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Ford Foundation and UNESCO

Ford Foundation and UNESCO

UNESCO and the Ford Foundation are currently cooperating mainly in the fields of science, education and culture.

Ford Foundation and UNESCO

Both UNESCO and the Ford Foundation have field offices around the world. Therefore, a lot of the cooperation between the two entities is directly forged at the regional level. The following examples illustrate cooperation, between UNESCO’s regional offices in Nairobi, Beirut and Santiago with the relevant Ford Foundation global offices.

1) Primary health care and medicinal plant conservation in Bwindi, Uganda
Since 2001, supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, UNESCO’s regional bureau for science in Africa, based in Nairobi, assists the government of Uganda in conserving, managing and analysing medicinal plant resources.

The purpose of this four year project is to conserve biodiversity and use plant resources in a sustainable manner.

Following the designation in 1991 of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as a national park and the loss of access to resources, local residents argued that their livelihoods were in peril due to the loss of their access medicinal plants.

The project concentrates its efforts on the following four activities:

  • Improving the local community’s knowledge in the use, benefits and dangers of medicinal plants; for example, an illustrated booklet on the 20 most commonly used medicinal plants in Rukiga language is in preparation. Also, a training course on dosage and safety of usage of these medicinal plants has been held.
  • Support “Mbarara University for Science and Technology” (MUST), particularly its department for community Health; the project reinforces courses in community health care run for medical students at the University.
  • Increase local recognition of the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC); ITFC’s potentials in managing the surrounding areas of the forests are valuable to the area. By integrating ITCF in its program, UNESCO ensures that ITFC is being seen as an institution that provides tangible services to surrounding communities.
  • Contribute to the integration of traditional healing methods into Uganda’s national health system; The project strengthens the people’s abilities to use plants and encourages the integration of such treatments in primary health care services and national health policies.

    2) Establishment of a Regional Body for quality assurance of higher education in the Arab States

    In January 2006, UNESCO’s regional bureau for education in the Arab States, with assistance from the Ford Foundation initiated a project to assist Arab countries in meeting the increasing demand for higher education and providing equal educational opportunities to all citizens by establishing a regional body for quality assurance in higher education in the Arab States.

    The quality of higher education remains one of the major challenges in the Arab States. Hence, broad regional consultations are urgently needed in order for the Arab States to come to a common stand on the issue of quality education and establish an entity that is largely accepted by the Arab States and the higher education community without any external pressures or unilateral decision. The current project will carry out the following long-term measurable outputs:
  • Development of quality assurance indicators and regional cooperation mechanisms;
  • Documentation and dissemination in terms of quality assurance in higher education;
  • Coordination of comparative studies among the Arab States;
  • Establishment of a regional network.

    3) Latin American Laboratory for the assessment of quality in Education
    Latin American Laboratory for the assessment of quality in Education (LLECE) provides technical support for the network of education quality measurement systems and teams of ministries of education in Latin America through the following measures:
  • fostering horizontal cooperation;
  • carrying out various training events;
  • exchanging of information and experiences.

    UNESCO’s regional office of education for Latin America and the Caribbean coordinated the cooperation among nineteen Latin American countries.

    The LLECE network has developed specific activities to enhance technical capacity in national evaluation systems: providing workshops, courses, and technical assistance, as well as creating interest groups for studying specific issues related to education. Examples of such interest groups are intercultural and multicultural education as well as teacher assessment groups.

    Application of tests on student achievements developed by the LLECE has made it possible to compare achievement levels in primary schools in Latin American countries.

    Other examples of cooperation
    Jaffna Library, Sri Lanka: UNESCO New Delhi along with the Ford Foundation provided assistance in the uplift of Jaffna library that was burnt in 1981 along with its rare collection of books numbering 97,000 volumes, considered one of the best collections in South Asia at the time.
    Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa - OCPA:This Observatory was created in 2002 with the support of African Union, the Ford Foundation and UNESCO through its office in Maputo with a view to monitor cultural trends and national cultural policies in the region and to enhance their integration in human development strategies.

    • © UNESCO - Bwindi National Park
    Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific