Welcome to DTU official website to visit our Community Service page!
As it has been stipulated in Higher Education Proclamation No. 650/2009, provision of community service (CS) is one of the missions of higher education institutions. Debre Tabor University (DTU) is also located in an environment where there are ample resources for the society to develop. So, besides its effort in producing highly qualified graduates and conducting research activities, the university is striving to be part of the solution in tackling community problems through providing CS for the surrounding society. Since its establishment, the university is exerting its efforts to alleviate the most pressing community problems and strengthening performance efficiency of local institutes. This mainly focusses on improving agricultural productivity, enhancing access to health services, supporting schools for quality education, providing free legal aids, creating job opportunities for youths and other social services in the form of technology transfer, training, consultancy and material provisions.
The CS activities in DTU are based on integrating indigenous knowledge with emerging ideas from modern day practices. Here, efforts have been made to adapt, demonstrate and promote study results and best practices for the local community. In this regard, CS projects are serving as a meeting place for students to acquire problem-based learning, for researchers to give interventions based on their findings, for practitioners to be familiar with innovative practices and for the community to get their problems being alleviated. Need-based trainings and professional consultancy services provided by the university staff are also playing important roles for enhancing the knowledge, skill and awareness level of community members and service providers.
All academic staffs in DTU are expected to allocate 15% of their working time to undertake CS activities. This engagement of academic staffs is in fact an integral part of their performance appraisal and promotion. At the end of the intervention, project implementers are required to submit reports and certificates are awarded to implementers in recognition of their successful completion of the community service. Usually, CS providers are advised to look for external funds from stakeholders and other concerned partners for addressing their CS at large scales and achieve their goals in short period of time. Moreover, the university community are mobilized to participate in various voluntary service activities that may not require high expertise and budgeting. This includes blood donation, disposal of water hyacinth in Lake Tana, crop harvesting, land tracing, afforestation, food and material provision and other social support for those who need it. DTU is also committed to allocate seed money for CS providers following the approval of project proposals. Here, mega projects to be implemented by multi-disciplinary team of experts are encouraged during the call for granting. Also, projects that are designed based on research out puts and have strong demand from the community are prioritized for granting. To ensure sustainability of the project outcomes, efforts are made to mobilize community efforts during the implementation and raise the awareness of the society about the purpose of the projects.
The community service directorate (CSD) is accountable to the office of Academic and Research Vice President. The directorate is mandated to coordinate all CSs rendered by the University. Specifically, the directorate is mandated to:
- Direct need assessment & customer satisfaction survey, designing, planning and execution of CS activities
- Follow up and monitor academic unites/research institutes/schools to play their role in CS.
- Maintain frequent and ongoing contact with academic staffs and students to enhance their participation on CS activities
- Prepare call for CS proposals and facilitate the review and approval process;
- Allocate a budget for CS activities proposals approved by the central Committee for research and CS;
- Coordinates all CS activities organized at the university level by facilitating necessary material, financial and institutional conditions
- Monitor and evaluate processes and outcomes of CSs.
- Collect feedback from its customers, communities and other stakeholders to review and update CS activities
- Identify and prioritize CS agendas (thematic areas) and develop working documents, guidelines/standards/forms appropriate for implementation of CS
- Build institutional capacity for productive and sustainable CS
- Promotes university’s (strategic goal, mission, vision) plan, implementation and achievements in CS
- Ensures that the implementation of CS activities is in line with the academic units/research
- Propose strategic plans for the development of the University towards excellence in CS activities;
- Organize workshops, forums, symposia, exhibitions & consultative meetings, related to issues of CS.
- Prepare and submit annual activity plan of the office and periodic reports to the Vice President for Academic and Research;
- Represent the university, report and communicate on matters related CS to concerned internal and external bodies
- Undertake other activities as required
Community Service Policies
- Community Service activities will aim at fulfilling the University’s vision, mission and values statements, and the national aspiration of the country;
- Community service shall be demand driven, problem solving and aimed at knowledge transfer and poverty reduction in the community;
- The University management may give priority in terms of resource (facilities and funding) allotment to one or more selected thematic areas, depending on prevailing needs and relevance;
- The University encourages community service to be multidisciplinary in design and approach;
- Any community service project proposal submitted for grant must be based on the identified focused areas of the University;
- Any community service project proposal granted by the university to be conducted by the name of the University must pass through the review process of the University;
- Every community service project shall have a principal implementer, he/she should be the person within his/her respective faculty/college/school/institution who is authorized to act for and to assume the obligations imposed by the guideline, requirements, and conditions for a grant or grant application;
- Every community service project co-implementers should have the obligations imposed by the guideline, requirements, and conditions for a grant or grant application;
- For the enhancement of community service project effectiveness, the team could engage with partners from relevant public or private sector organizations or NGO’s;
- Staff shall be free to conduct community service activities, provided that they adhere to the University’s and Community’s ethical principles and values;
- All academic staff members are eligible to apply for community service project grant in the University;
- All community service projects granted by GOs and NGOs could be administered by the university;
- A community service project proposal that requires long term resources shall be approved by the administration council of the University;
- Each institution/ faculty /college/school has responsibility in developing, implementing and monitoring their respective community service projects. University level approval and oversight of institution/ faculty /college/school community service projects lies with the University, delegated to the CSD.
CS Guiding Principles:
The following principles provide inspiration and guidance to undertake community services that could be used as criteria to guide institutional decisions about the kinds of training, consultancy and outreach services that the University should support.
Accessibility: the services delivered by the community service providers should be accessible;
Quality: Community service providers should ensure the delivery of quality service;
Community involvement: community service shall be delivered with active involvement of the community;
Teamwork: community services shall be delivered in team.
Accountability: Community service providers should be accountable for the service they deliver. Thus, community service provision is based on quality management procedures and high-level standards to meet the needs and demands of the client communities. It should also be in fast and efficient service delivery system and communication channel;
Inclusiveness: the University actively promotes the participation of the institution/ faculty/college/School on grounds of qualification, competence and experience;
Sustainability: the University strives to promote sustainability of community service in all its aspects so as to ensure a continuous capacity building under situation of dynamic needs, economic, technological, social and political changes;
Reciprocity: Community service is initiated and undertaken in partnership with client organizations and in the contexts of mutual learning and knowledge and experience exchanges;
Respect for Diversity of Knowledge: Community service contributes to collaborative generation of knowledge where the integrity of different kinds of knowledge (e.g. academic knowledge and local knowledge) is respected;
Partnership: Community service of the University strives to foster local as well as global partnership and interactions among all participants;
Relevance: Community service responds creatively and proactively to the critical problems of the client organizations and communities while managing risks responsibly (e.g. being alert to unintended consequences of the service to the works of the organizations/communities; maintaining scholarly standards);
Responsiveness: Community service should be relevant to the needs and demands of the client organizations and communities through appropriate and priori assessment;
Strategic Effectiveness: The University community service contributes to other key strategic initiatives of the University; Cost effectiveness– Community service develops the ability and mentality of making more gains from lesser cost.