UNESCO e-Platform on ICD

Resources in ICD“ width=UNESCO has created an e-platform for intercultural dialogue. It is designed to be “a global collaborative hub” intended “to promote good practices  from all over the world, that enable to build bridges between people from diverse backgrounds in order to create more inclusive societies through mutual understanding and respect for diversity.”

One major section presents short explanations of about 2 dozen relevant core concepts, from intercultural dialogue to cultural identity to intercultural citizenship. These will be particularly familiar to all those who have previously read Intercultural Competences: A conceptual and operational framework from 2013, which I drafted for UNESCO (with many contributions by others named in the notes), as they all come directly from that publication. The new e-platform describes that booklet as “A comprehensive reference publication on the basic terminology needed in order to develop intercultural competences and to permit intercultural dialogue, as well as outlining a series of minimally necessary steps to take in sharing this knowledge with the largest number of others, across the greatest selection of contexts, possible.”

Another major section provides a wide range of resources documenting best practices for a wide range of topics, from awareness raising to advocacy, from celebrating diversity to capacity building, and from research to policy advice. CID publications have been submitted to be added to the list. This section is open to contributions from anyone who is doing relevant work and wants it noted. (Just click on the “Login/Registration” button on the top right of any page.)

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

UNESCO Survey on ICD

Applied ICDA new report, entitled the UNESCO Survey on Intercultural Dialogue 2017, presents the findings of groundbreaking survey developed by the UNESCO Sector for Social and Human Sciences and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This was the first UNESCO survey on intercultural dialogue conducted among its Member States. It was designed to take stock of the current conceptual understanding, policies, and legislation, as well as available data, resources and main stakeholders in this field.

The results provide unique perspective on country-specific policies on intercultural dialogue. They also offer a point of analysis for monitoring and policymaking purposes. The survey was sent to all 199 National Commissions for UNESCO in six official languages.

Key findings include:

  1. Defining intercultural dialogue: Context is crucial to defining and applying intercultural dialogue.

  2. Policy framework: The majority of respondents (71%) state that an intercultural dialogue policy is in place in their country, while only 38% of respondents confirmed the existence of a definition of intercultural dialogue at national level.

  3. Challenges: Past and present conflicts and violence represent significant and complex challenges to bringing different people together in dialogue.

  4. Enabling factors: An environment based on respect, tolerance and acceptance is essential to enable intercultural dialogue to thrive.

MOOC: Media & Information Literacy & Intercultural Dialogue

UNESCO and Athabasca University jointly offer a MOOC on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID), in partnership with the International Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue University Network.

In the evolving knowledge societies of today, some people are overloaded with information; others are starved for information. Everywhere, people are yearning to express themselves freely and to participate actively in governance processes and cultural exchange. Universally, there is a deep thirst to understand the complex world around us.

Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) is a basis for enhancing access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, gender equality, and a high standard of education in an intercultural framework. It describes skills and attitudes that are needed to understand the functions of media and other information providers in society across a variety of media formats, including those of the Internet. It encourages the value of accepting and sharing diverse cultural and religious standpoints. The course does these things in order to enable people to share knowledge and experience, learn from one another and find, evaluate, and produce information and media content on their own. In other words, MILID covers the competencies that are vital for people to engage effectively in all aspects of development.

More and more countries recognize the importance of MILID. Over 70 countries are implementing MILID-related activities in varying degrees and reach. Yet, this takes time. At present, only a handful of states have put in place national MILID-related policies and elaborated the strategies that are needed to sustain their efforts. Meanwhile, research has shown that countries with national MILID policies and strategies have more far-reaching and sustained programmes.

This open access course in MILID, which has been designed, written and offered as a partnership between UNESCO and Athabasca University, introduces the concepts of media and information literacy and intercultural dialogue along with important issues that relate to this new set of competencies for global citizenship.

The course is open to anyone who wishes to sign in. There are 10 units addressing such concepts as media and information literacy, intercultural dialogue, freedom of expression, the multiple roles of media and advertising in contemporary life, gender representation and stereotyping in the media, challenges and opportunities for youth, and ways of engaging with new technologies for social change. If you wish to receive a certificate for taking this course, you need to achieve a grade of at least 65% overall.

UNESCO Job Ads: Associate/Programme Specialists (France)

UNESCO PROGRAMME SPECIALIST, Social and Human Sciences – Social Transformations
Primary Location: FR-Paris
Deadline: January 12, 2017

OVERVIEW OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE POST
Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General, Social and Human Sciences (ADG/SHS), the guidance of the Director of Division for Social Transformations  and Intercultural Dialogue (DIR/SHS/TCD) and under the direct supervision of the Chief of the Intercultural Dialogue Section, the incumbent is responsible for ensuring the development and delivery of a variety of sectoral and cross-sectoral projects and initiatives related to Intercultural Dialogue and a Culture of Peace. He/she will implement, monitor and report on programme priorities and projects in close cooperation with relevant Field Offices.

