through the close links that team members have to policy communities. One of the Co-Is was lead author of the South African government's skills response to COVID. The work in Durban has fed into sectoral skills planning around the maritime sector. In Uganda, the Ministry of Education and Sports invited the team to present to a national stakeholder audience and the TVET secretariat has asked the project team to work with their policy implementation team.

At the level of the case studies, the Ugandan team have worked closely with the relevant traditional authorities, provider institutions, employers, and youth and disability organisations to build and strengthen local coalitions around sustainable and inclusive skills development. A similar coalition in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, has been strengthened by the project, including further work with local farmers' groups and with the local agricultural college.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL https://www.vetafrica4-0.com
 
Description The VET Africa 4.0 project is based upon four cases in two DAC countries: South Africa and Uganda. This project has application to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. However, it primarily addresses commitments in Goal 4 on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities and how these related to Goal 8 concerns about decent and sustainable work. All four case studies are drawing on engagement with local and national VET stakeholders to consider how VET can play a greater role in promoting sustainability and equality. To that end the project particularly addresses several targets: particularly equality of access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical and vocational education (Target 4.3); increasing the number of youth and adults who have relevant technical and vocational skills, decent work and entrepreneurship (Target 4.4); and addressing issues of equality of access (Target 4.5); and a focus on skills for sustainable development. We have been involved in multi scalar engagements with stakeholders on the implications of our work. This ranges from UNESCO at the global level to individual youth. We contributed to a Research Lab at the European Development Days 2021 on "Skills for A Green New Deal for Development" alongside VVOB (Flemish Aid), along with UNESCO and Education International (global confederation of teachers' unions). We are planning a workshop with UNESCO's global professional cadre in VET in early summer 2022. Beyond this, project team members have been asked to support UNESCO, UNESCO-UNEVOC and UNESCO-IBE's medium-term strategy processes in adopting a more sustainable and inclusive approach to skills development. For ILO, it has supported a policy briefing for the G20 2022 Summit on rural skills development. The team has advised the British Council also on its medium-term VET strategy for Africa. The PI was contacted by one of the network members for policy advice. DUOC is a national polytechnic in Chile with c100 000 learners. It is carrying out a major reform of its purpose and programmes. In early 2021 the PI met with senior management and delivered a seminar to >350 staff, leading to a new partnership between DUOC, the University of Nottingham and Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. Team members were asked by the leading Austrian development NGO, OEFSE, to co-author a report with the OEFSE education lead around the need for development professionals to engage with the skills and sustainability agenda. This was targeted specifically at the Germanic development community. This was published in March 2021 with a follow up webinar in May. One of the Uganda team was invited to speak at an online Global Campaign for Education event, engaging with c300 participants from civil society organisations globally on how inclusive VET needed to be an integral part of any strategy to "build back better". The PI was invited to facilitate a day of the C-40 cities network's "summer climate action school" based on the Durban case. He worked with cities from the Americas, Africa and Asia on what the research implied for city skills strategies. Further work is under way in 2022 with cities in Britain and South Africa, which will also involve one of the South African CoIs. In Uganda, the team were invited to present at the National Convention on VET and are now collaborating with the national implementation team for VET transformation. In Acholiland, a roundtable event for local stakeholders resulted in the regional traditional authority approaching the team about how we could inform their plans for regional economic development. This has led to a project on virtual reality integration into vocational education and training provision endorsed by the traditional authority and involving ENABEL and VVOB (Belgian aid agencies), BRAC (Bangladeshi NGO). This is working with a local polytechnic, the host university, the Northern Uganda Youth Development Centre, and the Comboni TVET institute. To date, a research working group has been established to take this collaboration forward. The local association for people living with disabilities is also part of this project, which has a strong inclusion focus. The Environmental Research and Innovation Centre has also been created in partnership between the Uganda team's research centre, and CEED Uganda (CBO focused on youth livelihoods), Afrigreen Sustain (NGO), and Taka Taka Plastics (Private sector company making building materials from recycled plastic). This collaboration received funding for the development of an environmental education programme linked to waste management and youth entrepreneurship. At another local TVET provider, the team have supported a curriculum review and have provided inputs that have led to pedagogical change, including training on digital literacies. A Belgian NGO, Ricotta, has approached the team to participate in a project to design and implement a local, sustainable food system. Through a series of 15 radio shows, the project has interacted with youth who have made successful transitions into the labour market and has shared their insights with other youth. The focus here is particularly on building environmentally sustainable enterprises. As a result of inputs from the Ugandan team, NGOs VVOB, CEED and BRAC have revised their programmes to strengthen their inclusion focus. A new project is under n skills for refugees, supported by the Mastercard Foundation. In the Bunyoro-Kitara region, the team are supporting the development of a regional association for vocational education and training lecturers. In Durban (South Africa), the project's approach to workstream mapping was a resource for the development of a new sector skills plan for the maritime sector. With regards to the interface between SDG4 and SDG 6 (availability and sustainable management of water) and SDG 13 (climate action), research arising from the South African case study in the Eastern Cape is demonstrating the value of deepening relationships between college curricula, farmers and extension services, and building local networks for collaborative learning in order to strengthen climate resilience among small-holder farmers in the region. The team has participated in curriculum review and admissions reform workshops with the regional agricultural college. We have collaborated with the mobile learning team from Welthungerhilfe's Zimbabwean office and the Agroecology South Africa alliance to develop prototype systems of inclusive agricultural education and training. Through the Each-One Teach-One learning network, the project team worked to set up a digital network of learning and exchange which supports isiXhosa language speakers during the lockdown. This included building social media skills, e.g., through a mobile filming course. Project insights have been included in the online Amanzi for Food training of trainers programme, which has participants from across the country working on food sovereignty issues. The project has also contributed to capacity strengthening in African VET research. Partnership within the project was one part of cases for renewal successfully made by the SARChI chair at Rhodes and the UNESCO Chair at Gulu. All junior members of the research team have continued in/into postdocs or have transitioned to further studies / research contracts. Highlights here include the receipt of a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship that enabled a Ugandan doctoral student to study at both Rhodes and Nottingham, and a Masters scholarship for one of the Gulu junior researchers to study at Wits.
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Global Campaign for Education
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Government of Uganda, TVET Secretariat
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
 
