How to approach this document?

These guidelines offer an insight into specific aspects that need to be taken into account throughout the life cycle of an international/intercultural activity in order to create this environment. The interested users will find here a basic introduction into intercultural dialogue (ICD) as a broader concept, related concepts, and their relevance to learning and education in non-formal settings and youth work.

Complementary to this, users will be guided with the help of a detailed but not exhaustive list of criteria and indicators, step by step, from preparation to implementation to follow-up. The first phase of the process – the preparation – is given more emphasis, since the preparation of the space, the group and the learning activities in which intercultural dialogue takes place plays a crucial role in the success of such activity. The criteria and indicators presented below are specific to intercultural dialogue, not non-formal education activities in general.

The document can be approached in various ways. It is highly dependent on your personal experience in the field as well as on the type of the activity you are planning to organise. You can find some recommendations below, but feel free to find the way that best suits you for using this toolbox.

  • Read carefully the description of ICD in the next chapter. It explains the approach to intercultural dialogue we used while developing this tool and hence serves as the basis you need for understanding and using the tool. Don’t worry! We tried to keep it as short as possible. It simply aims at highlighting the essence and importance of ICD in the context of youth work and non-formal learning / education. The more you manage to adjust the principles described in this chapter into your activity, the more potential it has to be on an ideal track! And don’t forget: “Tracks were made for journeys, not destinations”!
  • The criteria and indicators were developed based on these principles. They are not a ‘must-do’ universal recipe for intercultural dialogue. They do however offer a clear picture – hopefully – of how the principles and values of intercultural dialogue in non-formal learning can be put into practice in youth work. Use them as guidelines and reflect over the possibilities on how intercultural dialogue could be better integrated into your activity.
  • The criteria and indicators are organised around the main phases of an activity: preparation, implementation, and follow-up. In each of these phases the main aspects that need to be taken into account in an intercultural perspective are highlighted and supported by a series of soft indicators that can help you develop your activity – whether your activity is specifically about ICD or you are focusing on another topic, but want to include a transversal approach to intercultural dialogue.
  • Taking into account the fact that people might have a different understanding about the same concepts, a glossary is provided at the end to the document. It defines some of the concepts that are crucial to understanding the perspective used throughout the document. Moreover, specific examples are given for some of the indicators, in order to clarify their meaning and suggest certain way of putting them into practice.

Let’s start the intercultural action!