Project Presentation


 In an increasingly complex and global society, education appears as a step stone  for understanding and interacting with the world. In the light of development, it takes more and more an heterogeneous and plural role, replying to their controversies and paradoxes, challenges and tensions. Aware of the importance of Development Education (ED), several institutions in Portugal undertook the drawing up of the Development Education National Strategy (Estratégia Nacional de Educação para o Desenvolvimento (ENED)), which was approved and published in the Portuguese Official Gazette in 2009. From 2010 the conclusions drawn in the Monitoring Reports (Relatórios de Acompanhamento da ENED) denote that the measures with the lowest coverage are those concerning the promotion of research in the ED area and recorded reflection on their activities.

Aware of this situation, the Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto (CEAUP) and Fundação Gonçalo da Silveira (FGS) started in 2013 the Development Education Synergies: Getting to know so as to Act better – promoting research on DE action in Portugal, a first step on this path gaining the recognition of the other DE stakeholders. 

As the result of the will of these two organizations in furthering the work started and counting with a new partner, CIDAC - Centro de Intervenção para o Desenvolvimento Amílcar Cabral, appeared the project Synergies ED: strengthen the link between research and action in Development Education in Portugal. The general objective of this project is to promote the quality of intervention of ED in Portugal and, more specifically, to strengthen and expand the work already done on the link between research and action in the field of ED.

To make this possible, we aim specifically to:

1) expand and strengthen the collaboration processes between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in quantity (by extending the institutions involved and the number of collaborative actions) and quality (through systematization and study of past collaborative experience, as well as the deepening of the started work), seeking to find the space for a collaborative community between HEIs and CSOs within the ED, in Portugal;

2) produce and disseminate research studies and work under the ED, in the national and international levels, deepening the networking with other institutions for the production of knowledge, always with the sense of promoting a clearer and closer reflection practice;

3) promote and strengthen training in ED actors of HEIs and CSOs through Referential Synergies ED, including active and collaborative involvement of HEIs and CSOs associated, in a coherent methodological approach with the project.


The most significant of the envisaged activities are:

a) the construction of a deeply reflection about the collaborative processes between HEIs and CSOs occurred within the 1st edition of Synergies ED project;

b) the production of research works carried out in partnership between CSOs and HEIs and the promotion of activities under the ED conducted collaboratively these pairs;

c) the consolidation of a research line in Development Education, with the updating of the study on perceptions and relevance of ED in Portugal and the writing of a position paper;

d) the increase of Synergies ED website visibility;

e) the publication and dissemination of 4 issues of the scientific journalSynergies - educational dialogues for social change;

f) the organization of the II International Synergies ED Conference;

g) the development of training activities aimed at HEIs and the CSO based on Referential Synergies ED, followed by a working collective re-elaboration and validation of the Referential.


The project is expected to last two years (June 2016 to May 2018) and it is jointly promoted by Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto, CIDAC - Centro de Intervenção para o Desenvolvimento Amílcar Cabral and Fundação Gonçalo da Silveira, with co-financing from Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua and support from University of Porto.


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