Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

International collaboration Related Abstracts

3 Tips for Effective Intercultural Collaboration on the Evaluation of an International Program

Authors: Athanase Gahungu, Karen Freeman


Different groups of stakeholders expect the evaluation of an international, grant-funded program to inform them of the worth of the program - the funder, the agency operating the program and its community, and the citizens of the country where the program is implemented. This paper summarizes the challenges that intercultural teams of researchers faced as they crisscrossed a host country while evaluating a teaching and learning materials program, and offers useful tips for effective collaboration. Firstly, was recommended that the teams be representative of the cultures involved, and have the required research and program evaluation skills. Secondly, cultures involved must consistently establish and maintain a shared performance system. Thirdly, successful team members must be self-aware, inter-culturally knowledgeable, not just in communication, but in conceptualizing the political and social context of international grant-funded projects.

Keywords: Intercultural, International collaboration, Program Evaluation, shared performance

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2 Fire Risk Information Harmonization for Transboundary Fire Events between Portugal and Spain

Authors: Domingos Viegas, Miguel Almeida, Carmen Rocha, Ilda Novo, Yolanda Luna


Forest fires along the more than 1200km of the Spanish-Portuguese border are more and more frequent, currently achieving around 2000 fire events per year. Some of these events develop to large international wildfire requiring concerted operations based on shared information between the two countries. The fire event of Valencia de Alcantara (2003) causing several fatalities and more than 13000ha burnt, is a reference example of these international events. Currently, Portugal and Spain have a specific cross-border cooperation protocol on wildfires response for a strip of about 30km (15 km for each side). It is recognized by public authorities the successfulness of this collaboration however it is also assumed that this cooperation should include more functionalities such as the development of a common risk information system for transboundary fire events. Since Portuguese and Spanish authorities use different approaches to determine the fire risk indexes inputs and different methodologies to assess the fire risk, sometimes the conjoint firefighting operations are jeopardized since the information is not harmonized and the understanding of the situation by the civil protection agents from both countries is not unique. Thus, a methodology aiming the harmonization of the fire risk calculation and perception by Portuguese and Spanish Civil protection authorities is hereby presented. The final results are presented as well. The fire risk index used in this work is the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI), which is based on meteorological data. The FWI is limited on its application as it does not take into account other important factors with great effect on the fire appearance and development. The combination of these factors is very complex since, besides the meteorology, it addresses several parameters of different topics, namely: sociology, topography, vegetation and soil cover. Therefore, the meaning of FWI values is different from region to region, according the specific characteristics of each region. In this work, a methodology for FWI calibration based on the number of fire occurrences and on the burnt area in the transboundary regions of Portugal and Spain, in order to assess the fire risk based on calibrated FWI values, is proposed. As previously mentioned, the cooperative firefighting operations require a common perception of the information shared. Therefore, a common classification of the fire risk for the fire events occurred in the transboundary strip is proposed with the objective of harmonizing this type of information. This work is integrated in the ECHO project SpitFire - Spanish-Portuguese Meteorological Information System for Transboundary Operations in Forest Fires, which aims the development of a web platform for the sharing of information and supporting decision tools to be used in international fire events involving Portugal and Spain.

Keywords: International collaboration, data harmonization, FWI, transboundary wildfires

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1 Raising Awareness of Education for Sustainable Development Oriented School Programs and Curriculum

Authors: Dina L. DiSantis


The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) provides an opportunity for teachers from the United States and Japan to travel to each other’s countries in order to experience and learn how each country is implementing efforts to educate for sustainability. By offering programs such as the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); teachers from both countries become more aware of what ESD school programs and curricula are being implemented in both countries. Teachers gain a greater sense of global interconnectedness when they are given the opportunity to share in each other’s culture and life. The primary objectives of the program are to foster a mutual exchange between the teachers in the United States and Japan, to increase an understanding of culture and educational systems, to give teachers opportunities to collaborate on lessons and projects in areas of sustainability and to enhance professional development opportunities for both U.S and Japanese teachers. The two areas of focus for teachers, are food education and environmental education. Teachers from both countries collaborate and design curriculum and projects for their students in order to help them become more aware of the importance of global sustainability. An overview of the program and the results of an international collaborative project, encouraging local eating and forging a cultural connection to food will be presented.

Keywords: Environmental education, International collaboration, Education for Sustainable Development, food education

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