Our studies, contributions

Global Competency: What is the francophone approach of this still emerging concept still and which analysis can it be proposed of it ?

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Summary : In 2016, Andreas Schleicher and Gabriela Ramos introduced the concept of global competence as “a multidimensional capacity” in a paper published by the OECD. They defined “globally competent individuals” as individuals who “can examine local, global and intercultural issues, understand and appreciate different perspectives and world views, interact successfully and respectfully with others, and take responsible action toward sustainability and collective well-being.” Global competency is the OECD contribution to the SDGs and has been integrated since the 2018 PISA tests. Meanwhile, the paper Global competence for an Inclusive World, from which the term is extracted, has not been translated into French.

In its core mission to share knowledge and discuss about implementing public policies on the ground, members of a working group from IDEFFIE (Initiative for the development of a French and Francophone Expertise on the International and European levels) drafted a paper on the OECD notion of “global competence.” IDEFFIE’s primary aim is to introduce the concept to the francophone community so that its non-Anglophone members are included in the construction of an international expertise network, and contribute to the debate. Its aim is also to question its relevance and applicability in the francophone world, especially but not exclusively in the francophone countries in the Southern hemisphere. Since 2006, francophone institutions have reflected on the different dimensions of the concept but discussion still exists on the way to share global competences and include them in educational programs.

The paper contextualizes and questions the multifaceted concept, analyzing its dimensions: economic globalization, sustainable development on a global scale (which is, or should be a tautology) and finally education itself. The paper acts also as a reminder of the different dimensions encapsulated in the concept of global competency itself: its individual, historical, geographical, linguistic, didactical and political dimensions in the construction of the francophone space on the one hand, and on the other, its educational policies. The paper attempts at defining a common language to teach global competencies, veering around the notions of territory based on a common good, transdisciplinary and plurilingual studies and the meaning of living together for francophones.

In francophone countries in Africa, where education should be more aligned with sustainability to prevent high school dropout rates in poor rural areas, focusing on this notion is a true challenge. Reflecting on education would not be limited to a merely copying other educational systems. It would however take into consideration contextual and linguistic diversity and cultural values strengthening sustainable development and the patrimonial resolution of conflicts.

Schleicher and Ramos’ note comprises a general introduction of the concept of global competence and a detailed prototype survey that students have to fill out. This valuable survey deserves a critical reading. Indeed, accepting its general hypothesis as the reflection of a global ethical vision shared by cosignatory members states does not naturally entail accepting it as an unarguable and definite reading and assessment grid.

 

DEVCO selection & management of external expertise

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Summary : The European Commission uses a vast amount of expertise for the design, implementation and monitoring of its external action projects, led by the Directorate General for International and Development (DEVCO) and the Directorate General for Enlargement and Neighbourhood (DG NEAR). The Commission is one of the largest institutional support funding sources in the world, using intervention methods and procedures that are a reference in the world of expertise. However, the terms of this mobilization raise difficulties and problems which are rarely discussed. Evolution of this recruitment system has contributed to the emergence of « body shop » consultancies, with uncertain skills and poorly defined value-added, which overwhelmingly rely on outsourced expertise. Indeed, present contracting and monitoring methods do not allow the European Commission to ensure Quality in the implementation of development projects. Solutions do exist, which require an open and frank debate.

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