In September 2000, 189 governments signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration committing themselves to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, “the central objective of which is to improve levels of human development throughout the developing world, including improved nutrition, universal primary education, gender equity, health, and the environment.”
To achieve these goals, developing countries will require major increases in skilled personnel in medicine, governance, agronomy, education, engineering, public administration, science, policy analysis and formulation, communications, architecture, etcetera. This is a task for universities, and other centres of tertiary education.
AWB’s mission is to support academic institutions in developing countries in building capacity in higher education so that they can train their own experts and conduct research to assist in their development. AWB fosters this by sending highly trained personnel to assist in improving tertiary educational institutions in the developing world, so that the professionals essential for human and institutional development and for the alleviation of poverty can be educated in their home country.
AWB‘s volunteer placements are in response to the academic and administrative projects of local institutions of higher education. The nature and scope of these projects evolve in collaboration with host institutions and countries, and reflects the resources that are available to execute them.
AWB is involved with the full spectrum of the academic and administrative aspects of tertiary educational development. This ranges from expanding existing academic, professional, research, and technical institutions and programs to building new ones – from teaching courses to supporting the development of non-academic activities, such as computing and communications services, information systems and libraries, financial management, instructional media services, student services, the management of physical plant, alumni relations, fund-raising, health services, student and faculty housing, registration, and student aid.