Process of surveying, mapping, organizing, monitoring and disseminating community outreach projects aligned with the SDGs and carried out at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, Ecuador.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ’s Community Outreach Department implemented a process to map, organize, monitor and disseminate community outreach projects led by university professors with the participation of students and external partners. These projects seek to contribute to the SDGs through addressing the problems or needs of society.
We began with the creation of a guide for outreach processes detailing what an outreach project is, how it is structured, how it is aligned with the SDGs, how it is monitored and evaluated, etc.
A digital information system “Community Outreach Platform” was built to standardize project information. Information was gathered on the outreach projects that were being carried out and was entered into the new platform.
The next step was to inform professors about the new process guide, the platform and the process for entering new projects. Workshops and training sessions were held for this purpose.
Outreach projects were disseminated through different media: microsites were created for each project, and social networks were used to disseminate the results of outreach projects and communicate the activities to be carried out to attract the community. Also, promotional videos were made on projects emphasizing their alignment with at least one SDG. Events were organized around the SDGs with the aim of communicating information about the projects to encourage community participation and create new projects. Finally, the monographic series “Spheres” was created, which publishes the results of projects aligned with the SDGs; the recent edition contains projects that contribute to SDGs 3 and 4.
The next steps are to continue with the activities of approval, monitoring and evaluation of projects to obtain information on their results; dissemination of the projects to motivate more professors, students and external partners to participate and learn about the work being done around the SDGs; and continue with the publication of the monographic series Spheres, with projects aligned to the other SDGs, to disseminate the work methodologies and results of the projects and allow them to be transferred and replicated in other sites.