Description ILO input to G20 Indonesia
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a guidance/advisory committee
 
Description Kampala Workshop
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
 
Description Local TVET school
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Improvements in Curriculum Design, curriculum content and pedagogical approaches to curriculum delivery in one local institution.
 
Description Global Change Social Sciences Research Programme
Amount R3,189,999 (ZAR)
Funding ID 129485 
Organisation South African National Research Foundation (NRF) 
Sector Public
Country South Africa
Start 01/2021 
End 12/2023
 
Description Internal GCRF Research Awards (University of Nottingham). RAELL project
Amount £149,935 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2020 
End 07/2021
 
Description Literature review grant
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Journal of Vocational Education and Training 
Sector Private
Start 05/2019 
End 12/2020
 
Description NRF Bursary
Amount R360,000 (ZAR)
Organisation South African National Research Foundation (NRF) 
Sector Public
Country South Africa
Start 03/2021 
End 02/2024
 
Description Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus
Amount £4,825,103 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/T002646/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2019 
End 10/2022
 
Description Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures
Amount R38,000 (ZAR)
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Department Global Challenges Research Fund
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 04/2021
 
Description Tsitsa Project (Course bursary: Facilitating Social Learning and Stakeholder Engagement in Natural Resource Management)
Amount R7,000 (ZAR)
Organisation Rhodes University 
Sector Academic/University
Country South Africa
Start 10/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Title Vocational Education and Training Pathways Interviews, Africa, 2020 
Description The VET Africa project looked at a range of contexts in which skills development takes place within complex skills and work ecosystems. This dataset contains a series of data based on a series of interviews which to understand the pathways participants (in Uganda and South Africa) had taken through school and into vocational training and beyond, exploring (1) what motivations, drivers and barriers may have shaped their pathway experience, (2) experience of vocational education and training, what skills they had learnt, and their application and relevancy to their current or planned work/career, and (3) hopes and plans for future work and learning. The pathway interviews focused on four sectors: catering, marine industry, agriculture and tailoring. We drew upon the Pathways concept (see for example Raffe, 2003) as a way to think about the transitions between education, training and work. Raffe, D., 2003. Pathways linking education and work: A review of concepts, research, and policy debates. Journal of youth studies, 6(1), pp.3-19. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Statistics on UK Data Service indicate that the dataset has been downloaded 8 times, and viewed 81 times overall. It is not possible to comment on impact. 
URL https://reshare.ukdataservice.ac.uk/cgi/stats/report/eprint/854543
 
Description Agroforestry research working group 
Organisation Gulu University
Department Faculty of Agriculture and Environment
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The partnership/ learning network was established as a direct consequence of data collection by the VET Africa 4.0 case team in Uganda. Through the data collection process the Uganda team established that both the university stakeholders and the private sector stakeholders would benefit from the research. Learning from partners in South Africa, the Uganda team's contribution is to lead the pilot of this research network based upon the model observed in South Africa. The output of the VET Africa 4.0 research will also help to guide this network/ partnership in Uganda.
Collaborator Contribution Gulu University is providing laboratories and research expertise and students. The partner named above is providing sites for students and research to take place.
Impact The collaboration is transdisciplinary. It integrates the social impact of planting trees, with ecological knowledge of which plants can grow with which trees and in which soil, entrepreneurship and community development, and education and learning through agricultural extension services. A MOU has been signed between the Centre for Community based Research and Lifelong learning (carrying out VET 4.0 Research), Gulu University Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, and Kijani Forestry, a private sector sustainable forestry company.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Agroforestry research working group 
Organisation Kijani Forestry
Country Uganda 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The partnership/ learning network was established as a direct consequence of data collection by the VET Africa 4.0 case team in Uganda. Through the data collection process the Uganda team established that both the university stakeholders and the private sector stakeholders would benefit from the research. Learning from partners in South Africa, the Uganda team's contribution is to lead the pilot of this research network based upon the model observed in South Africa. The output of the VET Africa 4.0 research will also help to guide this network/ partnership in Uganda.
Collaborator Contribution Gulu University is providing laboratories and research expertise and students. The partner named above is providing sites for students and research to take place.
Impact The collaboration is transdisciplinary. It integrates the social impact of planting trees, with ecological knowledge of which plants can grow with which trees and in which soil, entrepreneurship and community development, and education and learning through agricultural extension services. A MOU has been signed between the Centre for Community based Research and Lifelong learning (carrying out VET 4.0 Research), Gulu University Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, and Kijani Forestry, a private sector sustainable forestry company.
Start Year 2020
 
