Priority: Well-governed Danube region – Improve institutional capacities to tackle major societal challenges

Needs and challenges:
(Needs, main problems or challenges to be addressed): Exclusion of marginalized groups from society is a compelling issue that has been deliberately ignored or overlooked throughout the past, generating complex string of societal problems with consequences for the marginalized group and society itself. As the biggest ethnic minority in Europe and an integral part of the European civilization for more than a thousand years, the Roma communities remain at the forefront of Europe’s plentiful societal challenges. The underlying premise of the project is to empower members of the Roma community through implementing innovative approaches to bridge the existing gap between the Roma and non-Roma inhabitants of the region in the field of information, digital and functional literacy, thus advancing the basic and varying education levels obtained by the members of Roma minority across the region, providing them with the long-term possibility to contribute to their own personal and economic development as well as the development of society as a whole.

(main and specific objectives to be achieved): Main focus of the project is the empowerment of the Roma community in the Danube region through innovative approaches to facilitate digital, information and functional literacy, where strong cooperation of Roma communities, public authorities and policy makers as well as local communities in general is key in achieving success. The cornerstones of this objective are: development of tools to safeguard the involvement of members of the Roma communities, development of mentoring schemes and support of volunteering, development of content tailored to the needs of Roma communities in diverse parts of the Danube region. Facilitation of digital inclusion and functional literacy will contribute to increased access to information and knowledge and, consequently, the overcoming of often insurmountable barriers to exercising the fundamental rights of all society members, many of whom still have limited access to quality education, jobs, public services, low income levels, poor housing, health conditions etc.

Main results and core outputs: 

– HANDBOOK of best practices of Roma empowerment through implementation of innovative approaches for strengthening digital, informational and functional literacy in Roma communities
– TOOLBOX of smart participatory methods for stimulating increased involvement of Roma communities
– TRAININGS for network facilitators, members of the Roma community with active participation and mentoring roles
– LEARNING LABS for advancement of digital, information and functional literacy
– PUBLIC ACCESS POINTS for advancement of digital, information and functional literacy
– Virtual Know-how Platform
– COMPETENCE DEVELOPMENT for public authorities, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders for increasing Roma participation and societal cohesion
– TRANSNATIONAL cooperation strategy for Roma inclusion

Main foreseen activities:

We focus on the development of a strategic transnational framework that will lay the foundations for transnational tool development, pilot implementations (development of a learning lab concept, preparation and launching of the pilot learning lab concepts; development of a learning lab curricula; learning lab facilitators’ network establishment and training concept; facilitation of non-Roma local community participation and volunteering; facilitation of digital inclusion – wi-fi access availability concept implementation) of WP T2 and stakeholder capacity building of WP3 for improving institutional capacities to tackle major societal challenges. Due to the vast differences within the Danube region, the proposed interventions and outputs of all three WPs are goal-oriented but adaptable to the needs of included areas, addressing common transnational challenges among local and regional participating partners.

Innovative character of the project idea:

We focus on implementation of innovative approaches for the advancement of digital, information and functional literacy among members of Roma community through development and implementation of pilot interventions and content development. We will establish a facilitators’ network, ensuring participation of interested members of the Roma community and/or local volunteers that will act as facilitators of knowledge and members of a mentoring scheme. With the development of pilot learning lab concepts and corresponding alternative educational content, the project stimulates knowledge gain through an innovative and non-traditional approach. User-oriented and digitally-assisted learning is emphasized in the development of pilot activities, space and equipment planning. Fixed and mobile learning labs are community spaces that provide participants with infrastructure, services and skills. Facilitation of digital inclusion is provided (WI-FI access availability concept implementation).