Within this context, the incumbent will:
• Contribute to the development of Action Plans for the promotion of intercultural dialogue in the context of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) : provide substantial input and advice to a broad range of stakeholders at different levels (Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and relevant networks/institutions), and backstopping to colleagues at Headquarters and in Field Offices.
• Implement, monitor, evaluate and report on programmes and projects and elaborate new and innovative initiatives and strategies for the promotion of intercultural dialogue and the culture of peace, notably in the areas of research, learning and capacity-building.
• Prepare statutory documents and draft decisions on key priorities identified by the governing bodies, as well as briefings, concept notes, press releases, etc; participate in the preparation of the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue and a Culture of Peace, and propose relevant themes for inclusion in UNESCO’s Mid-Term Strategy (C/4) and Quadrennial Programme and Budget (C/5).
• Organize international meetings and global fora with partners and stakeholders at different levels, including through the preparation of programme agendas, high-level statements and declarations, outreach strategies, advocacy and visibility measures, and follow-up on productions and publications;
• Undertake the identification/development of partnerships, the mobilization of extra-budgetary funding and resources and the preparation/coordination of reports to donors.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS
Education
• Advanced university degree in the field of social and human sciences, humanities or in related areas. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Work Experience
• A minimum of 4 years of relevant professional experience in the field of social and human sciences, humanities or in related areas, of which at least 2 years acquired at the international level.
• Proven experience in designing and implementing programmes/projects and demonstrated expertise in the field of Intercultural Dialogue and/or a Culture of Peace.
• Experience in the organization of international conferences, meetings and events.
Skills/Competencies
• Very good knowledge and understanding of UNESCO’s mandate in the field of Intercultural Dialogue, Culture of Peace, and the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022).
• Excellent organizational and project design skills.
• Excellent analytical skills with proven ability to undertake research, collect and synthesise information from various sources.
• Good knowledge in fund-raising and/or other resource mobilization mechanisms.
• Excellent (oral and written) communication skills, with proven ability to draft clearly and concisely.
• Capacity to establish and to maintain effective working relations and partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders (relevant institutions, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations) at all levels.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to work effectively in a team and to maintain effective working relations within a multi-cultural environment.
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively under pressure and to meet tight deadlines.
• Good IT skills, including knowledge of standard office software.
• Excellent/very good knowledge of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.
• Work Experience: Relevant experience in the UN system or in other international development cooperation organization.

Skills/Competencies
• Knowledge of the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the UN system, including the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda.
Languages
• Knowledge of other United Nations languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).


There is also a position for a UNESCO ASSOCIATE PROGRAMME SPECIALIST
in the same unit, Social and Human Sciences – Social Transformations.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.

Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion
In 2011, a grassroots campaign ‘Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion’, celebrating the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity was launched by UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations. By encouraging people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity, the campaign aims:
• To raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
• To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures.
• To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.
The campaign works through a dedicated Facebook page, serving as a platform for people around the world to share their experiences through posts and videos.

Some concrete suggestions for specific activities, from the UNAOC, are to:
• Visit an art exhibition or a museum dedicated to other cultures
• Learn about another religion
• Run an international film show
• Listen to a musical tradition from a different culture
• Play a sport related to a different culture (Karate, Criquet, Pétanque…)
• Cook traditional food from different cultures
• Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures
• Volunteer with an organization working for diversity and inclusion
• Learn another language
• Spread the word around you, family, friends and invite people from a different culture to share your customs.

Of course, just talking to someone from a different cultural background is the simplest, and most powerful.

You can find the brochure of the campaign in the six official languages of the UN (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese).

UNESCO Prize for ICTs in Education

“The UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education, funded and established since 2005 by the Kingdom of Bahrain, rewards individuals, institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations for projects and activities which demonstrate best practices in, and creative use of, ICTs to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance. It is UNESCO’s only prize in the field of ICT in education and seeks to recognize the organizations and individuals that are embracing ICT as a pedagogical ally and, in turn, make learning more effective. While acknowledging the importance of teaching innovations supported or enabled by ICT, it is essential that innovations ensure the security of children and promote the values and attitudes that are relevant to the building of sustainable and peaceful societies.

The theme for the 2015 Prize is Pedagogical Innovation in the Use of ICT in Teaching and Learning.

In an effort to enhance learning, ICT is increasingly being used to personalize learning, differentiate instruction, fuel learning in contexts outside of classrooms, share resources, collaborate, streamline assessment and ‘flip’ classrooms. Yet the impact of these innovations needs to be assessed, recognized and enlarged.

Two prizewinners will be designated by UNESCO’s Director-General on the basis of the recommendations of an international jury. Each winner will receive a diploma and a monetary award (USD 25,000).

Winners of the 2015 Prize will be announced and awarded during a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in early 2016.

To submit your application, please contact your National Commission or an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) maintaining official relations with UNESCO and working on the themes covered by the Prizes. The submission form can be downloaded.

