International cooperation in adult education is at the heart of this issue of our journal. We are documenting, reviewing and evaluating several experiences, and at the same time we are celebrating some of them due to their respective jubilee years. This is especially so for the 25 years of cooperation between the Asian South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education (ASPBAE) and the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education (IIZ/DVV), which started way back in 1978. The hosts of this event were the Chinese Adult Education Association (CAEA) who together with ASPBAE invited to come to Bejing for a conference on International Cooperation in Adult Education. The most important points from the presentations and in the debate are reflected in The Year of the Sheep, written by Chris Duke with inputs at different stages from Maria Khan, Rajesh Tandon and Heribert Hinzen. The analytical perspective asked: what was special in this cooperation – and what can be learned for other partnerships and projects? To add to this dimension we include as a reprint an evaluative review from the early 80ies looking at the beginning years of our cooperation. The Chinese presentations touched important areas of recent developments in basic and vocational adult education even in higher education, and additional inputs looked at topics like finances in international cooperation or women and justice. At the end there was a clear view that the conference was very successful in its reflective as well as celebrative aspects – thanks ASPBAE and CAEA!

Then there follows a section on our cooperation with some of our Indian partners. Dr. K. Sivadasan Pillai looks at the Kerala Association for Nonformal Education and Development (KANFED). Here it was in 1976 when the first proposal reached DVV, and when negotiations started between him and our then Asia desk officer, Bernd Pflug – who is now living in Kerala permanently. The project support lasted a little over a decade, but the positive outcomes are still alive. Again, we include a reprint looking at the early years. The second Indian partner here is the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), based in Dehli, but with regional partners in several parts of India. PRIA celebrated its 20th year of its existence, and IIZ/DVV enjoys a partnership with PRIA for almost the same duration.

Regional cooperation in African adult literacy and basic education was taken up by John Aitchison during a recent South African Development Community (SADC) Conference. Again the question is: what can we learn from each other – and what is the additional benefit in lying in cooperation and partnerships? On a very practical level Wolfgang Leumer, Director of the IIZ/DVV-Office in Capetown in South Africa, looks at the networking needs of institutions and individuals involved in the training of adult educators.

Finally, we look at developments in Europe. Rita Süssmuth, President of DVV, gave the keynote address during the November 2002 Sofia conference on Lifelong Learning in Europe: Moving towards EFA Goals and the Confintea V Agenda. She concentrated on recent developments in adult education in Central and Eastern Europe, with all its dramatic changes during the last decade, but still on its move towards better policy and legislation for lifelong learning in most of the countries in the region, and asking for better cooperation. You may remember, the last issue of this journal carried the Sofia Call to Action. The new President of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), Janós Tóth, started his term of office with an reflection on the future of EAEA; here we provide his view on international cooperation. A more comparative view is employed by Anita Klapan and Ilija Lavrnja, discussing similarities and differences in the developments of Adult Education in Croatia and Slovenia. Recently Dr. Klapan informed us that Prof Lavrnja has passed away, so the publication of this article is in remembrance and recognition of his contribution to the adult education movement.

This issue is coming as a just in time production for the Confintea V+6 conference in Bangkok, September 2003, following the Hamburg Unesco World Conference on Adult Education in 1997, where at both meetings as Theme 10 under the heading of Enhancing International Cooperation and Solidarity a reflective view was, and is again, debated in the respective round table. AED therefore provides food for thought for the participants and organisers!

Additional input is the supplement to AED 60 which is the study on Adult Basic Learning and Education (ABLE) by Rosa María Torres, which was commissioned by Sida (Swedish International Development CooperationAgency) and is published now at the same time by them, IIEP (UNESCO Institute for Educational Planning) and us – a real concerted effort or joint venture to improve the debate and practice of adult basic education and learning.  

Prof.(H) Dr. Heribert Hinzen

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