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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


9. Youth and the World

9.4 Raising awareness about global issues

Formal, non-formal and informal learning

Development communication and education in Austria 

According to the Federal Government's Three-Year Development Programme 2019–2021 development education work and public relations in Austria include

  • Portraying the social, environmental and economic aspects of development, especially with a view to the 2030 Agenda as well as highlighting the opportunities and benefits of development cooperation for Austria, while also making a critical appraisal

  • Discussing Austria’s global networking and the attendant scope and challenges, particularly related to the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Organising voluntary, quality-assured stays abroad (activities under the Volunteer Service Act (Freiwilligengesetz) and others that contribute to development education in Austria)

  • Advancing global learning and global citizenship education for modern general education (in schools, universities, out-of-school work with children and youth and also adult education)

  • Fostering dialogue, cooperation and strategic partnerships together with institutions, organisations and businesses outside the development-policy sector

  • Promoting civil-society projects and strengthening tried and tested institutions

  • Supporting campaigns for reinforcing relevant thematic clusters

  • Advancing arguments for the impacts and benefits of development policy to the Austrian public'

The Austrian Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (short version) (Österreichische Strategie zur Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung) has been issued by the former Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the former Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the former Federal Ministry of Science and Research in 2008.

Citizenship education is a cross-curricular educational principle. A general ordinance has been issued in 2015. Zentrum polis is the central pedagogical service institution for curricular citizenship/political education. Citizenship education is being taught in different subjects: History, History and social science, political education and geography and economics. An overview table (tabellarische Übersicht) depicts to what extent citizenship education is taught in all secondary level schools. BAOBAB provides a link collection for school workshops by Austrian NGOs addressing global issues.

Environmental education: FORUM for sustainable development (FORUM Umweltbildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung)

The FORUM Environmental education for sustainable development is an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie) and the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung). It combines more than thirty years of experience in environmental education with innovative and ground-breaking educational approaches especially in the field of education for sustainable development (ESD).

It offers educational support via publications, websites, events like conferences and workshops, innovative flagship projects, educational networks, educational funds and personal contact. FORUM Umweltbildung works for a target group of educators in the formal (school and university) and non-formal (further education, adult education) educational sector in Austria. Together with the Institute for Environment, Peace and Development (IUFE), it has published the reading book 'Our world. Our Future' on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a knowledge quiz, an environmental teaching poster, and the card game 'challenge accepted'.

Austrian Latin America Institute (Österreichisches Lateinamerika-Institut, LAI)

LAI is an interdisciplinary orientated organisation, aiming at intensifying dialogue and exchange between Austria and Latin America. It was founded as an association in 1965 and receives subsidies for its work in development politics as well as scientific and cultural events and projects.

Supporting educators

The Strategy Global Education in the Austrian Education System (Strategie Globales Lernen im österreichischen Bildungssystem) has been developed from 2007 until its publishing by the strategy group in 2009. The strategy group consisted of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders and was formed in 2003. The strategy is currently under revision. Additionally, the strategy group organises a yearly conference under the title 'Global Learning: Potentials and Perspectives' for teacher trainers, teachers and the interested public. The web portal Strategy Global Education (Strategie Globales Lernen) provides information on the strategy, activities, teaching material and an overview of events.

The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung) provides an overview on offered handbooks, guideline and teaching material of various actors on its website.

Teaching folder on SDGs for schools

The teaching folder on '17 goals for a better world' (Unterrichtsmappe- Die 17 Ziele für eine bessere Welt) is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung) to support teachers in conveying these important topics. The folder aims to raise awareness and to promote a conscious look at the 17 sustainable development goals in class.

Our world, think globally, act locally (Our World – Global denken, lokal handeln.)

The National Youth Council (Bundesjugendvertretung) offers training for educators in extracurricular youth work. The training provides an insight into global problems and existing solution approaches. Thematic inputs and methods are part of the training. The global education approach imparts knowledge to educators on global issues and calls attention to complex worldwide correlations. The focus is set on consumption & lifestyle, nutrition & environment, and participation & engagement. The training is provided free of charge and takes place in various regions. Co-operation partners are various governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.

