People's Corner Meeting

Melnik, Czechia


from May 29, 2017 hours 17:00 (UTC +02:00)
to Jun 30, 2018 hours 19:00 (UTC +02:00)

Mělník - 276 01 Mělník, Czechia

When

from May 29, 2017 hours 17:00 (UTC +02:00)
to Jun 30, 2018 hours 19:00 (UTC +02:00)

Where

Mělník
276 01 Mělník, Czechia

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Description

People’s Corner first intermediary meeting was held from 18th to 25th April 2017 in Melnik, Czech Republic. The venue was organized by Tmelnik. We would like to take this moment to thank Vladimir and Oana for all the preparations, hospitality and attention in everything we needed.

In the meeting were present Margarida Queijo and André Oliveira from Backup, Pedro Freire from AIM, Oana Buzera and Vladimir Skuta from Tmelnik, Alessandro Zouttolo from Amycos, Gianluca Sannino from Amesci and Julien Soyer from Intermundia.

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We started addressing the questions related to People’s Corner project:

  • Explanation of the google drive and its contents;
  • Pep Corner organizations’ feedback and needs assessment;
  • Visit to Melnik with the presentation of Tmelnik and Melnik’s reality;
  • Exchange of democratic lab’s good practices;
  • Problem Tree, Mapping Stakeholders, target population and opinion makers’ methodologies and approaches;
  • Gathering Population Insights’ techniques;
  • IT platform implementation and issues;
  • Financial and operational affairs;
  • Internal and External Communication.

During this week, we also had the opportunity to discuss AIM related issues, such as how we define the network, the degree of engagement of the partners, the issues that should be addressed and proposals to the overcome the issues we’ve been dealing with.

BACKUP

Backup has been having more problems in the implementation than what was expected. Because there will be local elections in October, people are afraid the project was made in benefit of one of the Portuguese party’s political agenda. In this process, decision makers also showed a lack of interest in participating, but they were still present in the results’ discussion in democratic labs.

Stakeholders, even though they showed themselves eager to participate in the project presentations, are not available to participate. They normally state that they don’t understand their part in the project.

There is also lack of democratic engagement from majority of the population, that could maybe be overcome with the IT Platform; and opinion makers aren’t that many and very hard to trace (they are majority mouth-to-mouth).

Backup is dealing with three municipalities with very different realities, with lack of civic engagement in the third sector. There were also some bureaucratic constraints to engage public authorities.

For example Backup had an activity within a partnership with Eurodesk to open school’s doors for a democratic lab to discuss Europe issues, challenges and sense of belonging. Even though youngsters liked the experience and showed great knowledge and strong opinions about Europe, we didn’t follow-up from their part.

Backup is also having troubles with dissemination, like in defining a regional development strategy and defining a communication plan for mass media and opinion makers.

amycos

Burgos is an urban territory with different NGOs dealing on a variety issues and themes. Amycos thought it was important to enrol those organizations in the project, so they are working on building a local network of partner NGOs.

Amycos has a formal partnership with the municipality and the university. They would like to find a way to involve their stakeholders and future partners more technically, so they can become multipliers after.

They created surveys with the University of Burgos and tested out with 450 its students.

They would like help with approaches, methodologies, techniques and tools to be used depending of different target population, like immigrants, children, handicap people or alcoholics, to name a few. They also need help with the creation of labs for children and how to make stakeholders participate in these workshops.

They did a press conference to increase the awareness of the project, with their formal partners, and they are going to create a People’s Corner week in September to take advantage of the citizen participation day. 

The dissemination on public events is be one of their goals and they will try to give monthly feedbacks to opinion makers, even though they are having difficulties in mapping them. When it comes to the target population, the focus is on people who are outside the decision-making process. The closing of the project is planned to happen in December.

INTERMUNDIA

Intermundia is focusing their project in Molenbeek neighbourhood, but there is the issue of the existence of three major different languages and ethnics’ in the territory (French, Dutch, German). Adding to this, there is a strong Arabic presence, which makes language and culture, relevant aspects to considerer.

