The journey of APPEAR started in 2010 and marked the beginning of an intensive cooperation in research, teaching and management between Austrian higher education institutions, universities and scientific institutions in the priority countries of the Austrian Development Cooperation. In the course of this exciting, challenging journey, always focused on partnership, committed to development policy and scientifically grounded, 43 Academic Partnerships in a total of 20 countries have been realized to date and more than 150 students from the partner countries have graduated with a Master's or PhD degree from an Austrian university.
The celebrations on the occasion of the tenth anniversary in 2020 had to be postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the third phase of APPEAR could nevertheless start in 2021 and, running until the end of 2027 and a total volume of more than 18 million euros, promising maximum planning security. The cooperation between the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the agency of the Austrian Development Cooperation - as the funding acency - and the OeAD, the Agency for Education and Internationalization - as the implementing institution - has proven itself over all these years. Flexibility and responsiveness to rapidly changing local, geopolitical and developmental conditions play a decisive role.
The evening event on 28 June in the attic of the Palace of Justice provided a welcome opportunity to look back on the successes of more than 10 years of APPEAR.
ADA managing director Dr. Friedrich Stift summed up: "The promotion of research in development-relevant subject areas is an important prerequisite for achieving the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda. Another basis is strong partnerships between universities and research institutions in the global South and the global North. This is also repeatedly emphasized by authoritative bodies within the United Nations. APPEAR is making an important contribution to this, and will continue to do so in the coming years."
OeAD managing director Jakob Calice emphasizes, "Science as a driver of development is what the APPEAR program has stood for over a decade. The multi-year Academic Partnerships between universities in Austria and universities and scientific institutions in the target countries mean research and teaching with developmental relevance and are an enrichment for all involved."
The presentation of the APPEAR II book by APPEAR program director Dr. Andreas Obrecht completed the evening program. The book offers insights into the second phase of APPEAR between 2014 and 2021 and illustrates 25 projects with different approaches to transdisciplinary knowledge production in the context of development research in 15 different countries. Two of the more than 100 authors, Dr. Michelle Proyer and Dr. Pamela Burger also briefly reported on their experiences in project implementation.
The program was musically framed with the premiere of the trio Mirarab-Hazin-Koné, who built bridges from the Middle East to West Africa with their enchanting cross-border music, and with DJane Larissa, who entertained the numerous guests with global beats and world groove for a long time after the end of the official program.