Telecentre-Europe AISBL has partnered with 7 of its member organizations and the European Students Union (ESU) for implementing Uniting Europe through digital empowerment (UniteIT), a 36 months network project aimed at raising awareness and foster sharing and joint actions to overcome the digital divide. During 19-20 November the kick-off meeting took place in Timisoara and was hosted by EOS Foundation, the Romanian partner of the project.
The project aims at sharing knowledge, exchange of practices, set up debates in key topics and develop new strategic partnership involving actors across societal domains to contribute to overcome the digital divide and promote the acquisition of digital competences by groups-at-risk of exclusion.
Representatives from Telecentre-Europe AISBL and the partner organizations from Malta (Malta Communication Authority - MCA), Serbia (Serbian International Aid Network - IAN), Hungary (Foundation for Development of Democratic Rights - Demnet), Latvia (Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association - LIKTA), Belgium (Interface3 asbl), Romania (Educating for an Open Society Foundation EOS), Croatia (Telecentar) and the European Students Union (ESU) came together for discussing the objectives, deliverables, schedule, impact and work packages of the UniteITproject.
Expected impact of the project
The UniteITnetwork project will involve relevant actors across all societal domains (business, societal organisations, education and training stakeholders; user organisations, etc.) to identify the enabling conditions, success factors, barriers to digital competence provision and acquisition by groups-at-risk of exclusion, and foresee further steps to be undertaken to reach the aim.
Outcome areas of impact are:
- Changes in attitudes: by means of the sharing of resources and by means of debates on key topics, mutual understanding among societal organisations, business, education and training organisation will be enhanced, and the attitude toward the issue is expected to change (from local to European, from being one player to being one of the players concurring to overcome barriers in acquisition of digital competences, etc.)
- Changes in knowledge: by means of the work of collection, discussion and analysis, the network will enhance knowledge on how digital divide can be overcome and therefore how digital competence can be promoted in disadvantaged groups; it will also enhance mutual understanding and knowledge among the different players, coming from education, training, academia, business, and societal organisation, as well as among them and policy makers and among policy makers across countries;
- Changes in awareness: enhanced awareness of all the involved stakeholders, included policy and decision makers, about the value of working together, establishing channels of effective communication, bringing sectors and areas of intervention within a broader picture where joint actions can make the difference in improving digital competences for those at-risk and therefore contribute to overcome digital divide in Europe;
- Changes in skills: transfer of practices is expected to enhance competences of organizations in tackling digital divide for those at risk of exclusion, debating within the working groups is expected to improve mutual understanding among different organisations and sections, thus promoting new forms of cooperation i.e. to provide learning opportunities in cooperation among business players and training providers, to design pathways for those who left education to re-enter tertiary education, to identify equity and equality elements fostering re-entering education and training, etc.
During the life of the project, following target groups will be addressed:
- Members of the consortium
- Adult education organisations
- Training organisations
- Higher education and tertiary education institutions
- Formal and informal associations of teachers, trainers, facilitators
- Business players
- NGOs, not for profit organisations, other societal organisation active in the field of digital divide
- Research centres and researchers in the field of educational science and social science (both formal establishments, i.e. organisations, and informal groups of researchers)
- Policy makers
The UniteIT project is co-financed by the EU Life Long Learning Programme (Transversal programme - KA3-ICT Networks).
» view the photo album of the kick-off meeting