Description C40 Just working cities 
Organisation Climate Leadership Group C40
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Along with a colleague at Leeds Business School, the PI participated in C40's summer school of climate action 2021, focused on supporting cities to strengthen their actions around just transitions. Through 2022 he will continue to work with C40 on a series of events for member cities. As of March 2022, he is part of the planning group for an event bringing together British and South African cities and trade unions.
Collaborator Contribution This process has been animated by C40 and is using their convening power to bring cities together to discuss with each other and researchers how they might strengthen practices around skills, work and just transitions.
Impact C40 have developed learning resources for members out of the sessions facilitated by the PI. These are not in the public domain.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Environmental Research and Innovation Centre 
Organisation Afrigreen Sustain Limited
Country Uganda 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Uganda team have (1) provided research based contributions to the development of the program and learning materials, (2) will continue to share the output and learnings from our research.
Collaborator Contribution The partner in-kind inputs (partners listed) all supported the development of a program/course for environmental entrepreneurial proto-typing. CEED provided the space to carry out the training and conducted renovations of their facilities to carry out the training, and convened a large stakeholder meeting to discuss youth livelihoods and sustainable futures. Taka Taka and Afrigreen Sustain provided their expertise by planning and conducting the course on entrepreneurial innovation and prototyping and marketing ideas. Collectively the partners are trialling this programme as a model for further VET based training to be used by the VET Africa 4.0 research team and others.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration resulting in the creation of the Environmental Research and Innovation Centre linked to a cohort of young people in Gulu, Uganda. Ongoing research activities include: Education: the development and study of learning networks; Development Studies: Examination of youth livelihoods; Business: Examining innovative entrepreneurship.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Environmental Research and Innovation Centre 
Organisation TakaTaka Plastics
Country Uganda 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Uganda team have (1) provided research based contributions to the development of the program and learning materials, (2) will continue to share the output and learnings from our research.
Collaborator Contribution The partner in-kind inputs (partners listed) all supported the development of a program/course for environmental entrepreneurial proto-typing. CEED provided the space to carry out the training and conducted renovations of their facilities to carry out the training, and convened a large stakeholder meeting to discuss youth livelihoods and sustainable futures. Taka Taka and Afrigreen Sustain provided their expertise by planning and conducting the course on entrepreneurial innovation and prototyping and marketing ideas. Collectively the partners are trialling this programme as a model for further VET based training to be used by the VET Africa 4.0 research team and others.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration resulting in the creation of the Environmental Research and Innovation Centre linked to a cohort of young people in Gulu, Uganda. Ongoing research activities include: Education: the development and study of learning networks; Development Studies: Examination of youth livelihoods; Business: Examining innovative entrepreneurship.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Indigenous Medicine and Biodiversity research working group 
Organisation Gulu University
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership/ learning network was established as a direct consequence of data collection by the VET Africa 4.0 team in Uganda. Through the data collection process they established that both the university stakeholders and the community stakeholders would benefit from the research partnership. Learning from partners in South Africa, they are attempting to model and pilot some research networks, and this opportunity arose. The Uganda case team have established this research network and are seeking to develop a model for developing the network.
Collaborator Contribution They have helped to convene elders and traditional experts for the sharing and integration of their respective knowledge of plants, farming and community development.
Impact This partnership is in new. The immediate outcome has been the addition of a sub-set of data on indigenous knowledge and vocational education for the VET Africa 4.0 project. This is was not planned for or incorporated in the original project design. The second outcome is the formation of a partnership/learning network that brings together relevant stakeholders in regions within Uganda which are normally overlooked in more senior/national stakeholder/policy engagement activities. It will take some time for the relationships in this Research Network to mature and for outputs to become measurable. In the meantime, the Uganda team are learning how networks of learning can be nurtured and developed. There is an MOU between Gulu University Centre for community based Participatory Research and Life Long Learning and the Pharmbiotrac program (indigenous knowledge) at Gulu University.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Indigenous Medicine and Biodiversity research working group 
Organisation University of Victoria
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership/ learning network was established as a direct consequence of data collection by the VET Africa 4.0 team in Uganda. Through the data collection process they established that both the university stakeholders and the community stakeholders would benefit from the research partnership. Learning from partners in South Africa, they are attempting to model and pilot some research networks, and this opportunity arose. The Uganda case team have established this research network and are seeking to develop a model for developing the network.
Collaborator Contribution They have helped to convene elders and traditional experts for the sharing and integration of their respective knowledge of plants, farming and community development.
Impact This partnership is in new. The immediate outcome has been the addition of a sub-set of data on indigenous knowledge and vocational education for the VET Africa 4.0 project. This is was not planned for or incorporated in the original project design. The second outcome is the formation of a partnership/learning network that brings together relevant stakeholders in regions within Uganda which are normally overlooked in more senior/national stakeholder/policy engagement activities. It will take some time for the relationships in this Research Network to mature and for outputs to become measurable. In the meantime, the Uganda team are learning how networks of learning can be nurtured and developed. There is an MOU between Gulu University Centre for community based Participatory Research and Life Long Learning and the Pharmbiotrac program (indigenous knowledge) at Gulu University.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Indigenous Medicine and Biodiversity research working group 
Organisation West Virginia University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partnership/ learning network was established as a direct consequence of data collection by the VET Africa 4.0 team in Uganda. Through the data collection process they established that both the university stakeholders and the community stakeholders would benefit from the research partnership. Learning from partners in South Africa, they are attempting to model and pilot some research networks, and this opportunity arose. The Uganda case team have established this research network and are seeking to develop a model for developing the network.
Collaborator Contribution They have helped to convene elders and traditional experts for the sharing and integration of their respective knowledge of plants, farming and community development.
Impact This partnership is in new. The immediate outcome has been the addition of a sub-set of data on indigenous knowledge and vocational education for the VET Africa 4.0 project. This is was not planned for or incorporated in the original project design. The second outcome is the formation of a partnership/learning network that brings together relevant stakeholders in regions within Uganda which are normally overlooked in more senior/national stakeholder/policy engagement activities. It will take some time for the relationships in this Research Network to mature and for outputs to become measurable. In the meantime, the Uganda team are learning how networks of learning can be nurtured and developed. There is an MOU between Gulu University Centre for community based Participatory Research and Life Long Learning and the Pharmbiotrac program (indigenous knowledge) at Gulu University.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Transgressive agri-tech: piloting inclusive solutions for a greener informal economy 
Organisation C2 Digital
Country Australia 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution South Africa research team contributions: (1) Convening and mobilising partners, (2) Led funding applications, (3) Participation in reflective dialogue sessions.
Collaborator Contribution Overall this collaboration resulted in in-kind contributions of technical support, personnel time and application code. Welthungerhilfe, Zimbabwe: In principle commitment to share existing mobile application code at no cost, as well as provide ongoing technical support on a weekly basis. Each-One Teach-One learning network (EOTO), Eastern Cape: Monde Duma and Monde Ntshudu from the EOTO network expressed full support for the approach captured in this EOI and the possibility of working within the networks they support to pilot the system in the Eastern Cape. Agroecology South Africa (AESA) network, South Africa: AESA is a prominent but loosely constituted network of highly experienced individuals working in the agricultural sector across South Africa. This means 'official' agreement is not possible, but a number of key members contributed in the initial TESF reflective grant-process and expressed support for future engagement. Collectively this network represents organisations and practitioners working with a wide range of farmer networks across South Africa. Imvotho Bubomi Learning Network, Eastern Cape: Through one of the South African researchers, and the broader ELRC (VET Africa 4.0 project partner) participation in the IBLN, a set of existing relationships and village-level promoters exists that may be resourced to support the trial of this mobile application in the Eastern Cape. C2 Digital, Zimbabwe/Australia: As the original software developers for the Kurima Mari app, C2 is willing to support the development of a sister application for South Africa. Future People (RF): RF is a long-term, conceptual research collaborator who's work in the fisheries sector provides a resonant cross-case learning opportunity for reimagining the configurations between unformal, informal, and formal VET. Food4Mzanzi,South Africa: While no formal discussion has been initiated for this EOI, the South African team's existing working relationship with Food4Mzanzi has been a valuable resource in generating awareness among farmers and other industry stakeholders.
Impact 1. Direct financial contribution to the research: a seed grant under the Transforming Education For Sustainable Futures programme. 2. An Expression of interest has now been submitted for project funding for an 18th pilot. 3. Two x Webinars hosted. 4. National database on agroecology resources has been formalised and efforts to further development of this database have been initiated 5. Project plan for pilot programme in South Africa has been developed and applications for funding have begun.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Transgressive agri-tech: piloting inclusive solutions for a greener informal economy 
Organisation Food for Mzansi
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution South Africa research team contributions: (1) Convening and mobilising partners, (2) Led funding applications, (3) Participation in reflective dialogue sessions.
Collaborator Contribution Overall this collaboration resulted in in-kind contributions of technical support, personnel time and application code. Welthungerhilfe, Zimbabwe: In principle commitment to share existing mobile application code at no cost, as well as provide ongoing technical support on a weekly basis. Each-One Teach-One learning network (EOTO), Eastern Cape: Monde Duma and Monde Ntshudu from the EOTO network expressed full support for the approach captured in this EOI and the possibility of working within the networks they support to pilot the system in the Eastern Cape. Agroecology South Africa (AESA) network, South Africa: AESA is a prominent but loosely constituted network of highly experienced individuals working in the agricultural sector across South Africa. This means 'official' agreement is not possible, but a number of key members contributed in the initial TESF reflective grant-process and expressed support for future engagement. Collectively this network represents organisations and practitioners working with a wide range of farmer networks across South Africa. Imvotho Bubomi Learning Network, Eastern Cape: Through one of the South African researchers, and the broader ELRC (VET Africa 4.0 project partner) participation in the IBLN, a set of existing relationships and village-level promoters exists that may be resourced to support the trial of this mobile application in the Eastern Cape. C2 Digital, Zimbabwe/Australia: As the original software developers for the Kurima Mari app, C2 is willing to support the development of a sister application for South Africa. Future People (RF): RF is a long-term, conceptual research collaborator who's work in the fisheries sector provides a resonant cross-case learning opportunity for reimagining the configurations between unformal, informal, and formal VET. Food4Mzanzi,South Africa: While no formal discussion has been initiated for this EOI, the South African team's existing working relationship with Food4Mzanzi has been a valuable resource in generating awareness among farmers and other industry stakeholders.
Impact 1. Direct financial contribution to the research: a seed grant under the Transforming Education For Sustainable Futures programme. 2. An Expression of interest has now been submitted for project funding for an 18th pilot. 3. Two x Webinars hosted. 4. National database on agroecology resources has been formalised and efforts to further development of this database have been initiated 5. Project plan for pilot programme in South Africa has been developed and applications for funding have begun.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Transgressive agri-tech: piloting inclusive solutions for a greener informal economy 
Organisation Future People
Country South Africa 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution South Africa research team contributions: (1) Convening and mobilising partners, (2) Led funding applications, (3) Participation in reflective dialogue sessions.
Collaborator Contribution Overall this collaboration resulted in in-kind contributions of technical support, personnel time and application code. Welthungerhilfe, Zimbabwe: In principle commitment to share existing mobile application code at no cost, as well as provide ongoing technical support on a weekly basis. Each-One Teach-One learning network (EOTO), Eastern Cape: Monde Duma and Monde Ntshudu from the EOTO network expressed full support for the approach captured in this EOI and the possibility of working within the networks they support to pilot the system in the Eastern Cape. Agroecology South Africa (AESA) network, South Africa: AESA is a prominent but loosely constituted network of highly experienced individuals working in the agricultural sector across South Africa. This means 'official' agreement is not possible, but a number of key members contributed in the initial TESF reflective grant-process and expressed support for future engagement. Collectively this network represents organisations and practitioners working with a wide range of farmer networks across South Africa. Imvotho Bubomi Learning Network, Eastern Cape: Through one of the South African researchers, and the broader ELRC (VET Africa 4.0 project partner) participation in the IBLN, a set of existing relationships and village-level promoters exists that may be resourced to support the trial of this mobile application in the Eastern Cape. C2 Digital, Zimbabwe/Australia: As the original software developers for the Kurima Mari app, C2 is willing to support the development of a sister application for South Africa. Future People (RF): RF is a long-term, conceptual research collaborator who's work in the fisheries sector provides a resonant cross-case learning opportunity for reimagining the configurations between unformal, informal, and formal VET. Food4Mzanzi,South Africa: While no formal discussion has been initiated for this EOI, the South African team's existing working relationship with Food4Mzanzi has been a valuable resource in generating awareness among farmers and other industry stakeholders.
Impact 1. Direct financial contribution to the research: a seed grant under the Transforming Education For Sustainable Futures programme. 2. An Expression of interest has now been submitted for project funding for an 18th pilot. 3. Two x Webinars hosted. 4. National database on agroecology resources has been formalised and efforts to further development of this database have been initiated 5. Project plan for pilot programme in South Africa has been developed and applications for funding have begun.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Transgressive agri-tech: piloting inclusive solutions for a greener informal economy 
Organisation WeltHungerHilfe
Department Welthungerhilfe Zimbabwe
Country Zimbabwe 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution South Africa research team contributions: (1) Convening and mobilising partners, (2) Led funding applications, (3) Participation in reflective dialogue sessions.
Collaborator Contribution Overall this collaboration resulted in in-kind contributions of technical support, personnel time and application code. Welthungerhilfe, Zimbabwe: In principle commitment to share existing mobile application code at no cost, as well as provide ongoing technical support on a weekly basis. Each-One Teach-One learning network (EOTO), Eastern Cape: Monde Duma and Monde Ntshudu from the EOTO network expressed full support for the approach captured in this EOI and the possibility of working within the networks they support to pilot the system in the Eastern Cape. Agroecology South Africa (AESA) network, South Africa: AESA is a prominent but loosely constituted network of highly experienced individuals working in the agricultural sector across South Africa. This means 'official' agreement is not possible, but a number of key members contributed in the initial TESF reflective grant-process and expressed support for future engagement. Collectively this network represents organisations and practitioners working with a wide range of farmer networks across South Africa. Imvotho Bubomi Learning Network, Eastern Cape: Through one of the South African researchers, and the broader ELRC (VET Africa 4.0 project partner) participation in the IBLN, a set of existing relationships and village-level promoters exists that may be resourced to support the trial of this mobile application in the Eastern Cape. C2 Digital, Zimbabwe/Australia: As the original software developers for the Kurima Mari app, C2 is willing to support the development of a sister application for South Africa. Future People (RF): RF is a long-term, conceptual research collaborator who's work in the fisheries sector provides a resonant cross-case learning opportunity for reimagining the configurations between unformal, informal, and formal VET. Food4Mzanzi,South Africa: While no formal discussion has been initiated for this EOI, the South African team's existing working relationship with Food4Mzanzi has been a valuable resource in generating awareness among farmers and other industry stakeholders.
Impact 1. Direct financial contribution to the research: a seed grant under the Transforming Education For Sustainable Futures programme. 2. An Expression of interest has now been submitted for project funding for an 18th pilot. 3. Two x Webinars hosted. 4. National database on agroecology resources has been formalised and efforts to further development of this database have been initiated 5. Project plan for pilot programme in South Africa has been developed and applications for funding have begun.
Start Year 2020
 
