Defining eco-social capacity building and its evaluation: A case study in environmental community engagement in Western Sydney
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Literature on education for sustainability recommends the development of new learning methods and the extension of participatory, experiential and social learning processes, largely because of slow progress towards sustainability. Recognising past work on environmental literacy, we explore lessons from a cultural project funding program for environmental education in Western Sydney, which seeks to develop community capacity to advocate better environmental water policy; that is, to enhance eco-social capacity. University of Western Sydney researchers are using action research processes with community groups who sought funding for community engagement initiatives around local water sustainability. Here, we report the initial findings about the capacity of proponents, at the funding application stage, to identify and evaluate environmental community engagement outcomes of their proposed projects. We identify ways of developing and funding such projects that might increase the capacity of community groups to engage others in greater sustainability.
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