Intermundia already diagnosed a need to create a local base, but their human resources are very limited to respond to these challenges and exists a lack of articulation with local stakeholders such as the municipality. They also identified a big cultural complexity and isolation of local immigrants.

They would also like to have a greater engagement with locals, but 30% of the population doesn’t speak Flemish, German or French. It can also be found population from Middle-Eastern and Northern African. In the project, they would like to integrate immigrants’ issues and increase their civic participation. Intermundia is also having communication difficulties because of the cultural context and also some difficulties in defining and mapping opinion makers.

As Intermundia has a strong Italian presence, they are trying to involve Italian immigrants’ associations, to work with them. Methodologically speaking, there is a lack of a general strategy to engage target population and stakeholders, local network and human resources.

AMESCI

Amesci has a strong network of local, regional and national entities as well as a strong presence with Local Youth Forums in the Campania Region. They also have formal relationships with municipalities and 3rd sector organizations, but they are having some problems to increase youth political involvement and engagement with other municipalities, usually the poorest ones.

They are working with the municipalities of Pagani, Eboli, Mugnano and Lettere, its youth forums and devised democratic lab workshops for youngsters in these territories, where they involved from 30 to 60 people. They are also working with national institutions for Civic Service as stakeholders of the project, and also the University Federico II in Napoli as well as APEUR as possible formal stakeholders for the next activities of People’s Corner.

Methodologically, Amesci has a similar project called Cittadini 2.0 that is a campaign to increase civic participation. They are trying to integrate Pep Corner in it, but are having some difficulties in arranging between existing agreements and People’s Corner. They are looking for approaches, techniques to develop structure dialogue between young participants and decision makers. They also want to create a framework of techniques and tools to apply in field work with the institutions with whom they are working with.

TMELNIK

In Mělník people are not used to engage the municipality because usually they have direct means of communication with decision makers (Facebook group). Because of this, they want to increase youth civic engagement in high-schools and create a bigger sense of public intervention regarding collective needs instead of individual needs. This is hard to do since Mělník is a suburban territory with more than 20000 people who live there but usually work in Prague.

In terms of stakeholders, they already engaged the municipality, the cultural centre, schools and some of the NGOs in the territory, but they lack a general strategy to engage them and their youth target population. They want to focus not only on high school but also with disadvantaged people, that normally don’t take part in the decision making process (like Roma people).

For the dissemination of the project, they intend to create a Facebook group, a municipality monthly newsletter and some media channels

ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES

Coordination and mutual strategy

Future rules of engagement:

1) Everyone should schedule a Skype meeting with us at the last week of every month. For our meeting in May, we need that you have already revised your results’ framework and that you have a more detailed roadmap after discussing it with the other members of your organization.To help you with this, look again to this picture that we worked on in Mělník.

2) André brought to the table in Mělník that we should start making contacts with European parliament representatives from our own countries so that we have their support when we go to Brussels in March 2018 and we will be able to take 2-3 participants with all expenses covered by the EU parliament.

3) We ask every time you have any action regarding the project to take photos and record some of its parts. Put the materials as soon as you can in the Google Drive so we can work it and please send it to info@backup.pt with the knowledge of Pedro and Margarida. If you have some materials that you didn’t put it yet, please do it as soon as possible.

General conditions, amendments or possible alterations will be communicated in timely fashion during our monthly meetings to keep you updated on changes and we will ask you to send a written report to track your progress regarding the results framework and roadmap established by each of the organizations participating in the project.

Considering how we will work with the People’s Corner surveys, we talked about the need for all organizations to have a common framework or at least a set of questions that could offer a comparable basis in the future for all inquiries to guarantee coherence in the way we present results. Before launching these forms in each national context, we will ask partners to provide us their draft documents within a translated version for all to support our efforts.

While for Stakeholders and Opinion Makers we already have a Google Form templates that are good draft version of what could be applied in each country, we ask everyone to provide us a feedback about it to improve these for future applications in the upcoming months.

Later on, when are addressing the general public and in our case, each of our target populations, we would be applying the Google form framework structure already developed by Amycos and we will ask you to adapt it for each of your target population upcoming inquiries. 

