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K4C Network Launch in India

13 Nov 2017  --  13 Nov 2017

New Delhi, India


Community Based Research got a major boost in India with the launch of the UNESCO supported Knowledge for Change (K4C) Network. The Network will achieve sustainabilty and equality through community based research in higher education.

It is increasingly being realized that the traditional approach to knowledge production, known as the ‘research function’ in Higher Education Institutions, is not sufficient to deal with contemporary challenges of inequality and unsustainability. There is a need for ‘new knowledge’, generated through novel/innovative means, if we are to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UN 2030 Agenda. Higher education in India needs to be aligned to these goals, educating the next generation on pathways to sustainability and equality in our societies.
The Knowledge for Change (K4C) Network is an innovative way to address this gap and produce new knowledge. The Network was launched today in Delhi by the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education in partnership with Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), University of Victoria, Canada and National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA). The launch was chaired by Dr N.V. Varghese, Vice Chancellor, NUEPA. Delegates from Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa attended the launch.

K4C will bring about social change by building new knowledge through action partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and local stakeholders. In order to do so, the K4C Network will train the next generation students and professors on Community Based Research (CBR). Community Based Research is an ethical approach to research that equitably involves community members, organizational representatives, and researchers in all aspects of the research process. Every partner contributes expertise and shares in decision making and ownership of the research agenda to help find solutions to critical societal issues.

“There is a need to recognize the value of linking community-based knowledge with academic knowledge. Higher education cannot be delinked from community and societal problems. Addressing inequalitiy and unsustainable development around the world demands community sensitive knowledge creation,” says Dr. Rajesh Tandon, UNESCO, Co-Chair and Founder-President, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA).

“Our aim is to produce more than 1300 community based researchers and mentors over the next five years through this initiative,” said Dr N.V. Varghese, Vice Chancellor, NUEPA.

"Community is one of the most richest source of knowledge for sustainable solutions", said Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and Regional Representative, UNESCO, based in New Delhi. "UNESCO has a deep belief that community should be the game changers, and their contribution should be shared through higher education."

Previous research led by the UNESCO Chair has shown that despite high demand for training and learning about doing Community Based Research, formal, structured training opportunities are scarce. Presently, university training in Community Based Research is limited and offers little practical exposure to the students. The K4C Network will help build new ways of learning Community Based Research and creating conditions needed for innovative models of research and research training programs to flourish. It will offer a variety of means to enhance individual and institutional research training capacities and support the transition of K4C trainees to the workplace in academic and non-academic settings.


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  • PRIA facilitators listen, engage and explain at the level where participants understand and learn through many practical exercises. The best workshop on gender that our employees have attended

    Tsering Youdon
    Program Officer, Swedish Organisation for Individual Relief
    SOIR-IM, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
  • Elected members & officials from Northern Province, Sri Lanka visited PRIA to learn about their exemplary work in developing citizen participation in governance and service delivery. JGU thanks PRIA.

    Prof. R. Sudarshan
    Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
    O.P. Jindal Global University
  • Undeniably good work done by PRIA. My visits to the communities they work with let me hear grassroots voices and stories...deeply rewarding for my personal growth, work and future research

    Loreen Regnander
    Intern, University of Victoria, Canada
  • PRIA has helped to build a large movement for citizens to use Panchayati Raj Institutions at the local level, to use their leadership, their voice, to bring about democracy from below

    Dr John Gaventa, Director of Research
    Institute of Development Studies
    Sussex, UK
  • Thank you PRIA -- for helping me gain the confidence to speak up. Today, I do not hesitate to speak with the sarpanch.

    Renu Joshi
    ASHA worker
    Hinglaz gali Anganwadi Centre, Siwana Block, Barmer, Rajasthan
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of being able to enroll myself in the course…this program has opened my eyes to possibilities for my life which were previously unconsidered

    Tripti Vinita Pal, Alumnus
    Appreciation course
  • I am a third party facilitator for three large institutions but I did not know half the things we have discussed in the Third Party Facilitator Training I attended organized by PRIA

    Joint Secretary of Lakshmi, an NGO
  • Participatory Approaches for Social Inclusion course was undoubtedly beneficial for my research work, providing a deep understanding of theoretical aspects and the applied side of participation

    Pallavi Mishra
    PhD Research Scholar
    Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • We learnt multi-stakeholder dialogue as a tool for advocacy from PRIA…it is a wonderful tool for organising people

    Ashok Kadam
  • I am an example of the Kishori Panchayat Programme which gave young girls the desire to do something, a reason to embrace life

    Kishori Panchayat Member