Community Development through ESD

ACCU has been engaged in community-based joint projects to promote ESD in the Asia-Pacific region under United Nations Decade of ESD (DESD) framework, and other ESD projects centred on UNESCO Associated Schools since the 2000s. In addition, with the aim to involve the whole community in the development of a sustainable society, ACCU is working on collaborative projects with various non-formal education (NFE) institutions in Japan and abroad such as the Kominkan and community learning centres (CLCs). ACCU will continue to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through education, while making sure to accommodate regional contexts to its efforts.

Supporting community development focusing on social education facilities

Soon after the end of World War II, Kominkans were established throughout Japan to serve as community-based educational facilities (amounting to over 14,000 as of 2015). In addition, there are numerous libraries, museums and other educational facilities which respond to regional needs and contexts in Japan. ACCU, in its effort to further promote community development through education hubs, is currently engaged in partnering with communities which have been long committed to ESD or have been actively involved in supporting Kominkan activities. Outside Japan, CLCs function to provide NFE and serve as a learning facility for community development, particularly in Asian countries. ACCU creates opportunities for communities to share similar efforts across borders and learn from one another, developing networks that aim to achieve a sustainable world.

Supporting sustainable community development through a comprehensive approach

In order to create a sustainable society, collaboration among and between organizations such as schools and NFE institutions, communities and various generations is essential. ACCU has been cooperating with international organizations as well as with organizations of diverse stakeholders including industrial, government, academic and civil organizations, to implement a variety of community development projects focusing on keywords such as “youth” and “learning communities”. ACCU bridges communities and organizations so that they are able to communicate, share and analyse their community-specific activities and learn from one another to further expand their projects. In other words, ACCU promotes ESD projects involving the whole community through a comprehensive approach.

Working towards the achievement of a sustainable society

ACCU has been conducting youth-led community development projects focusing on Pakistan since 2014. In addition, beginning 2018, we have been engaged in an action research project in Hiratsuka City’s Kominkans and exchange projects with Okayama City and Omuta City, as well as joint research with India, Laos, the Philippines and Mongolia as part of UNESCO Bangkok’s initiative in the Asian region. Furthermore, since 2019, ACCU has been collecting domestic and international case studies on collective learning with related agencies in Bangladesh, India and the Philippines.
In order to achieve a sustainable society, t is essential to strengthen linkages between activities in schools and NFE institutions. ACCU, fully taking advantage of knowledge acquired through the ESD teacher training initiative implemented in cooperation with Okayama University since 2018, is committed to further advancing ESD promotion projects involving the whole community in a comprehensive manner.