IT Platform, Google Drive & Templates

The lack of feasible answers during the last 6 months from the part of what would be the official providers of this service, Kosovo Innovation made us decide to break the partnership with the organization to supply the IT Platform.

After this decision, all partners agreed on the following steps to overcome this adversity:

a) Everyone should look for new solutions and partners during this next two months for the IT platform, preferably with people they know (during the next month). A reference for further research on what should be the operating application for the platform would be liquidfeedback.org, an existing website and software program that can be used as an example for what could be done regarding possible applications and functions of the platform.

b) Organizations should do a Google form and maybe even a Metooo page, if they opt for it before the events. This will provide an insight on who is going and to have an idea of the topics people want to speak about. It also helps us to create a greater involvement and understanding of the program of activities for people that are coming. Metooo can be also used for presentation of reports because it’s graphical approach and intuitive interface. Other means and tools to work these matters will be provided in upcoming meetings and developments.

Google Drive organization

For future projects, please use the AIM structure to keep uploaded ideas, concept papers, important documents, mandates and other relevant info to be shared with all our partners when developing synergies among us.

Regarding the AIM Network folder, each organization will have three folders to keep info at this moment and that you should upload when you have more time for it:

a) Building (project design, potential projects to be developed, mandates and partnerships built for further development of the network);

b) Implementation (project implementation after approval, funding programs and their general rules and organizational issues regarding the approved projects like communication, finances, ICT (Information Communication Technologies), official documentation, operations and support methodologies and tools.

c) Institutional (official documentation regarding the institution, graphic materials, financial papers and other relevant matters like collaboration protocols)

Regarding People’s Corner, its location is inside AIM Network > Backup > Implementation > EfC – People’s Corner.

Inside the Communication folder, you should keep all the relevant info and materials you’ve worked and keep them updated with:

a) Photos (uploaded photos from relevant meetings and public events)

b) Videos (uploaded videos from relevant meetings and public events, as well as the video testimonies regarding the impact before and after of People’s Corner)

c) Press Room (relevant news, articles or other dissemination materials produced by media or other producers of contents, with mention to date and location)

d) Graphic Design (all visual identity and graphic design materials, as well as lettering, roll-ups, banners and other means of physical means of dissemination)

e) Press Kit (all info, presentation and graphic design materials that are sent to stakeholders and/or opinion makers’ to support People’s Corner communication and dissemination with external partners)

f) Templates (press releases and text bodies to be used accordingly with target groups to present the project or initiatives that are being developed for each phase of the project)

In the Finances folder, you should keep updated your Individual Expenses Report, project budget and other info, according with your country operational costs and/or project meetings expenses.

The Operations folder is divided accordingly with each countries’ operation subfolder and template documents, like the Stakeholders’ of Opinion Makers’ Google form to be used in each national context (please make copies of these, translate and adapt according to your needs in your country).

The Official Documentation folder has all the relevant info regarding the program, protocols, agreements and documentation between the funding program managing agency, the promoter (Backup) and partners. In case you establish formal agreements with other stakeholders, please scan those documents and put them in this folder, with your organization’s name.

In the ICT folder we will be having at this moment 2 different folders that serve as libraries and upcoming training materials to support your work with the IT platform and other technological means that we will adapt to our needs that will be the software and smart cities sensors and/or technology to develop our future blended learning approach for all kind of users.

For last but not least important, all Supporting Methodologies and Tools for training, people’s activation and democratic labs will be provided through this folder. We will prepare video and template tutorials to help you guys to apply techniques that could be useful for our future work.

We will ask you to share as much content that you think might be relevant or that it would support our common effort. Please warn or send us a concise explanatory email regarding new uploads on the Google Drive or sharing methodologies and tools for everyone.

