Open education and development collaboration: a broken promise

I work on a project (supported by Delft University of Technology) to investigate the (often limited) Open education as part of capacity building programs for universities in developing countries.
*Results will be presented during a conference and will take into consideration two cases that I’m involved in.

If anyone is interested in sharing experiences or contribute, please let me know!.

Below you will find a more detailed description.

Joost Groot Kormelink - Manager Open and Online Education

OER and Open education (OER/OE) could in principle be of great added value within the framework of for such capacity building programs:

• In principle it means open (free) access to high quality materials for both staff and students. Most CC-licences also allow adaptations to ensure local relevance.
• Activities focusing on (the joint) development of OER can increase impact in terms of: visibility, reputation, efficiency, contextualization, share and preserve local knowledge in specific fields, quality and outreach activities (re-use of materials).
• OE/OER -if implemented adequately- can sustain course and curriculum development and improve student-retention.
However, as mentioned above, open education and re-use of OER is not part (and parcel) of such programs or even a component. In this project I would like to investigate:

• What the reasons hereto are from the perspective of the donors and universities in the South (i.e. Africa).
• How open education and OER (re-use and development) could be better embedded in capacity building programs: i.e. : what are the conditions for success and what are the obstacles.
• The potential - but also risks (think about a strong bias in favour of Western knowledge and visibility at the expense of local sources)- of Gen-AI.
The idea is to address these issues from 3 angles: a) Social/cultural, b) Institutional and c) Technology.

The final result will be conference papers with a focus on awareness and a contribution to agenda setting from a policy perspective.


Thank you Joost for returning here to OEG connect to share this work, definitely of relevance to this community.

Can you maybe share a link to learn more about this project? What specifically defines a “capacity building program” - is it alignment with a UNESCO or other definition or are there other characteristics?

I am one who likes to explore examples to understand a topic I do not know much about.

All of these questions you pose are interesting, but generalized. Can you provide examples/links for specific capacity building programs? Ones that perhaps have incorporated open practices but also ones that have not?

I might guess it includes something like the Commonwealth of Learning Pacific Island Partnership that I also know @Mackiwg at the OER Foundation has been part-- e.g.

Nice project! Do you know when this conference will be? I am curious about the results :slight_smile:

There is no link yet but my cases will be based on:

An: cap4city – Strengthening Governance Capacity for Smart Suistanable Cities

Both have in common: joint development and re-use of OER.

Still to be determined…

Hello Joost. The answer to your question is complicated. But it has something to do with a fierce competition for resources (including OER grants from Europe). There are also some assumptions being made about priorities. Using OER to offer openly licensed text books is not as much as offering employees a market related salary. Prof Jonathan Jansen has quite a bleak perspective on capacity building projects. See