Since June of 2022, START has partnered with the Education Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) to conduct refresher trainings on the EPIC model in several southern African cities under the EPIC-N Africa Network. To date, these trainings have been held in Pretoria, South Africa for EPIC Coordinators from Durban and Lusaka, Zambia, Gaborone, Botswana and Harare, Zimbabwe. Two upcoming trainings are scheduled to take place in Windhoek, Namibia and Maputo, Mozambique in the near future.
The purpose of these trainings is to rekindle interest in the EPIC model which had been hampered by travel and meeting restrictions as a result of the COVID pandemedic over the past two years. The trainings help to introduce EPIC Coordinators and city partners, and aim for a broader impact than previous rounds by having trainers traveling to the cities, thereby being able to convene larger groups of participants.The trainings are being co-designed with the cities, enabling tailor-made products and sharing of experiences and lessons from other cities. Further, there are more opportunities for face-to-face interactions and connections, which are often missed in virtual interactions.
The EPIC model works by fostering collaboration between universities, local governments and communities to collaboratively address local challenges and improve lives in line with the concepts of sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals. This is done by working with students to enhance innovation in addressing real world problems, thus creating a win-win situation where students’ problem-solving and community engagement skills are strengthened while universities are able to work with communities through outreach and research in their curriculum. Cities also benefit through working directly with universities and communities to resolve challenges at lower costs than with contracted consultants.
The EPIC Africa refresher training has been generously funded by UNEP’s Global Adaptation Network (GAN) which partners with EPIC. If you would like to learn more about the EPIC contact:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com