Runner-up: Project Management Unit, Ministry of Communications and Information Society Knowledge Economy Project (KEP)
Category: ‘Be part of IT’ – small organisations
This is a strategic project that aims to support a better use of knowledge by reducing the digital information gap that exists in villages and small towns in Romania. It has been developed and carried out by the Government of Romania, through the Ministry of Communications and Information Society (MCIS) and is financially supported by the World Bank.
The project is targeting 1.8 million inhabitants, approximately 20% of rural Romanians who have low and very low access to knowledge and ICT skills. KEP’s mission as an innovative socio-economic system-changing initiative is to enhance digital inclusion based on community generated public services and learning process based on open educational resources and boosting employability by delivering smart competences and skills.
The benefits that are being achieved through the implementation of knowledge technologies are far reaching. Adults who have previously been stuck in slow-moving societies are unleashing their potential and being given new digital competences; small enterprises are now able to run businesses in virtual environments; teachers are collaborating with their peers across the country and children are using ICT in their studies. Libraries are becoming genuine digital-learning hubs and public clerks are offering modern services to their communities. Some indicators of the impact of the programme: 5.225 citizens have passed ICT professional certificates; 10.000 jobless have beneficiated from a professional and/or reconversion coaching; 600 potential entrepreneurs have been assisted in business developing; 20 hobbies have been turned into real businesses.
The accompanying online platform to the programme, the www.ecomunitate.ro portal, offers digital access to 255 communities, a social network where users transfer knowledge and generate content using Web 2.0 technologies. This eCommunity holds all the functions of a virtual platform for all public sector innovators, hosting specific features about areas of interest like economics, education, culture and public administration. It comprises 6000 comments, 4000 blog posts, 2000 wiki materials, 2.6 mil visits, 9,000 registered users and 4,164 pages visited.