The deadline for submission of all nomination files is 10 November 2015.”

Source: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/themes/icts/ict-in-education-prize/

UNESCO Links Cultural Diversity to Human Rights

© UNESCO

On 31 March, 2015, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova took part in a round table on the theme “Human Rights and the Protection of Cultural Diversity,” held at the University of Geneva, with the participation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UNESCO Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue, Metin Arditi and author, psychoanalyst and university professor, Julia Kristeva.

Bokova emphasized that “cultural diversity is an expression of human rights – the persecution of minorities, religious and ethnic, and the looting and pillage of cultural heritage are part of a deliberate global strategy to eradicate history and memory, the identities and the existence of these peoples and communities, and, through them, the cultural diversity that is our common heritage.”

Arditi highlighted that “the destruction of cultural heritage is but a symptom of the destruction of the Other,” noting that “the West is living through an unprecedented intellectual crisis – we need to restore the humanities at the heart of our societies, as the cradle of ideas and intellectuals for the future. Universities have a historic responsibility here, to prepare society for its own transformation and to help people understand and live together.”

All speakers stressed the importance of teaching about religions through the humanities, as areas of knowledge and understanding, as well as debate and discussion — “in order for beliefs to not become the sole possession of fanatics and extremists.”

The General-Director concluded on the key role of education for global citizenship, as promoted by UNESCO, including education for human rights as the mainstay, stressing the need for cultural literacy and development of intercultural competences to make the most of contemporary multicultural societies and the challenges of living together.

See the original article for further details.

Recommended UNESCO Documents for Interculturalists

UNESCO sees intercultural dialogue as a central topic, and publishes frequently on related issues. In addition to the Intercultural Competences booklet that I worked on last year, which has had hundreds and hundreds of downloads from this site alone, several other publications may be of interest to intercultural scholars.

A Common Framework for the Ethics of the 21st Century

A New Cultural Policy Agenda for Development and Mutual Understanding

Asian-Arab Philosophical Dialogues on Globalization, Democracy and Human Rights

Cultural Diversity and Transversal Values: East-West Dialogue on Spiritual and Secular Dynamics

Exploring Synergies between Faith Values and Education for Sustainable Development

What UNESCO for the Future? Forum of Reflexion

World Social Science Report 2010: Knowledge Divides

My thanks to Yoshitaka Miike for these suggestions!

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

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UNESCO research fellowships

UNESCO / Keizo Obuchi research fellowships

UNESCO invites young post-graduate researchers in developing countries with a Masters degree or equivalent, to apply for fellowships. This Research Fellowship Programme is financed by Japan through funds-in-trust dedicated to the development of human resources.


The programme, named after the late Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, offers a total of 20 fellowships to researchers. A maximum amount between US$ 6,000 – 10,000 will be awarded to the two candidates.

The aim is to impact on capacity building and research activities in one of four fields:

*Environment, with an emphasis on Water Sciences, Water Issues, Climate Change, Engineering Capacity Building in the Developing World;
*Intercultural dialogue;
*Information and communication technologies;
*Peaceful conflict resolution.

Applicants:
Post graduate researchers, no older than 40 years, can apply through their country’s National Commission. Priority will be given to women, candidates from the least developed countries and African researchers. Each Member State may nominate a maximum of two candidates. No applications will be considered from individuals.

The Member States of UNESCO who are eligible to apply are:
Africa – 46 Member States
Arab States – 12 Member States
Asia and The Pacific – 39 Member States
Latin America and the Caribbean – 29 Member States
Europe – 13 Member States
Tokelau – 1 Associate Member State
NB: the former 15 EU Member States are not eligible to apply.

All applications must be sent to the National Commission for UNESCO of the country of origin of the candidate that will then decide whether they will submit the application to UNESCO.

Deadline: 30 August 2013

Application form, eligible countries and further information: Click here

National Directory of Unesco national commissions: Click here

Key documents: UNESCO/Keizo OBUCHI research Fellowships programme internet: Click here

Do one thing for diversity 2013

2013: Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion

do one thing for diversity logo

In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.

In 2011, a grassroots campaign ‘Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion’, celebrating the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity was launched by UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

The 2013 campaign, by encouraging people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity, aims:

*To raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
*To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures.
*To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.

The campaign works through a dedicated Facebook page, serving as a platform for people around the world to share their experiences through posts and videos.

Ten simple things YOU can do to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development:

1. Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
2. Invite a family or people in the neighborhood from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life.
3. Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own.
4. Invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
5. Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Ganesh, Rumi).
6. Go next week-end to visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration.
7. Play the “stereotypes game.” Stick a post-it on your forehead with the name of a country. Ask people to tell you stereotypes associated with people from that country. You win if you find out where you are from.
8. Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or about amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or Qingming festival in China.
9. Spread your own culture around the world through our Facebook page and learn about other cultures.
10. Explore music of a different culture.

There are thousands of things that you can do, are you taking part in it?