Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Education

Abstract

The Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus will develop sustainable institutional capacity in India, South Africa, Rwanda and Somalia to produce high quality research that will assist key stakeholders in these countries and at a regional and global scale to better understand how education systems can be transformed to support sustainable development. Countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are facing unprecedented challenges in relation to sustainable development including poverty and inequality and managing the risks posed by climate change. The sustainable development goals (SDGs) represent a holistic response to these challenges. Education has enormous potential to act as a driver for sustainable development and the education SDG is centrally implicated in the realisation of all of the other SDGs. At present, however, education systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are some way off achieving the education SDG (goal 4). Our vision, consistent with global, regional and national agendas, is for systems of life-long learning that can provide learners with the skills, competencies, values and transformative agency required to meet the challenges of environmentally sustainable and socially just development. The 'wicked problem' that education systems face in realising this vision is how to simultaneously address the current learning crisis in LMICs whilst transforming education systems to become drivers of SD. This challenge needs to be addressed simultaneously across all sectors of the education and training system and at the global, regional, national and local scales. Led by a world leading team containing relevant interdisciplinary and practical expertise, the TES4SD will assist in addressing this problem. Specifically, we will build sustainable research capacity in partner countries to undertake relevant research including early career researchers based in academic and non-academic organisations. The team will synthesise existing and emerging evidence on how schools can be transformed to address the learning crisis and to make them drivers of SD; how can technical and vocational education and training can be transformed to facilitate the development of green skills and to support youth agency in the transition to sustainable, healthy, lifestyles and in revitalising peaceful and democratic societies; and, how higher education institutions can be transformed to support processes of social learning within civil society and amongst policy-makers to address sustainability challenges in cities and rural communities. Questions at the system level include in what ways is Target 4.7 which relates to education for sustainable development understood and implemented and we will develop contextually relevant indicators to monitor progress towards SDG 4.7 at local, national and global levels. The TES4SD network plus will also commission new research based on knowledge co-production techniques to develop evidence and arguments urgently needed to transform education and training systems. Research questions will primarily focus on the sometimes-contradictory relationship between SDG4 and decent work and economic growth (SDG8); sustainable cities and communities (SDG11); responsible production and consumption (SDG12); and, climate action (SDG13). Strategies for developing impact will be embedded in TES4SD activities from inception including the active involvement of beneficiary groups including policy-makers, NGOs and CBOs in network plus research and capacity building activities; and, the strategic targeting of outputs including national and network wide synthesis reports, policy briefs, MOOCs, toolkits to support research capacity, teaching and learning materials for use in formal and informal settings. Dissemination of evidence to beneficiary groups will be facilitated by the creative use of social and other media and supported by a dedicated website.

