Development Education in France
In France, however, DE (also called Education for International Solidarity) went through three successive stages:
For École et Tiers-Monde (School and Third World), ' in 1980, "under-development
is the loss of control of one's own development; but first it is the product
of economic and cultural dependence. . . Development works through promoting
solidarity between peoples, setting up relationships based on justice and
peace - and on through changing mentalities and structures, on a ! world
scale, here and there".
Around the second half of the decade, extending from the inter-dependence analysis and the participation of the people in development, appeared the concepts of 'maldevelopment' and 'self-centered development'.
In 1980, in its general Charter, the Fréres des Hommes (Brothers of Man) NGO analysed the situation as follows:
"We notice a world maldevelopment characterised by minorities monopolising wealth and power, and by increasing subordination of all values to dominant groups' economy and ideologies. This ` maldevelopment affects all fields: cultural, economic, political, social. . . The Third World reveals some features of maldevelopment: hunger, of course, but also inequalities, repression,- violence. Europe, which also covers a great variety of countries and people, shows other aspects of the same maldevelopment: pollution, waste, injustices, violence..."
In its 1983 platform, CRID (Centre de Recherche et d'Information sur le Développement - Centre for Research and Information about Development) underlined the importance of a "self-centered development of the most disadvantaged populations starting from their real needs and leaning on local initiatives and popular organisations".
The 80s were marked by the worsening of the economic crisis, the acknowledgement of failure of the second Development decade and a growing debt problem for the Southern countries. They were also marked by the emergence of a neo-liberal trend emphasising the merits of the market economy. It was the period when the Third World orientated N GOs were violently attacked and criticised (accused among other things of ideological drift. . .), when Humanitarian Aid was increasingly media covered (notably with the `Band Aid' operation) anc when advertising and marketing people entered organisations. Moreover, the contradiction between fundraising and DE became urgent.
Organisations are more and more aware of the complexity of the
development process and are increasingly focusing on the notion of partnership.
They now want first to listen to their Southern partners and to define
with them development objectives and practices. At the same time, they
keep on emphasising North-South inter-dependence and interfaces, particularly
in the North about immigration and poverty. Methods and means of Development
Education in France
Following a recent evaluation of DE projects in the formal sector, French NGOs were asked whether they made any distinction between providing information, awareness-raising and DE. For some of them, all this is synonymous, but for most, however, a distinction arises:
It is worth noting that all associations refuse to see in DE a means
to `sell their ISO', but it is not unusual to see confusion settling within
messages, between the desire to have the organisation known, and the objective
to help public opinion to have another look at the world.
For one-off events or extended DE campaigns, the bulk of the activities are carried out at a local level by the voluntary members nf local groups or associations belonging to an umbrella organisation. This grassroots multiplication is a constituent feature nf DE activity.
What is clear today is that DE implies a broader approach to the society in which we are living, putting into perspective problems of developing countries and problems of our own societies. In this context, economic inter-dependence, environment or immigration problems are often mentioned. This approach is a factor of inter- cultural integration for young people, school students and adults. It facilitates meetings of groups from different socio-cultural and linguistic origins, at the everyday level as well as at a more global level of understanding different social, economic, cultural and political situations. That is why linking is a privileged form of DE, and many ISOs focus on welcoming Southern partners in their localities, as well as on trips, workcamps, twinnings, cultural groups' tours, etc. In this sense, the inter-action between DE and inter- cultural pedagogy becomes obvious.
DE in the formal sector is a particular variant of organisations' activities. Since the late 70s, a growing number of ISOs have been interested in formal sector education, and the `Third World Day' at school, instituted in 198 l, reflects the interest that the authorities have also demonstrated towards this issue.
More generally, the interest of the authorities materialised by the introduction in 1983 of the Commission Coopération -Développement (COCODEV; Cooperation-Development Commission- joint commission between ISOs and the authorities) which comprises, among others, a specific DE working group, and enables a sustained dialogue between government people and civil society dealing with Cooperation.
The institution of big awareness-raising campaigns in the early
80s (`Eat better here, defeat hunger there' or `For peoples' right to feed
themselves'), with the powerful media coverage they got, definitely established
ISOs as central actors for Third World information and North-South problems.
Today, these media operations have become less common, however the issue
of the images circulated by the media (TV in particular) was raised by
the ISOs and the authorities in a round table organised by COCODEV in October
1989. This questioning gave rise to the publication of a report, called
Barosud (shortened from `barometer of the South'), analysing the message
disseminated by the media on Southern countries and the issue of images
of the South remains a priority for almost all ISOs and grassroots groups.
The late 80s and, above all, the early 90s, as well as the preparation
for the Rio conference on Environment, brought French lSOs to think about
their objectives and means, and to facilitate contacts and joint projects
to achieve their information and education goals. So, the distinction becomes
clearer between DE and fundraising, even if there are still so-called `Development
Education' activities intending more to `sell' the association than to
practise a real Education for Solidarity.
