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Universities as ‘global citizens’: reflections and learning from a project on female leadership for sustainable development of fishing communities in Colombia

Barrios, Lina and Vargas, Valeria and Prowse, Alicia (2021) Universities as ‘global citizens’: reflections and learning from a project on female leadership for sustainable development of fishing communities in Colombia. In: Universities, Sustainability and Society: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. World Sustainability Series, 13384 . Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-63398-1

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Abstract

Research funding for projects in countries that are on the list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) – which is a measure of flows of international aid - has increased over the years. Universities have been working on projects through these funding streams that focus on sustainable development. Therefore, there has been an increase in funded research on sustainable development. However, sustainable development research in the Global South funded by international aid can be seen as paternalistic and neocolonial. Using Brookfield’s lenses, this paper presents the reflections of the researcher/educators on a research project in one of the ODA countries: Colombia. The project focused on female leadership for sustainable development in a rural fishing community and was funded by the QR Global Challenges Research fund. The paper explores the learning related to symmetrical and asymmetrical power relations, agency and identity as perceived by three researcher/educators. Finally, it examines the potential of these types of projects for universities’ critical global citizenship.

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