What is Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR)?
(The following information has been prepared for the new EuropeAid website, which is in development:)
Development education and awareness raising mobilizes EU citizens to engage critically with global development.
Development education and awareness raising (DEAR) aims at informing EU citizens about development issues, mobilising greater public support for action against poverty, providing citizens with tools to engage critically with global development issues and foster new ideas, and changing attitudes. The dedicated DEAR programme is powering this drive. It is implemented by civil society actors and local authorities in EU and acceding countries.
The EU co-finances DEAR projects, with a budget of approximately €30 million per year, through the thematic programme ‘Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development’. The next DEAR call for proposals is planned for the autumn 2013.
Development education and awareness raising (DEAR) activities play a key role in EU development assistance. They are deployed in order to raise public awareness of development issues and promote development education in EU and acceding countries. The European Union has set up a dedicated programme for this purpose.
The DEAR programme is taken forward primarily through actions implemented by non-state actors and local authorities in the EU and acceding countries. Its objectives are to:
- inform EU citizens about development issues and foster awareness and understanding of global development and recognition of interdependence;
- mobilise greater public support for action against poverty and fairer relations between developed and developing countries;
- change attitudes, provide the European public with tools to engage critically with global developments and support the emergence of new ideas on development issues.
The European Commission has been playing an important role in facilitating dialogue among DEAR policy-makers and practitioners, fostering capacity development among DEAR partners and supporting capacity development and networking activities of the EU-funded DEAR projects.
The Commission is also encouraging the Member States to move from project-level coordination towards policy coordination.
To achieve these objectives, the DEAR programme focuses on two lines of action:
- Global Learning, to foster knowledge and competences to engage with development issues, through the use of participatory and experiential education methodologies, either within or outside the formal education system;
- Campaigning & Advocacy, where the objective is to support citizen involvement and advocacy for more sustainable policies, political and economic structures and individual practices, in relation to global development.
The projects financed through the programme reach various target groups:
- pupils and students (from primary, secondary and higher education), youth (young people in formal and informal groups: cultural organisations, out-of-school groups, etc.),
- teachers (all levels),
- decision makers (members of national parliaments and ministries, members of the European Parliament),
- the private sector (small, medium-sized and large businesses and other commercial organisations),
- non-governmental organisations
- local authorities (municipalities, province, etc.)
- universities/academic bodies.
While these actions are carried out in Europe, cooperation with development stakeholders in developing countries is encouraged.
The specific objective of the DEAR programme is to develop European citizens' awareness and critical understanding of the interdependent world and of their role, responsibility and lifestyles in relation to a globalised society. In addition, it supports the public’s active involvement in global attempts to eradicate poverty and promote justice, human rights and sustainable ways of living.
EU-funded DEAR projects cover a wide range of development issues and contexts. Between 2005 and 2009, they addressed more than 60 topics. Although most focus on a major theme, many projects tackle additional aspects.
In terms of campaign and advocacy work, the three mains topics of DEAR in 2010 were poverty, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and development policies.
Between 2007 and 2012, DEAR reached an estimated:
- 11.6 million students
- 6.6 million young people
- 5 million consumers
- 82,000 teachers
- 80,000 decision makers
- 78,000 journalists
- 60,000 private companies
- 26,000 NGOs
- 15,000 local authorities
- 8,000 schools
- 170 universities/academic bodies