The 2023 SEAMEO-Australia Education Links Award

Fostering Inclusion through Digital Technology

20. Oct 2023 - 20. Oct 2023

Bangkok, Southeast Asia


Event type:

Registration Deadline:

Participation Fee:

About the Event

"Fostering Inclusion through Digital Technology"


The Government of Australia, one of SEAMEO's Associate Member Countries, has been actively supporting education, science, and culture in Southeast Asia since 1973. This support involves collaborations and initiatives on education, science, and culture with the Ministries of Education in SEAMEO Member Countries and SEAMEO Regional Centres. These engagements seek to advance sustainable progress in the region and Australia.

One of the flagship partnerships between SEAMEO and Australian Government Department of Education is the SEAMEO-Australia Education Links Award (SAELA) which was initiated in 2013. The main goal of SAELA is to offer opportunities to individuals or educational institutions to propose and implement education-related projects, activities, or policy initiatives aligned with the annual theme. These initiatives must also aim to strengthen collaboration and partnerships between Southeast Asia and Australia. SAELA underscores that international education cooperation can bring forth new ideas, expand educational opportunities, enhance education quality, build enduring people-to-people connections, and promote mutual understanding to benefit our learners and education stakeholders.

SAELA recognises and financially supports winning project proposals or existing projects that benefit Southeast Asian communities, organisations, or educational institutions. Ultimately, we envision that these projects contribute to enhancing the quality of life in the region in the long term.

Specifically, SAELA aims to:

  • facilitate the development and implementation of effective educational projects and initiatives through partnerships among countries, organisations, and communities;
  • showcase cooperation in education, training, and research activities and emphasise their value in fostering stronger people-to-people and institutional connections; and
  • create a platform for sharing and learning about new ideas in educational cooperation.

2023 Theme: Fostering Inclusion through Digital Technology

In today's interconnected world, digital technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. In particular, digital technology has transformed and inspired new perspectives to the teaching and learning processes. Southeast Asia is working to ensure that we leverage digital technologies in building resilient education systems and providing quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The recently launched Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report on Technology in Education highlighted that a “wide range of technology brings education to hard-to-reach learners. 1 However, the benefits of digital technology have variances and nuances across the region. While urban areas have seen advancements, rural, far-flung, and underserved areas often lack access to digital infrastructure, resources, and opportunities. Furthermore, the digital divide extends to vulnerable populations, including persons with disabilities, Indigenous communities, women, and other marginalised groups who face additional barriers to accessing and benefiting from digital technologies. As we face these challenges in navigating the digital transformation, digital technology also has the potential to bridge gaps, empower marginalised communities, and foster inclusion and equity in our schools and communities. More details on the state of technology in education in Southeast Asia will be released during the launch of the GEM Report Southeast Asia Report this November.

The theme for the 2023 SAELA, "Fostering Inclusion through Digital Technology in Southeast Asia," is rooted in the recognition that digital technology can be a critical tool for fostering inclusion. By investing in projects and ideas that leverage digital solutions to address barriers to inclusion, we can empower the vulnerable and contribute to reducing inequalities in the region.

This year’s theme will look at innovative project proposals that seek to leverage digital technologies in promoting access to education and educational resources, enhancing foundational and digital literacy, and improving teaching and learning processes. Ultimately, the project proposals should empower marginalised communities and vulnerable populations towards building more inclusive education systems in the region. This year’s theme aims to highlight digital technology as a potent tool in breaking down barriers to inclusion and providing opportunities for every individual to thrive.

1Global Education Monitoring Report 2023, Technology in education: technology on whose terms? Summary Report, p 14

 SAELA 2023 General Details

  • Interested applicants must submit a written proposal outlining their concept, implementation plan, and how the grant funds will be utilised (see item 7 for reference).
  • One (1) winner will be selected and awarded a grant of AUD$10,000 to carry out activities related to the winning project or idea.
  • The grant will be provided in three (3) tranches: 70 percent after the Awarding Ceremony, 20 percent upon submission of a progress report (after 6 months of project implementation), and the remaining 10 percent upon project completion and submission of the final report.
  • The winner will also receive a Plaque of Recognition during the 46th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Shortlisted candidates will receive a Certificate of Recognition.
  • Certificates of Participation will be issued to applicants whose proposals meet the minimum requirements, including relevance to the theme and adherence to submission instructions.
  • Participation in SAELA is entirely free.

 Eligibility of Interested Applicants

  • SAELA welcomes proposals from education leaders, educators, teachers, researchers, and students representing educational institutions at all levels (basic education, higher education, TVET)
  • Applicants must be a citizen of a SEAMEO Member Country (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Timor-Leste)
  • Applicants must not have received any SEAMEO Awards in the past 3 years.
  • SEAMEO Secretariat and SEAMEO Regional Centres/Network staff, as well as their immediate family members, are ineligible to apply for SAELA.
  • Applicants should not be employed by any private company.

Guidelines for Submission

  • Individuals can submit their proposal related to the theme "Fostering Inclusion through Digital Technology" from September 15 to October 20, 2023.
  • The deadline for submitting entries is midnight of October 20, 2023.
  • Each person may submit only one (1) proposal.

A. Preparing the Proposal 

B. Submission of the Proposal

C. Selection of Winner 

  • The selection and evaluation of entries will be conducted by a committee comprised of experts from Southeast Asia and representatives from relevant international organisations, the SEAMEO Secretariat, SEAMEO Regional Centres, and the Australian Government.
  • The evaluation process will consider the following criteria for the project, whether it's already in progress or a proposal:
    • Innovation, Practicality, and Originality (25%): The originality, innovativeness, and feasibility of implementation of the proposed project.
    • Benefit and Relevance to Southeast Asia and Links to Australia (30%): The extent to which the proposal will contribute to social value, benefit the region, and enhance mutual understanding, including the transfer of new ideas, expanded educational opportunities, improved education quality, and long-term people-to-people connections
    • Value for Money and Sustainability (25%): How well the project proposal demonstrates value for money and its sustainability beyond the initial grant funding.
    • Potential for Replication and Scaling Up (20%): The extent to which the project or proposal can be scaled up and applied to other contexts.

Important Dates

SEAVET Event Pic 210923

Focal Person 

For further information, please contact:

Mr Emiljohn Sentillas
Policy and Planning Specialist
SEAMEO Secretariat
Bangkok, Thailand

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.seameo.org



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