Background paper

Building a Reciprocal Relationship between Education and SDG 11

This paper discusses how building a reciprocal relationship between education and SDG 11 is a prerequisite for urban transformation and sustainability.

South Africa First Engagement Paper

This paper is a
companion piece to the South African background
paper and outlines the insight gained from our first engagement with a wide range of stakeholders,
practitioners, activists and researchers in South Africa.

South Africa

In this background paper we consider both: 1) how education can contribute to sustainable development, and 2) how sustainable development can shape quality, relevant education. We also frame the meaning of education broadly, within a lifelong learning framework that includes formal education, technical and vocational education and training, work and learning, as well as social movement and community education and social learning.

Co-Creating Education for Sustainable Futures

The aim of this background paper is to explain the overall methodological approach and key concepts that inform our work as researchers within the Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures Network Plus. In particular, we will seek to explain what we mean by the idea of ‘knowledge co-creation’ which underpins our approach and what this means in practical terms for the design and implementation of research projects in the area of education for sustainable futures.


This country background paper examines the issues of sustainable development and education with regards to the current situation in Somalia/Somaliland. It expands on the TESF Somalia/Somaliland Briefing Note, which sets out the need for education systems in Somalia and Somaliland to be transformed and provides valuable context to aid understanding, analysis of and action on education and United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


This background paper discusses the situation of education in Rwanda, and the possibility of education to enhance sustainable development in Rwanda. It addresses key opportunities and challenges for different levels and forms of education to achieve sustainable development and identifies gaps that should be addressed so that education becomes a catalyst for the achievement of sustainable development in Rwanda.


This background paper highlights some of the key concerns across the sectors of school, higher and teacher education in India. A few potential research themes that can help problematise the issues raised have been identified. An emphasis is laid on the need to build on practice-based repositories of knowledge, curricular framing and pedagogic strategies.

Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures: Foundations Paper

This background paper aims to develop initial understanding based on a critical engagement with the existing literature of how key terms that are used to frame the work of the Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures (TESF) Network Plus are understood.

Mobilising Capacities for Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures: Opening Spaces for Collaborative Action and Learning

This background paper introduces plans for collaboration, learning and action within the Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures (TESF) Network Plus. It reports our experiences to date and aspirations moving forward for mobilising capacities for TESF and outlines the monitoring and evaluation processes we have established to support learning and adaptation in the network.

Skilling for Sustainable Futures: To SDG 8 and Beyond

This background paper takes a critical stance on the education – economic development relationship as reflected in current economic models, as well as proposes key questions TESF work can address in relation to skilling for sustainable futures.