Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is important for moving countries toward a sustainable future. In Egypt, ESD is not a common subject found in the national formal educational system, so non-formal education in ESD is needed. The research question is what is the best-suited structure for an experiential learning based ESD non-formal education program designed for private middle-school students in Egypt? To answer this question a review of existing international non-formal ESD programs and a needs assessment was conducted. The review examined five programs for common components; these components included activities such as experiments, camps, research, community engagement, general discussions about the topic at hand, and post courses activities to ensure the sustainability of their program. The needs assessment surveyed 285 students and 89 parents, and 15 interviews were conducted with science teachers in five international and private schools. Questions about the schools’ inclusion of sustainable development activities, personal behaviors, and specifics about the design of the program like the length, learning styles used, and the frequency of field trips was included. The results indicated that respondents saw a need for non-formal ESD programs in Egypt focused on three main topics; energy, water, and waste. They felt that the design of the program should be customized according to different students’ needs regarding the length and timing. Respondents also mentioned several challenges that should be considered such as the security status of the country, and the existing cultural barriers found in the Egyptian society towards conservation and SD. Based on these results, recommendations for a non-formal ESD program in Egypt are discussed.

Degree Name

MS in Sustainable Development

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2015

First Advisor

Forden, Carie

Committee Member 1

El Deghaidy, Heba

Committee Member 2

Sewilam, Hani


118 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Sustainable development -- Egypt -- Cairo.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Non-formal education -- Egypt -- Cairo.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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