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Access granted: digital media skills as innovative means to increase e-participation of youth living in less serviced areas
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 31 Jul 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

It is undeniable that digital social media and blogs are increasingly used by the youth to engage in political discussion or simply share their views. This is reshaping traditional means of communication and social participation. Information and Communication Technologies (or simply ICT) facilitate interactive, peer-based and networked activities and lower traditional barriers to the production and circulation of participation content.Thus, this Strategic Partnership project is aimed at partner youth associations’ activization in transferring knowledge and skills on the issues of enhancing youth civic participation through web based social networks. The innovation of this project will be the promotion of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) skills and digital social media litWe expect that the project will:• initiate networking process between participating partner organisations, associations and other relevant stakeholders on the issues of e-democracy and e-citizenship;• enhance the representation of youth from less serviced areas in European and international youth associations and structures;• develop methods and practical approaches in order to translate solidarity, democracy and citizenship into youth political participation;• develop pilot models of e-participation youth groups in social networks;• inform the participants about European institutions and youth structures and opportunities provided by their programmes and policies on youth participation issues;• motivate and enable participants and participating organisations to share their acquired knowledge, information and experience as widely as possible and act as multipliers on the issues of intercultural education, equal opportunities and empowerment of youth from deprived urban areas after the project;• gather contributions for the future development of Erasmus+ programme development as regards e-citizenship education in Europe;• practice cross-sector approach to involve youth organisations, municipalities, business community that will boost transferability, awareness raising and facilitate change on our theme.Partner youth associations from Sweden, Portugal, Latvia and Lithuania will act as trained multipliers in national networks mainstreaming access of less serviced areas to community civic life by carrying out research, exchanging best practices, developing pilot models of e-participation youth groups in social networks and working together on Intellectual outputs that will encourage cooperation, networking and exchange of best practices. The direct participants for the transnational project meetings will be: young peer educators, representatives of the participating partner organisations; partner youth associations; experts, politicians and public authorities (business and/or youth sector) who will be involved for cooperation on the issues of the project. The meetings will be facilitated by the professional non-formal education facilitators with relevant experience in the field of e-citizenship and promoting civic participation of young people from less serviced areas. The project will include 4 Transnational Project Meetings involving participants from each partner country:- 16 pax for the Preparatory Meeting (Transnational Project Meeting 1) in Latvia - 40 pax for the Youth Conference (Transnational Project Meeting 2) in Portugal- 16 pax for the Action Plan Development meeting (Transnational Project Meeting 3) in Lithuania- 12 pax for the Evaluation meeting (Transnational Project Meeting 4) in SwedenParticipatind partner organisations will:- shape the pool of peer educators representing partner youth associations to address the issues of enhancing civic participation of youth from less serviced areas hrough web based social networks (with ICT skills enhancement element) and ways of transferring skills and knowledge;- devise an Intellectual output with working title: Methodological and innovative practice Manual “Enhancing youth civic participation through web based social networks”;- form working relationships with experts from the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), be introduced to the Digital Single Market strategy and the EU’s commitment to drive further action on boosting digital skills in Europe illustrated in the Riga Declaration on e-Skills;- share best practice regarding representative democracy issues relevant to the project theme and motivate the participating youth organisations for Networking on the issues of civic participation of youth from less serviced areas hrough web based social networks.As a result of the project community initiatives aiming at using web based social networks for enhancing civic participation of youth living in less serviced areas will be undertaken in the local communities of participating organisations.
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