Global Steps: Background



How did it happen?

The partners met in 2014 – all support organisations and/or individuals who were undertaking international solidarity or international development projects, as well as action on global issues in their own countries.

They saw a huge value from these non-formal international experiences. This value was particularly pronounced in individuals who were unemployed, underemployed and/or not in the formal education system.  Partners also identified that some employers didn’t value international experiences, partly because those participating were unable to translate their skills and experiences into employment.

The partners wanted to facilitate better recognition of global citizenship experiences by those undertaking the experiences and employers.



Defining Global Citizenship


In this process of the creation of the tool, we used three definitions related to global citizenship skills:


  • Global Citizenship: Education aims to empower learners to assume active roles to face and resolve global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world (UNESCO).
  • Global development: Education aims at raising awareness and at strengthening citizens’ capacity to take action, advocate for their rights and take part in the political debate at local, national and international level for social justice and sustainable development (Council of Europe- the North-South Centre)


The global dimension of citizenship is manifested in behaviour that does justice to the principles of mutual dependency in the world, the equality of human beings and the shared responsibility for solving global issues (NCDO).



Steps to reach the Global Citizenship:  a constellation of 7 competences

The competencies and statements in our questionnaire are based on the following existing frameworks :


  •  8 key competences of the European Union
  • 12 transversal competences (European Union – Erasmus France)
  •  21st century skills competences (U.S. department of Education and stakeholders from the private sector)
  •  Oxfam’s curriculum for global citizenship (United Kingdom)


Each partner spoke with external stakeholders in their country including:

  • potential employers
  • individual volunteers
  • NGOs facilitating global citizenship experiences


We looked for synergy between skills volunteers were most likely to develop during a global citizenship experience, and those most valued by employees.

Based on this stakeholder exercise, we identified 7 key competencies and defined each one.



A process of measuring your global citizenship progress:


  • We agreed on 4 levels per competency, with 0 (no competency demonstrated) making a 5th level.
  • We developed level descriptions for each level and competency, aiming to reflect language employers would recognise and value.
  • We then developed 3 questions for each level of each competency (each question was designed to test one aspect of that competency).
  • We used as simple vocabulary as we could, accepting some more challenging words at higher levels on the understanding that those who couldn’t understand that vocabulary probably hadn’t reached the level.
  • We aimed to randomise questions to improve the methodology, but this was not a more detailed methodology of the development of the questions can be downloaded here possible within the technical bounds of this project. The online platform can give anonymised aggregate results for research purposes.



Future goals:


  • To make additional improvements and refinements to the tool, for example, a ‘save and return’ button
  • To develop training so the tool can be effectively used by youth workers, NGO volunteer managers, universities and other sending/volunteering organisations
  • To raise awareness of the tool so it can support as many people as possible to make the most of the global citizenship skills
  • To encourage research based on the results evidencing the value of global citizenship experiences for employability