Capacity Strengthening in Teaching and Facilitated Experiential Collective Innovation
From June 2010 until May 2014 MSM participated in a project aiming to strengthen the capacity of three historically disadvantages universities in South Africa (i.e., the University of Limpopo, of Fort Hare and of Venda) to integrate teaching, action-research and community engagement, enhance inter-institutional linkages for collective innovation. In doing so, the universities have delivered graduates with more relevant knowledge and skills to support inclusive (pro-poor) economic development and transformation, and to fill in major gaps on the labor market.
Whereas the project was targeted primarily towards the university staff (lecturers, managers) and their students, it explicitly involved rural communities and rural development stakeholders in collective learning and action. The project promoted gender sensitivity and equality as well, and ensured that a large percentage of the staff and students involved in capacity strengthening programs were women, that 50% of the innovation challenges addressed through field work were identified by women and also involvde a majority of women, and that effects on gender relationships within universities, and rural communities – i.e., those involved in the field projects – were addressed and monitored.