Description VET Africa 4.0 project partnership 
Organisation Gulu University
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The UK research team oversees the financial and administrative day-to-day management of the VET Africa 4.0 project, and works with the four case teams within two DAC partner institutions to ensure that the project meets its goals and objectives. This primarily involves the provision of research support and capacity development within the partner institutions, and facilitating the full participation and autonomy of both DAC partner institutions in all decision making and research processes pertaining to the ongoing development and direction of the project. The UK research team is providing expertise to the project on theories of VET for development and the development of new approaches to institutional development and evaluation in vocational education and training.
Collaborator Contribution The DAC partner institution Gulu University in Uganda is conducting case study research across two geographic sites (Gulu and Hoima). This involves building new relationships and arranging engagement activities with local and national VET stakeholders, and the development and deployment of various methods of data collection. The Gulu University team is providing expertise to the project partnership on the role of Participatory Action Research across the project, and research expertise on community and rural VET. The DAC partner institutions in South Africa (Witwatersrand and Rhodes Universities) are conducing case study research across two geographic sites (Alice in the Eastern Cape, and Durban Port). This involves building on established connections with local VET stakeholders, whilst also building new relationships and arranging engagement activities with local and national VET stakeholders within each of the cases. The Witwatersrand team is providing expertise to the project partnership on green skills research, and tools for researching educational pathways and vocational work-streams. The Rhodes team is providing expertise to the project partnership on Net-Map Interviews and Learning Networks.
Impact Direct outcomes of this partnership are an academic paper, engagement activities at four case sites, and full details are reported under the relevant sections of the form. Here we have followed the UKRI Guidance for Outcomes Reporting of Official Development Assistance Projects by reporting the partnership that was included as part of the original application for GCRF Funding involving a partnership between the UK and universities in Uganda and South Africa.
Start Year 2019
 