C3 Centre for International Development

'The C3 Centre for International Development is a place of research, discourse and education in the field of international development. Five organisations offer a unique venue for dialogue, discussion and reflection on issues relevant to international development. These are: ÖFSE - the Austrian Foundation for Development Research; BAOBAB - a developmental education and training resource; Frauensolidarität - Solidarity among Women; the Paulo Freire Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Research and Dialogical Education; and the Mattersburg Circle for Development Politics at Austrian Universities.'


BAOBAB is a central learning and communication place for global education in Austria. With anextensive library, advanced training offers for kindergarten teachers, teachers and multipliers and the development of educational materialsBAOBAB promotes the discussion on development and global issues.

Youth Environment Platform (Jugend-Umwelt-Plattform, JUMP)

JUMP links social, ecological and economic concerns and actively support the sustainable development of society. It encourages youth participation in environmentaland socio-political processes, by motivating young people to work for a sustainable and environmentally conscious society. JUMP promotes and actively supports young people's commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. The platform organises environmental education events for young people, cooperates with environmental education institutions, transports young people's environmental concerns and ideas, and networks young people with people, initiatives and organisations that are committed to the sustainable development of society. It also show careers perspectives in the environmental sector, enables young people to pass a voluntary environmental year, and initiates environmental projects and implements them together with young people in order to set impulses for the establishment of sustainable development.

Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues

The Austrian Development Agencyprovides information on global issues and started the MITMACHEN (Participating) initiative. Information on governmental and non-governmental initiatives and projects are provided on this platform.

The 6th and 7th Forum Youth Strategy (Forum Jugendstrategie) by the former Federal Ministry of Families and Youth have had the focus on participation and the sustainable development goals.

Most campaigns addressing global issues in Austria are launched by NGOs (some of which are partially supported by the government). Listed NGOs receive financial support from the government. Many other NGOs work independently from government funding.

The 'Mother Earth' media project

The environmental association 'We for the world' runs the project 'Mutter Erde' ('mother earth') on behalf of the Austrian Public Broadcasting Corporation (Österreichischer Rundfunk, ORF) and  leading environmental and nature conservation organisations in Austria (Alpenverein/Alpine Association, BirdLife, GLOBAL 2000, Greenpeace, Naturfreunde/Friends of Nature, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, VCÖ and WWF). The aim is to create awareness for the environment, to encourage (young) people to take action and to support environmental and nature conservation projects. Each year, a different relevant environmental topic is the focus of the joint activities. Previous thematic focuses have been set on water (2014), bees (2015), food waste (2016), climate protection (2017), agriculture (2018), using instead of wasting (2019) and 'Our Climate, Our Future - It's in Our Hands' (2020). Each year more than 150 contributions in all public media - television, radio, online, provincial TV studios and Teletext - are dedicated to the topics of climate protection and species conservation. The motto for 2021 is 'Protect climate, protect species', which highlights the connections between the climate crisis and species extinction. The focus is not only on the status quo but also on solutions for climate protection and species conservation. While the campaign as a whole is directed towards the general population, specific offers target young people in particular.

Information providers

Austrian Foundation for Development Research (Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung, ÖFSE)

ÖFSE is Austria's leading research and information centre on development cooperation and development policy. Research at ÖFSE is interdisciplinary and practice-oriented. Its Science & Research department offers information, analysis and advice on the following topics:

  • International development policy and development cooperation
  • Public and private development policy and development cooperation in Austria
  • Global economy and development economics
  • Education – Research – Development
Austrian Society for Environment and Technology (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Umwelt und Technik, ÖGUT)

The Austrian Society for Environment and Technology is an independent non-profit organisation which has been focusing on sustainability in economy and society for more than 30 years. The platform brings together institutions from economic backgrounds, administrative bodies and environmental groups.

