Approach and target groups

Mise en ligne: 27 mars 2006

Considering the inequality of wealth in the world, particularly between North and South, ITECO offers citizen education for improved solidarity

To contribute to the education of the public about North-South solidarity and international citizenship, and to strengthen the capacity for action, in order :

  • To promote joint thinking and action between individuals and groups from civil society in the North and the South.
  • To support actors in the north in their individual and collective actions to increase solidarity, at home and abroad.
  • To facilitate intercultural dialogue and reflection on the relation between migration and development, to build the base for a multicultural society.
  • To support the implementation of alternatives to the neo-liberal model of society, at home and abroad.


ITECO employ three educational stands : social and political analysis, intercultural exchange, and development education. We do this in an integrated way because all three are closely interconnected and lose relevance when considered individually.

This educational approach aims to reinforce citizens as central actors within society. It is designed to provide methods and tools for analyzing the mechanisms operating in our society. This is the mission of long life education.

Faced with a hegemonic concept of development and a society which shuts its borders to people from the South, ITECO proposes an intercultural approach based on mutual respect and helps to define the main lines of a multicultural society. This is the goal of education for intercultural exchange.

Considering the inequality of wealth in the world, particularly between North and South, ITECO offers citizen education for improved solidarity, to strengthen capacity to facilitate efforts to create a world where power and resources are shared. This is the meaning of development education.

Target groups

ITECO addresses a broad audience interested in questions of development at home and abroad, social action, North-South relations and solidarity.

To achieve maximum impact, ITECO gives priority to training intermediaries, trainers and moderators including :

  • Social-cultural facilitators, moderators of social movements and lifelong training, migrant organizations, youth organizations.
  • Workers in the social sector : social workers, teachers, staff in psycho-medico-social centers, family-planning centers.
  • Trainers and educational movements.
  • Facilitators in the sectors of cooperation, sustainable development and international solidarity (development education, peace education, environmental education, gender education and antiracism).


The basic educational system consists of four integrated dimensions that enable the participants to better understand where they stand in society, how society functions, how they can act and who could be the eventual partners.

ITECO prefers to question society and to ask what can change it, than to offer simple answers for successful development.

An important part of our educational action questions the mechanisms of power and the way these are perpetuated or challenged by individuals, social groups, organizations, and cultural models. We emphasize the importance of analyzing the ways that choices, behaviors and discourses are conditioned, and the socially explainable constraints underlying spontaneous attitudes. This reveals the steps that can lead to freer, more conscious choices geared to action.

We feel that it is helpful to be aware of what determines and conditions the participants because, once they have discovered these borders, they can negotiate choices more effectively and develop criteria for taking action.

All of our educational activities relate to this simple educational system, which embodies our conditions. We identify :

  • A personal dimension, in which participants’ intentions and plans are determined, and the factors that influence their social determination. This is the discovery of « what I am and what I want ».
  • A context dimension, in which the major mechanisms working in society are discovered : the economy, politics, social groups ; and cultural determination.
  • An action dimension, by which people take responsibility for acting in the world.
  • A partnership dimension, because one cannot do social work alone. Action requires others - groups, institutions and persons. Criteria must be developed to choose alliances and the conditions for collaboration.

The educational work we do consists of integrating these four dimensions in a single process. Rather than transmitting knowledge to our target groups, we develop knowledge for action with them.

ITECO thus adheres to adult education methods based on active learning rather than the idea that learning is simply a transmission of knowledge. The tenet of these educational methods is that people learn better by becoming actors in their own training process. In this spirit, we enable participants’ experience and knowledge to play an important part, use active exercises, simulation games and analysis grids. This active and inductive educational method, symbolized by the compass we present to our trainees, helps us to reinforce civil society in the north as an agent for change in north-south relations.

Fields of action

ITECO carries out its mission by means of four educational processes :

  • Training.
  • Advice to associations and institutions in the form of educational support, monitoring and assessment.
  • Making the most of experience and developing a systematic methodology.
  • Work on partnerships and networking.

ITECO is a training centre approved by the Ministry of the French Community of Belgium as an adult education centre. ITECO is also approved as a non-governmental organisation for development education by the Belgian Ministry of development cooperation and profits from the support from the European Commission.