Description VET Africa 4.0 project partnership 
Organisation Rhodes University
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The UK research team oversees the financial and administrative day-to-day management of the VET Africa 4.0 project, and works with the four case teams within two DAC partner institutions to ensure that the project meets its goals and objectives. This primarily involves the provision of research support and capacity development within the partner institutions, and facilitating the full participation and autonomy of both DAC partner institutions in all decision making and research processes pertaining to the ongoing development and direction of the project. The UK research team is providing expertise to the project on theories of VET for development and the development of new approaches to institutional development and evaluation in vocational education and training.
Collaborator Contribution The DAC partner institution Gulu University in Uganda is conducting case study research across two geographic sites (Gulu and Hoima). This involves building new relationships and arranging engagement activities with local and national VET stakeholders, and the development and deployment of various methods of data collection. The Gulu University team is providing expertise to the project partnership on the role of Participatory Action Research across the project, and research expertise on community and rural VET. The DAC partner institutions in South Africa (Witwatersrand and Rhodes Universities) are conducing case study research across two geographic sites (Alice in the Eastern Cape, and Durban Port). This involves building on established connections with local VET stakeholders, whilst also building new relationships and arranging engagement activities with local and national VET stakeholders within each of the cases. The Witwatersrand team is providing expertise to the project partnership on green skills research, and tools for researching educational pathways and vocational work-streams. The Rhodes team is providing expertise to the project partnership on Net-Map Interviews and Learning Networks.
Impact Direct outcomes of this partnership are an academic paper, engagement activities at four case sites, and full details are reported under the relevant sections of the form. Here we have followed the UKRI Guidance for Outcomes Reporting of Official Development Assistance Projects by reporting the partnership that was included as part of the original application for GCRF Funding involving a partnership between the UK and universities in Uganda and South Africa.
Start Year 2019
 