Planned Impact

TE4SD will synthesise and co-produce knowledge to transform education systems and therefore support sustainable, socially and environmentally just development, across the four hub nations and beyond. Non-academic beneficiaries include networks, organisations and individuals responsible for the shaping, delivery and regulation of: 1. Formal education; 2. TVET; 3. Higher education, and TES4SD focus SDGs. As highlighted in the case for support, some beneficiaries are already well known to members of TES4SD, e.g. as existing collaborators, or as fellow members of networks that TES4SD will tap into and extend, for mutual benefit.
Policy Makers/Influencers are an important and diverse beneficiary group, including: 1. Regional Policy fora/networks, such as: the African Union's Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), a forum for policy dialogue on education policies and a partnership between African education and training ministries in Africa and their technical and funding partners; the Southern African Development Community (SADC) including initiatives in the area of curriculum and teacher education; UNESCO including regional offices in India, Southern and East Africa and the UNESCO funded Mahatma Ghandi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development; 2. National Government bodies, responsible for policy areas relevant to TES4SD contexts of formal schooling, TVET and HE and focus SDGs; for example, in Rwanda, the Ministry of Education and the Rwandan Education Board; and the Workforce Development Authority; 3. Diverse Local Government bodies, tackling and implementing relevant policy agendas.
Funders/Donors involved in projects and initiatives relevant to TES4SD's agendas, contexts and SDGs including : UNESCO, DFID, the British Council, World Bank, Global Partnership for Education
Private and Public Sector Education providers and practitioners (linked to the formal education sector), including Schools, TVET providers, HEIs, where beneficiaries will include: Senior Management; teaching staff; other professional services staff.
Practitioners operating within informal education settings such as communities and workplaces; social learning is collaborative and relational. Forms of learning benefit from diversity and take place in diverse contexts.
NGOs/NGO networks associated with ESD agendas will be potential beneficiaries, e.g: SomaliREN (a not for profit network including the major Somali HEIs) which promotes research and quality HE among Somalis; the Somalia NGO Consortium, providing links to multiple organisations covering a wide range of agendas and relevant to multiple SDGs.
Members of the community, in particular those most likely to have links to education and other linked systems, e.g. 'youth' and their broader networks; traditional authorities.
An emphasis on co-production will ensure that relevant stakeholders are engaged at all stages of the research cycle from inception and design to dissemination and legacy planning, as well as building capacity for future research and impact work amongst the broader beneficiary communities (see Pathways).
Outputs from commissioned projects and synthesised knowledge will include policy briefs (project-level and national case study level syntheses), practice guides and toolkits. Working with advisers including Mediae and the Mahatma Ghandi Institute, our communications plan will employ multiple media forms and will be sensitive to technological capacity, cultural and geographical contexts and different end user group needs to maximise impacts on policy and practice.
In the longer term, we envisage that findings will be built into broader programmes of work, such as teacher training programmes and local development plans, for instance as a consequence of plus project impact activities; as a downstream legacy of TES4SD training; and through the uptake of national syntheses of findings by agenda setting fora.
 
Description TES4SD Network Plus Research Collaboration Agreement 
Organisation Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Bristol has been awarded a project 'Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus', led by Professor Leon Tikly (PI). Professor Tikly provides programme leadership, line manages Bristol staff, manages the overall budget and PLUS funding allocation, convenes the Leadership Team and Advisory Group, and oversees impact, outputs and publications. He is supported in Bristol by an RA, a Programme Network Manager and a Finance and Contracts Manager. The co-design of the TES4SD capacity development strategy including national capacity development activities and outputs are overseen in Bristol by Dr Rafael Mitchell.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol works closely with all of the Co-Is, including those acting as hub leads for the four national hubs, all of whom have considerable experience of project management as well as the economic, social, cultural and environmental contexts of the four principal countries of research focus (Batra in India, Tusiime in Rwanda, Ismail in Somalia/Somaliland and Lotz-Sisitka in South Africa).
Impact https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5245290 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4471148 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4477103 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4464262 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4462433 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4430887 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331474 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331432 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3778587 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4134931 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4022328 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4242956 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059822 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953643 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953704 https://www.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3952851 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4243119 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3796143 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059708 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4121112 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4120947 https://doi.org/10.4236/sm.2020.104013 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4327076 https://doi.org/10.24943/SASCA02.2022 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5770312 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5704833 https://doi.org/10.24943/ICPELHI08.2021 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5042122
Start Year 2020
 
Description TES4SD Network Plus Research Collaboration Agreement 
Organisation Rhodes University
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Bristol has been awarded a project 'Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus', led by Professor Leon Tikly (PI). Professor Tikly provides programme leadership, line manages Bristol staff, manages the overall budget and PLUS funding allocation, convenes the Leadership Team and Advisory Group, and oversees impact, outputs and publications. He is supported in Bristol by an RA, a Programme Network Manager and a Finance and Contracts Manager. The co-design of the TES4SD capacity development strategy including national capacity development activities and outputs are overseen in Bristol by Dr Rafael Mitchell.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol works closely with all of the Co-Is, including those acting as hub leads for the four national hubs, all of whom have considerable experience of project management as well as the economic, social, cultural and environmental contexts of the four principal countries of research focus (Batra in India, Tusiime in Rwanda, Ismail in Somalia/Somaliland and Lotz-Sisitka in South Africa).
Impact https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5245290 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4471148 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4477103 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4464262 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4462433 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4430887 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331474 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331432 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3778587 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4134931 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4022328 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4242956 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059822 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953643 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953704 https://www.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3952851 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4243119 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3796143 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059708 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4121112 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4120947 https://doi.org/10.4236/sm.2020.104013 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4327076 https://doi.org/10.24943/SASCA02.2022 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5770312 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5704833 https://doi.org/10.24943/ICPELHI08.2021 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5042122
Start Year 2020
 