Participant List Template:

Each one should be in each country’s language

Name, gender, age, contact

Logos should be: People’s Corner, Europe for Citizens, Organization own logo

Implementation check list Template:

Further info will be provided and other templates worked upon later on depending on the features of the IT platform

COMMUNICATION PROCEDURES

Internal Communication

It was decided internal communication should be done through e-mail or Facebook, but always with the knowledge of Pedro, André and Margarida;

It was decided that we should have monthly reports (for that it’s needed, as a first step, that you send us your shared strategy using the results framework and the road map so it becomes clear which will be conditions for your future progress and how we can help you or ask others to help you out regarding your work);

Depending if we find the IT platform and according with its capabilities, we might use it or find other management tools to work together regarding the project or its report

External communication:

Each organization should use their own Facebook page to share People’s Corner contents (Tmelnik will create a new one so that they can focus their Facebook page in mobility opportunities and other things the organization needs to share). A main Facebook page for People’s Corner will be created and will be managed by Backup’s staff, but besides that, each organization should also select a person to be also an administrator of the page.

Every time any partner makes a post regarding Pep Corner, they should tag the other partners’ Facebook pages so that it’s also possible to post it in the main Facebook page of the project. If they decide that their communication should only be done in their own language in their Facebook, they must send an English translation to Backup so that it could be added in People’s Corner page;

When we write in Facebook, it should be no more than 160 characters so that we can also put it on Twitter;

It was decided we should create one hashtag of the project;

We are going to create an institutional e-mail;

It was decided that there is a need to create more social channels managed by Backup (Twitter, Youtube Channel, Instagram, Website);

Newsletter: It was decided that there is no point in doing it, the focus should be to speak with the stakeholders, and for that everyone should find their best way to engage them;

One of the projects outputs is an institutional video with some story telling about the vision of the participants and their local communities regarding Europe and what the project brought to them regarding their civic participants and European sense of belonging;

Note: If the partners prefer it that way, they can send their raw materials to Backup (it should not be more than 30 minutes) and Sofia will edit the video;

Backup did a Project Banner for each organization (it can be found in the drive inside communication folder – graphic design – Roll Up).

There should be some improvements in the banner, according to the feedback given by the partners:

a) Backup’s logo should have a better visibility considering it’s the promotor organization;

b) Everyone should add their strategic stakeholder partners’ logos;

c) Each organization has the responsibility to get their own banner. It’s recommended that the organizations use the one Backup did, but they can choose if they’d like it or not (Amycos, for instance, will keep the one they already have and they will put it in the drive).

Other additional graphic design templates like posters, business cards, pin buttons, t-shirts or other merchandising from the project, should also be put inside the driver to be shared by everyone so that we can have a common institutional image.

The presentation to our target stakeholders are grouped in five types: private business; national governments or international institutions; local municipalities and/or public bodies; NGOs and informal groups; schools and youth organizations in the press kit folder. Further presentations accordingly with the advancement of activities (public consultation and gathering of opinions; public causes and information sessions; presentation of results) will also have templates, that should be translated and adapted to each project partner country language.

A press release for opinion makers will be available in the folder Press Room (inside the communication folder). For each of the relevant activities a template will also be made for organizations to use to disseminate their actions and present the project. Inside every organization should also add all the news coming from opinion makers, regarding the project and their activities.

The standardization of the folders, inside the google drive, will always be made by the co-coordination team.

In the next weeks we will work on a mutual communication calendar for everyone.

FINANCIAL ISSUES

The previous budget and payments were altered because of a lack of information of the funding program. Every partner was informed of the general conditions and annexes (e-mail to be sent afterwards) and that we will only receive a final payment of the whole project;

We still don’t know if the money that will be paid, if it will be by the total amount (130.000€) or less than that. That is one of the reasons why, after seeing the general conditions and the rules of the program, that we insist that each partner should find co-funding for their local activities and create formal agreements or protocols with strategic stakeholders for their activities.

Pedro and João are going to look for answers from the Europe for Citizens Agency regarding the rules and procedures and how we will arrange the rest of the funding and payments for the project. We asked everybody to look for ways to get around this situation and André and Pedro said they will work in some ways to get extra financial support.

Considering the situation, all the partners showed flexibility to arrange their budget according to the other partners’ needs. However, it was explained that the financial cushion for the project will be put to use if needed.

For reporting purposes, everyone should scan and put in the Google Drive all the expenses made.

According with accompanying General Rules that follows in the upcoming e-mail where we are sending you this report, the expenses made with currency where it applies the exchange rate should be calculated according with the monthly average accounting rate established by the European Commission and published in the following link (http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm).

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