The web portal „Partizipation and Sustainable Development in Europe is owned by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie) and its content is handled by the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology.

Südwind Magazine

The Südwind-Magazine has been reporting on topics like international politics, culture and international development policy since 1979. The magazine's mission is to inform the public on social, political, economic and cultural realities in so-called third-world countries, on development policies and international cooperation.

Youth Portal (Jugendportal)

The Federal Network of Austrian Youth Information Centers' Website provides youth with selected information and links to important players on any relevant topic, including the focus areas of 'democracy and youth poliy', 'Europe and EU', and 'Society and Environment'. It has also established a focus on 'With Facts against Fake News: Climate Change'.

Key initiatives

Global education week

The global education week takes place annually since 1999. Through the Global Education Week young people should learn about the causes and effects of global and local issues. Each year a link collection and teaching material are provided according to the corresponding theme. The NGO responsible for the Austrian Global Education Week is Südwind. Beside support from  EU-funds, this initiative is promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research. During this week, 10 workshops and film screenings are provided for schools and organisations in the field of extracurricular youth work. The action week takes place Europe-wide and is aimed at strengthening the pedagogical concept of Global Learning and thus contributing to the achievement of the 17 sustainable development goals of the Agenda 2030. It targets teachers and educators in all sectors as well as children and young people.

Platform for Development and Humanitarian Aid (Globale Verantwortung)

The umbrella organisation 'Global Responsibility' is an Austrian Platform for development and humanitarian aid and currently represents the interests of 34 member organisations, active in the fields of development cooperation, development education and policy work, as well as humanitarian aid and sustainable global economic, social and ecological development. A fact-sheet on public development co-operation and humanitarian aid gives an overview of the budget spent in Austria.


care Austria is a private and both politically and religiously independent aid organisation and supported by means of the Austrian development cooperation and of the European Union. Its main focus lies in the areas of disaster aid & humanitarian aid, social development and environment & development. CARE helps families and communities with innovative development programs as well as with professional emergency help. CARE compiles lasting solutions for their social, economic and ecological problems with the people.

CARE acts as an advocate to strategically influence national and international political decisions which affect the life of the poorest people worldwide.


Diakonie disaster aid (Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe) and the sister organisation Bread for the World (Brot für die Welt) are member organisations of Diakonie Austria – the Austrian Protestant relief group. They are responsible for humanitarian aid work within the network and are responsible for projects providing development aid.

FIAN (FoodFirst Information and Action Network) - Austria

FIAN is an international human rights organisation to advocate for the realisation of the right to food and nutritionFIAN Austriahas developed various strategies to promote its concerns: research and documentation, campaigns and actions, lobbying, education and media work, networking.

Women's solidarity (Frauensolidarität)

The association women's solidarity is active since 1982 and is involved in women's rights in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In the information work in Austria the association connects feminist and development concepts.


HORIZONT3000 is the largest Austrian non-governmental development cooperation organisation. With their work, they help disadvantaged people in the Global South to develop in a sustainable and humane way.

Light for the world (Licht für die Welt)

Light for the world is an international disability and development NGO aiming at an inclusive society with the core member 'Licht für die Welt-Christofell Entwicklungszusammenarbeit'. Initially, prevention of blindness and restoration of eyesight were the most important focus. In the last recent years the scope has been widened towards the promotion of inclusive education, community-based rehabilitation, and disability rights.


As an independent organisation for international development education and public relation, Südwind advocates for a worldwide solidarity.

The core competencies and key fields of action are:

  • international development education in Austria,
  • production of international development media,
  • introduction of international development issues and concerns into civil society initiatives, (campaigns, studies on global issues, etc.),
  • lobbying.
 Youth one world (Jugend eine Welt)

Jugend Eine Welt operates in the spirit of Don Bosco, a Christian patron of youth. It is an international aid organisation with the purpose national and international youth welfare and cooperation for sustainable development.