Description TES4SD Network Plus Research Collaboration Agreement 
Organisation Transparency Solutions
Country Somalia 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Bristol has been awarded a project 'Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus', led by Professor Leon Tikly (PI). Professor Tikly provides programme leadership, line manages Bristol staff, manages the overall budget and PLUS funding allocation, convenes the Leadership Team and Advisory Group, and oversees impact, outputs and publications. He is supported in Bristol by an RA, a Programme Network Manager and a Finance and Contracts Manager. The co-design of the TES4SD capacity development strategy including national capacity development activities and outputs are overseen in Bristol by Dr Rafael Mitchell.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol works closely with all of the Co-Is, including those acting as hub leads for the four national hubs, all of whom have considerable experience of project management as well as the economic, social, cultural and environmental contexts of the four principal countries of research focus (Batra in India, Tusiime in Rwanda, Ismail in Somalia/Somaliland and Lotz-Sisitka in South Africa).
Impact https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5245290 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4471148 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4477103 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4464262 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4462433 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4430887 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331474 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331432 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3778587 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4134931 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4022328 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4242956 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059822 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953643 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953704 https://www.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3952851 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4243119 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3796143 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059708 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4121112 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4120947 https://doi.org/10.4236/sm.2020.104013 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4327076 https://doi.org/10.24943/SASCA02.2022 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5770312 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5704833 https://doi.org/10.24943/ICPELHI08.2021 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5042122
Start Year 2020
 
Description TES4SD Network Plus Research Collaboration Agreement 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Bristol has been awarded a project 'Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus', led by Professor Leon Tikly (PI). Professor Tikly provides programme leadership, line manages Bristol staff, manages the overall budget and PLUS funding allocation, convenes the Leadership Team and Advisory Group, and oversees impact, outputs and publications. He is supported in Bristol by an RA, a Programme Network Manager and a Finance and Contracts Manager. The co-design of the TES4SD capacity development strategy including national capacity development activities and outputs are overseen in Bristol by Dr Rafael Mitchell.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol works closely with all of the Co-Is, including those acting as hub leads for the four national hubs, all of whom have considerable experience of project management as well as the economic, social, cultural and environmental contexts of the four principal countries of research focus (Batra in India, Tusiime in Rwanda, Ismail in Somalia/Somaliland and Lotz-Sisitka in South Africa).
Impact https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5245290 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4471148 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4477103 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4464262 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4462433 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4430887 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331474 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331432 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3778587 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4134931 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4022328 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4242956 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059822 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953643 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953704 https://www.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3952851 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4243119 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3796143 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059708 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4121112 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4120947 https://doi.org/10.4236/sm.2020.104013 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4327076 https://doi.org/10.24943/SASCA02.2022 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5770312 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5704833 https://doi.org/10.24943/ICPELHI08.2021 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5042122
Start Year 2020
 
Description TES4SD Network Plus Research Collaboration Agreement 
Organisation University of Rwanda
Country Rwanda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Bristol has been awarded a project 'Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus', led by Professor Leon Tikly (PI). Professor Tikly provides programme leadership, line manages Bristol staff, manages the overall budget and PLUS funding allocation, convenes the Leadership Team and Advisory Group, and oversees impact, outputs and publications. He is supported in Bristol by an RA, a Programme Network Manager and a Finance and Contracts Manager. The co-design of the TES4SD capacity development strategy including national capacity development activities and outputs are overseen in Bristol by Dr Rafael Mitchell.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol works closely with all of the Co-Is, including those acting as hub leads for the four national hubs, all of whom have considerable experience of project management as well as the economic, social, cultural and environmental contexts of the four principal countries of research focus (Batra in India, Tusiime in Rwanda, Ismail in Somalia/Somaliland and Lotz-Sisitka in South Africa).
Impact https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5245290 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4471148 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4477103 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4464262 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4462433 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4430887 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331474 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4331432 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3778587 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4134931 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4022328 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4242956 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059822 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953643 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3953704 https://www.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3952851 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4243119 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3796143 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059708 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4121112 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4120947 https://doi.org/10.4236/sm.2020.104013 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4327076 https://doi.org/10.24943/SASCA02.2022 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5770312 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5704833 https://doi.org/10.24943/ICPELHI08.2021 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5042122
Start Year 2020
 