Description VET Africa 4.0 project partnership 
Organisation University of the Witwatersrand
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The UK research team oversees the financial and administrative day-to-day management of the VET Africa 4.0 project, and works with the four case teams within two DAC partner institutions to ensure that the project meets its goals and objectives. This primarily involves the provision of research support and capacity development within the partner institutions, and facilitating the full participation and autonomy of both DAC partner institutions in all decision making and research processes pertaining to the ongoing development and direction of the project. The UK research team is providing expertise to the project on theories of VET for development and the development of new approaches to institutional development and evaluation in vocational education and training.
Collaborator Contribution The DAC partner institution Gulu University in Uganda is conducting case study research across two geographic sites (Gulu and Hoima). This involves building new relationships and arranging engagement activities with local and national VET stakeholders, and the development and deployment of various methods of data collection. The Gulu University team is providing expertise to the project partnership on the role of Participatory Action Research across the project, and research expertise on community and rural VET. The DAC partner institutions in South Africa (Witwatersrand and Rhodes Universities) are conducing case study research across two geographic sites (Alice in the Eastern Cape, and Durban Port). This involves building on established connections with local VET stakeholders, whilst also building new relationships and arranging engagement activities with local and national VET stakeholders within each of the cases. The Witwatersrand team is providing expertise to the project partnership on green skills research, and tools for researching educational pathways and vocational work-streams. The Rhodes team is providing expertise to the project partnership on Net-Map Interviews and Learning Networks.
Impact Direct outcomes of this partnership are an academic paper, engagement activities at four case sites, and full details are reported under the relevant sections of the form. Here we have followed the UKRI Guidance for Outcomes Reporting of Official Development Assistance Projects by reporting the partnership that was included as part of the original application for GCRF Funding involving a partnership between the UK and universities in Uganda and South Africa.
Start Year 2019
 
