“Civil Society and the State in Africa”: An International Web Course
York University and the Training and Research Support Centre, September 2008–April 2009
York University (Toronto) working with the Training and Research Support Centre is running an internet-based course, “Civil Society and the State in Africa”, in September 2008 – April 2009. Members of civil society organisations in East and Southern Africa are invited to apply for participation in the course, which is provided free-of-charge. The 12-unit course will take place over 26 weeks, and is designed for civil society practitioners and post-secondary students (see the Lecture Schedule and Topics at the end of this announcement). The course is intended to provide both a firm grounding in current research and debates on civil society interventions around issues of social and economic policy and to provide capacity building in analysis for research on civil society - state interactions in social policy. By the end of the course, students should have a strengthened background in theoretical, strategic and practical issues in and approaches to civil society- state interactions in policy development and implementation, and an improved capacity to locate relevant research sources and support mechanisms for future policy-oriented work. York University will provide formal written acknowledgement of a student’s successful completion of the course once all of the course requirements have been met. Requirements No tuition or other administrative fees will be charged to African participants, subject to the condition that the course is not taken for degree credits at York or another educational institution. Because the course uses internet and web-based technology as the primary means of instruction, students registering in the course must satisfy the following requirements: * Sound “computer literacy”, including working familiarity with: MS Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Internet Browsing, Emailing and the use of “Discussion Forums”, and downloading/uploading files * Ability to read and compose papers, emails and other materials on the computer * Regular access to a computer that runs recent versions of MS Word, Adobe Acrobat, Internet Explorer, and has the capacity to read CD-ROMs * Occasional access to the Internet (from work, home or Internet Cafés) Course participants will be provided with: * Access to the web course site, including lecture materials, background reading materials, discussion forums, York University’s electronic online library, and other relevant research materials for the course * Technical and academic support on email through York University and through the Training and Research Support Centre The course, now in its third year, will require the active participation of students. On average, students will spend at least six hours per week reading course lectures and materials, participating in online discussions, carrying out research projects and other writing projects as part of the course assignments. Given the challenges posed by internet communications in East and Southern Africa it is important that students plan and allow time for their regular engagement with the course. Application Procedures Space in the course is limited. If you wish to apply for registration, please provide: (1) a brief Resume (indicating your relevant and most recent education and employment experience, and including your relevant computer and research skills); (2) a brief letter indicating the reasons why you wish to take the course; and (3) a letter of support for your participation in the course from the civil society organization with which you work; (4) full contact information including postal address, email address and telephone number Please email your application BEFORE 30 AUGUST 2008 to the following address: rsaunder@yorku.ca and admin@tarsc.org Course applications will be closed as soon as adequate eligible candidates are enrolled, so CANDIDATES ARE URGED TO APPLY EARLY. Course Lecture Schedule (includes some flexibility for topics, depending on interests of students) The first unit of the course begins on September 10, 2008. The last unit finishes in the first week of April 2009. There will be a one month break in lecture units in December 2008. THEMES: INTRODUCTION 1. Introduction to the course Part I. THEORETICAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXTS 2. “Community”, Policy Making and Politics 3. Situating the State in Southern Africa 4. “Civil Society” in the Context of Community and State Part II. SOCIAL POLICY CONTEXTS 5. Economic Restructuring, Social Policy Consequences and Organizational Responses 6. Social Restructuring through Health Care: HIV/AIDS Part III. LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTEXTS 7. Local Government Contexts: Local States, Local Communities, Local Strategies 8. Local Government Spaces: Contestation over Municipal Services 9. Local Government Spaces: Shifting Burdens of Health Care Provision Part IV. INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL CONTEXTS 10. Institutional Frameworks: Relationships of State, Community and Civil Society 11. Regional Community Responses and Collaboration on Social Policy Part V. CONCLUSIONS AND FINDINGS 12. Conclusions, Project Presentations and Critique