Description C-19 engagement and dissemination events 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Various national events were organised by the four country hubs to share findings from each hub's C-19 research. The events were held in spaces open to policy makers, participants, other stakeholders and media. These were held as a mixture of in-person events, where appropriate, or online activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://tesf.network/resources-library/?resource-category%5Bcovid-19-related-research%5D=covid-19-re...
 
Description Establishment of Communities of Practice (CoPs) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact TESF has established four research communities of practice (CoPs) in order to foster relationships between funded projects and the wider network, to provide spaces and structures for mutual support across projects and hubs, to provide a cross-national forum for sharing knowledge and experiences about research, and to support the development and synthesis of high-quality findings with respect to TESF's substantive foci. Each of the CoPs focuses on one of the following themes: sustainable cities and communities, sustainable livelihoods, climate action and decolonising research. The first two CoPs met in March 2022, and the other two CoPs will be meeting within the next few weeks. Project teams have welcomed the opportunities offered by the CoPs, and have enthusiastically taken up the offer of taking on the coordination and facilitation of their CoPs. Members of the first CoP that took place, have created a facebook group, set future meeting dates and identified volunteers for coordinating future meetings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Four stakeholder engagement workshops in partner countries 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Workshops undertaken in Rwanda, India, South Africa and Somalia/ Somaliland to launch TESF but also to engage with a range of stakeholders to get feedback on priorities that should appear in the funding call for plus funded projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://tesf.network/resource/rwanda-engagement-workshop-videos/
 
Description Launch event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Launch of Network Plus at the Watershed Bristol. Each partner spoke about the sustainability challenges facing the country and how the project will address these. We had approximately 200 guests from a range of backgrounds including potential applicants for plus funded projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://tesf.network/resource/climate-emergency-forum-presentations/
 
Description Meetings of the Rich Synthesis Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact TESF has set up a Rich Synthesis Working Group in collaboration with EdJAM, another GCRF Network Plus, to address the challenge of synthesising findings from a vast range and number of research projects across their Networks. Following consultations with the leadership teams and ongoing discussions via padlet with researchers in both Network Plusses, TESF and EdJAM have established a collaborative working group that provides creative and critical space to learn about synthesis practices and develop a methodology that will help answer the following guiding questions:
• How can we synthesise in rich and meaningful ways that accommodate a range of outputs and findings from approximately 50 short-term diverse projects;
• whilst maintaining the richness of participants' lived experience from across varied contexts to answer the research questions of our sister Network Pluses;
• without reproducing historic inequalities in the division of labour which position Northern based researchers as theorists and Southern based researchers as data collectors?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) onboarding workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A series of onboarding workshops were run for project teams within their hub country to welcome them to the TESF network and to introduce the MEL framework which project teams will be reporting on at the midpoint and at the end of their research projects. The MEL framework provides a structure for each project to consider and reflect on their ambitions, challenges and learning in relation to their research. Research teams are encouraged to follow a four step learning cycle (look & listen, analyse, report, act) while considering five key areas of learning: people and relationships, capacities, knowledge, outputs and sharing, outcomes and legacies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://tesf.network/resource/mobilising-capacities-for-transforming-education-for-sustainable-futur...
 
Description Project kick-off meetings for commissioned research teams 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Various introductory and meet-and-greet events were organised by each of the four country hubs for research partners who had successful bid for funding via the Call for Proposals. It provided all research teams with an opportunity to network, to raise questions, and to explore common research interests.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Research proposal development workshops and launch of the proposal development toolkit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A number of workshops were held (mostly virtual) within each hub country to provide support to shortlisted applicants who had submitted an expression of interest in response to the TESF Call for Proposals (Network Plus commissioned research). To support applicants with the development of their full proposal, a detailed proposal development toolkit was created and shared with all applicants. The toolkit provides guidance on each section of the full proposal form and links to relevant TESF background papers and videos, as well as carefully selected external resources.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021