Description BRAC workshop connecting TVET to Employment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Uganda team were asked to attend a workshop on connecting graduates to the world of work, to provide expert advice, and share our research results. We participated in the workshop as experts, and provided feedback on the conversations based on our research. We were introduced to a rich network of practitioners, private sector unions, and policy makers trying to come together to improve the country of Uganda by engaging with VET scholars. This has enabled the Uganda team to join a vibrant network that is pursuing learning and research in the TVET sector. We were also invited to participate in a National forum on TVET.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Bristol Conversations in Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar on project findings presented to audience of 75 academics / students / NGO staff
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://tesf.network/resource/skills-for-just-transitions/
 
Description Community Learning Cafe 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A community forum bringing together youth (and unemployed young people) interested in TVET to discuss and present their aspirations and challenges. The Uganda case team invited NGO's and TVET college instructors to talk about pathways and opportunities. This event had several purposes: 1) share experiences and introduce potentialities in TVET, life and work; 2) collect data (the youth were presented with specific and topical questions to address); 3) shift negative perceptions of TVET. Youth raised the concerns and posed questions about possible future directions. A large group of young people had the opportunity to share their experiences and aspirations in TVET, and share the difficulties they face with funders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description DHET seminar series on reimagining TVET after Covid 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Two of the partner universities (Nottingham and Wits) were part of a consortium of universities and research organisations (Nottingham as the only international partner) who came together with the South African Department of Higher Education and Training to run a series of 6 events in the last quarter of 2020. These events were designed to build a national conversation about the direction of the skills system after the pandemic. An average of 250 participants attended each event, including government officials, industry representatives, provider leaders and staff, representatives of youth organisations, academics and research students. Planning is currently under way for a post-lockdown event that will bring this diverse community together to move towards practical mapping of a more inclusive and sustainable skills system.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Durban, South Africa - face-to-face engagement with local policy and sector stakeholders 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact During September 2019 through to January 2020 we engaged with 16 local policy and sector stakeholders (DAC country: South Africa). Through a wide range of semi-structured interviews we have started to generate insights into both the dynamics of national policy and how local actors interact with these policy processes. This has generated insights on where certain programmes have sought to encourage skills production linked to a particular trade (e.g.: construction), and the role that parastatals and institutional collaboration has in these processes. Further work needs to be done in understanding specific dynamics around some occupational categories and how they have been handled in the context of changing skills demand. We also identified examples of positive changes around occupational dynamics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Facebook 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The Ugandan team set up a Facebook site. To date, this has not been proactively used by the project team and we will review its usefulness as an engagement tool over the coming months.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.facebook.com/vetafrica4.0/
 
Description Global Campaign for Education: building TVET back better 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact One of the Uganda team researchers was invited to participate as a panelist in a discussion on funding for TVET, in an international online webinar organized by VSO Netherlands and Global Campaign for Education. We introduced our research to a broad group of national practitioners. This led to a discussion about stronger partnerships based on healthy relationships, and funding models for public TVET to curb the privatization model which looks at numbers rather than quality. This led to suggestions for greater coordination and some participants (e.g. the East Africa Director for a major INGO) requested a follow up meeting to discuss the issue of funding models in more detail.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Gulu Roundtable (Stakeholder engagement) November 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A Roundtable was held with 12 stakeholders from NGOs, the local inter-religious council; private entrepreneurs, and formal and non-formal VET institutions in the Gulu district (DAC country: Uganda). The objective of the Roundtable was to map key stakeholders and their networks, interconnections and influence in order to develop our local connections and support the next phase of data collection. We identified complex and interrelated connections of actors and individuals engaged in VET.
This engagement activity is part of the Participatory Action Approach adopted by the case team. This was the first time these stakeholders had engaged pro-actively with each other to talk about vocational education, skills and employment opportunities in the region. We will continue to work closely with these stakeholders and others on the direction of the research process and in seeking to be part of a solution through the research. The regional traditional authority approached us about how we could inform their plans for regional economic development. We were also asked to lead the development of a local network which is focused on policy and action in the field of vocational education and skills development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Hoima Roundtable (Stakeholder engagement) January 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A Roundtable was held with 11 stakeholders from NGOs, the local inter-religious council; private entrepreneurs, and formal and non-formal VET institutions in the Hoima district (DAC country: Uganda). The overall purpose of the Roundtable was to introduce local stakeholders to the project and begin to establish what VET based connections and influence exist within Hoima. Participants identified various stakeholder groups who are important to consider and engage with in the Hoima case including: Formal and Non-Formal Vocational Training Institutions; key funders/funding-partners including Enabel, World Vision, Baylor Uganda; curriculum designers; policy makers; accrediting Bodies (UBTEB, DIT); Employers/Companies, and parents. All participants expressed a strong desire to participate in transforming VET in Uganda and engaging with both policy makers and the community to promote the vital role of VET in Hoima and beyond. Participants also shared opinions on the future of VET in Hoima and its relevancy to the local community in the event of the expected oil production in the country.
Following this workshop, the directors of one Vocational Training Institute realised the importance of equipping individuals with skills, irrespective of their academic qualifications which led them to change their approach on student intake, no longer demanding specific academic qualifications. They have now increased their intake from 10 - 30 students (mainly girls), training them in various skills (tailoring, catering).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Hoima VET Instructors Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Approximately 20 instructors from local vocational institutions took part in a one-day Workshop for VET Instructors, hosted by the VET Africa 4.0 project. The purpose of the workshop was to (1) share preliminary research insights for VET instructors arising from the research to date and receive feedback and hear their reflections. (2) Share ideas on classroom practice, and learning and teaching processes in Hoima and Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom. This involved a combination of formal presentations based on research insights on pedagogical practice in marginalised settings and discussions to generate ideas among the participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Instagram 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The Ugandan team set-up an Instagram account: vetafrica4.0. We are reviewing the usefulness of this as an engagement activity over the coming months.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Ministry of Education and Sports (Uganda) TVET Secretariat launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact As a result of project based interviews with government stakeholders, members of the Uganda case team were invited to attend the Uganda Government's launch event of the TVET Secretariat (Ministry of Education and Sports). This resulted in informal networking and sharing about the research, which also resulted in a media interview and short representation of the research in a large National newspaper. The team had follow up interviews and dialogue with the TVET secretariat and have been explicitly requested to share our research with them and contribute to their implementation work. The Uganda team have subsequently been asked to participate in two workshops aimed at improving TVET systems.
The original government launch event involved approximately 50 people, but the subsequent newspaper article about the project and TVET in Uganda was distributed to a nationwide audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Modo School Teaching and Curriculum design 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Through conversations following a research interview with the Director of a VET institute, a researcher (from the Uganda project team) volunteered to train the teachers of the school, and give input into a curriculum review process. He then volunteered to teach regular classes in digital literacy- including marketing and online tools for businesses. The teachers have started practicing student centred teaching, using real life projects oriented towards developing a new product (innovation). The curriculum has been updated to include spaces for leadership, self exploration, and innovation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description National Convention on TVET 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Uganda team were asked to attend and present our research at a national forum for the improvement of TVET in Uganda. We introduced our research to a broad group of national practitioners. This raised the research visibility of the Uganda team and the VET Africa 4.0 project with key government officials in charge of TVET, and were able to deliver a clear message and feedback based on the participant conversations conducted as part of our research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Norrag blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Norrag is a global network of practitioners, policymakers and researchers working on education and development, with a network membership of c1000. The PI wrote a blog for them on the key implications of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.norrag.org/its-time-for-vet-africa-4-0-by-simon-mcgrath/
 