However, the coordinated national campaigns (in particular the
Environment Coordination, led by CLOSI and implemented by CRID with the
collaboration of the Ligue de 1'Enseignement and the Association Francaise
des Volontaires du Progrés) attests to the fact that ISOs' can work together
and break down traditional barriers. In spite of increasing difficulties
to get access to media, organisations are achieving their DE objectives
thanks to improved dialogue and grassroots coordination. Joint projects
are becoming common: an interesting example is that of the 1993 Third World
Day in schools. For the first time, the consortia within CLOSI produced
together a learning resource on the issue of Health for students and teachers.
430,000 copies were circulated to primary and middle schools through consortia
and member associations.
We can say that, in these early 90s, French ISOs have accumulated a rich and varied experience in DE. All of the following is undertaken in one form or another: activists' training, production of learning materials, games, competitions handbooks' analyses, audio-visual productions, publications, organisation of seminars, tours with partners, evenings of debate, exhibitions, big national campaigns as well as local actions. This work is, to a large extent, carried out by the grassroots and is not well known outside their locality or at the national level. For several years French ISOs have been trying to develop information, exchanges, collaborations on DE. They tend to build dialogue,- to seek complementarities, to carry out common projects, either between themselves, or within the framework of existing activity. To do so, they begin and encourage initial assessments and evaluations.
Organisations, Networks Working at the Grassroots Level and Local Groups
French ISOs have a complex history which has resulted in today 's structure
of seven consortia:
The consortia of French ISOs
Besides these consortia, there are also:
Development Education organisations
Some of the consortia are organised to coordinate DE activity on a national
scale, relayed by their members ' (notably GRID, CNJD, CNAJEP, CLED-ESF
These consortia elaborate information campaigns, produce documents, organise seminars and various events to raise awareness, trying at the same time to reach national media in order to increase their potential public. Case Study 3 (following) describes a campaign organised by CRID on Third World Debt. Among the most active organisations in DE are many of the CRID members:
Among the other CRID members it is necessary to mention:
Youth and adult education organisations
Youth and adult education organisations, especially around CNJD, CLED and
CNAJEP, are also very active in DE, in another tradition and with methods
sometimes different from ISOs' ones, but in a wholly similar spirit. Religious
structures must be distinguished from secular adult education organisations.
Among CNJD or CNAJEP members, the Action Catholique des Enfants (Catholic Action for Children) and the Union Chretienne des Jeunes Gens (Christian Union for Youth - I6 local units), the Scouts de France and the Guides de France (30 or so lncal units and more than 100,000 members) provide information and training on International Solidarity through their multiple socio- cultural activities with youth and children, not necessarily in the formal sector. The Secours C.atholique (Catholic Relief) also has a big Third World Department which works on DE with its public, notably thanks to their I 00 local units and their I,000,000 + members.
Among the secular organisations, there are some vast DE networks, wor king through very powerful structures which are not organised around North-South issues, but around training, education, culture sports and leisure. Their international departments are more or less active, but no organisation leaves the South issues aside:
French organisations are beginning to acquire good experience of DE: with
numerous activists, well-tried activities developed over three decades,
targeted projects (eg. formal schools education, trainers, the general
public), numerous national campaigns and varied means uf action. This active
landscape of DE brought associations to a new awareness in the early 90s,
first on the necessity to coordinate themselves, then on the usefulness
of evaluation in this field.
ln the past, the lack of coordination and dialogue often led to overlapping
or contradictory` action which prejudiced the aim. For example, Action
Ecole (collecting and sending food aid) was launched in 84-85 by the singer
Bob Geldof with strong media and show- business coverage, whilst other
ISOs were developing a long-term and deeper approach towards formal schools
education, underlining particularly the necessities of food self-sufficiency
in Southern countries. This kind of mismatch contributed to make organisations
realise that they had to develop a dialogue with each other to avoid
prejudicial contradictions and competition.
NGDO-EC Liaison Committee: Development Education Group
The late 80s and, above all, the early 90s, as well as the preparation for the Rio conference on Environment, brought French lSOs to think about their objectives and means, and to facilitate contacts and joint projects to achieve their information and education goals. So, the distinction becomes clearer between DE and fundraising, even if there are still so-called `Development Education' activities intending more to `sell' the association than to practise a real Education for Solidarity.
However, the coordinated national campaigns (in particular the Environment Coordination, led by CLOSI and implemented by CRID with the collaboration of the Ligue de 1'Enseignement and the Association Francaise des Volontaires du Progrés) attests to the fact that ISOs' can work together and break down traditional barriers. In spite of increasing difficulties to get access to media, organisations are achieving their DE objectives thanks to improved dialogue and grassroots coordination. Joint projects are becoming common: an interesting example is that of the 1993 Third World Day in schools. For the first time, the consortia within CLOSI produced together a learning resource on the issue of Health for students and teachers. 430,000 copies were circulated to primary and middle schools through consortia and member associations.