Description Participatory Action Research (PAR) Workshop (Gulu) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Gulu project team in Uganda organised a one-week workshop with a focus on Participatory Action Research (PAR). This took place between 14-18 October 2019 under the UNESCO Chair Youth and Work, and involved 16 participants from Uganda, a DAC country. The workshop adopted the theme of Vocational Education and Training, and gave us the opportunity to explore the deeply held negative perceptions about VET within Uganda with the participants, which included academics and skills-based practitioners from various organisations. The workshop also involved engagement with the local community and initial connections were made with local VET institutions and students who were introduced to the VET Africa 4.0 project. Finally, this workshop also included training on PAR methods, which further contributed to the development of research skills among all members of the Gulu and Hoima case teams.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Public Lecture by Dr Wedekind at Fort Cox Agriculture and Forestry Technical Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Approximately 50 participants attended a public lecture by Dr Wedekind at the end of a day supporting Fort Cox College's curriculum review process. He provided an overview of recent policy and research about agricultural skills and knowledge in South Africa and linked this both to Fort Cox's ongoing curricular processes and to the VET Africa 4.0 project. Attendees included college lecturers, staff from local universities, farmers and staff of organisations working with the farming sector. Dr Wedekind's lecture offered new insights into the place of the curricular review process at the local level within national and sectoral developments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Public seminar, University of Witwatersrand 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact More than 50 people attended a public seminar presented by Professor McGrath at the Centre for Research in Education and Labour, University of the Witwatersrand. The audience included several officials from the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, staff of Sector Education and Training Authorities, HR managers from large corporations, trade unionists and consultants, as well as academics and students. The event introduced some key ideas related to the project to this audience and served as a key means of making key end users and stakeholders aware of the project at an early stage.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Radio talk shows 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 15 x Radio Talk shows with 3 young people hosting each show. The Radio Shows had several purposes. 1) share experiences and introduce potentialities in TVET, life, and work; 2) collect data (the youth were presented with specific and topical questions to address, so essentially they were also focus group discussions; 3) shift negative perceptions of TVET. There were many youth who called in to inquire about possible directions and getting started in particular areas of vocational education, training and entrepreneurship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Supporting online Training of Trainers course 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The ELRC's Amanzi for Food project is pioneering an online Train-the-Trainers (ToT) programme for anyone involved in education and training in the agricultural sector, including farmers who are involved in sharing information and ideas with other farmers. Members of the VET 4.0 team supported the online Train-the-Trainers course through participation in webinars and the development of training materials. Critical insights in the farming process (primarily in marginalised, resource poor and water poor settings) are being carried forward to a broader public audience via the AmanziForFood online ToT course.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://amanziforfood.co.za/courses/online-training-of-trainers-course/
 
Description Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact We designed and established a project website. This involved a collaboration between the South African and Ugandan (DAC country) project teams who contracted a South African company to build the website. The website provides a mechanism for engaging directly with research users, research participants and other interested parties.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.vetafrica4-0.com/
 
Description Working Group: student selection processes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Researchers from the VET Africa 4.0 project worked with staff from Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry, South Africa to (a) review standard application processes and procedures within UK and South African higher education institutions for selecting students for post-graduation agricultural education, and (b) make recommendations for improving student application and selection processes at Fort Cox.
Outcomes to date have been limited by Covid-19 restrictions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020