Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EUth (EUth - Tools and Tips for Digital and Mobile Youth Participation in and across Europe)
Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2018-02-28
1. This leads to the operative goal to develop digital solutions for youth eParticipation. In EUth two technical partners who are dedicated to public participation software for years (Liquid Democracy and Alfstore) merge and adapt their proven software. The result is the OPIN platform (www.opin.me) that offers participation processes like features for discussion and commenting, voting and mobile polling as well as collaborative text writing and more.
2. To support administrations and youth organizations in overcoming obstacles two partners with outstanding consultancy experience for public participation (nexus institute and Danish Board of Technology) develop in EUth a tool for finding suitable participation processes and guidelines for successful youth eParticipation are integrated into the OPIN platform, enabling even lay people to set up participatory projects.
3. A methodological goal of EUth is to provide user-adapted tools and thus follow a user-centric agile development. Hence, the technical components are developed iteratively, adapting itself to the results of the Living Lab, which consists of a managing partner who is professional in designing and executing participatory projects (Missions Publiques) and 5 local pilot projects that used the software in real participation settings.
4. Finally EUth aims at creating a sustainable impact by providing the developed tools also after EUth project termination. This is put into practice by conducting comprehensive exploitation activities (done by nexus) to turn the EUth project result into a product that can survive economically without funding and through a dedicated dissemination and deployment strategy, realized by two partners with prominent networks to youth organizations all over Europe (IJAB and ERYICA), making OPIN well known in Europe.
WP1 led the exploitation activities that aim at making the result of the EUth project, the OPIN platform, a sustainable product. Several internal workshops were held, interviews with users and sponsors were made to create the OPIN business model and marketing strategy. The main anchor for the business is the cost-free provision and massive promotion of the OPIN platform for the youth community and a financing through sponsors.
Also a future agreement between the partners of the project on the use of the OPIN after the project has been developed. Liquid Democracy will run the platform in the future as one of their main products.
EUth-systems (WP2, 3, 4)
The development of the online platform OPIN (WP 2 EUth-applications) and the integration of the other two components (WP 3 EUth-methods and WP 4 EUth -services) happened in close interaction with the Living Lab (WP 5) and the pilots (WP6-8) to ensure usability.
The OPIN platform with all its components is available in English, German, French, Italian, Danish, Swedish and Slovenian. The core of the platform is additionally available in Macedonian, Greek and Georgian.
EUth-applications (WP2): In various workshops and user journeys the platform design was chosen. Great effort was given to the harmonious integration of the planning tool (WP3) and the guidelines (WP4) into a full toolkit.
Over the three years the platform was continuously released, tested, improved and released again. With the 10th release, OPIN has its final shape: The platform offers to initiators of participation a full environment for the management of their participation projects and to users an easy interface to voice their ideas.
Currently there are 3.200 registered users, 30 organizations created in sum 180 projects leading to 900 posted ideas and the community is constantly growing.
EUth-methods (WP3): The Decision Support Tool (DST) chooses for the initiator the platform features that match best with the initiators’ expectations and capabilities. The system has been developed according to a comprehensive research on digital youth participation projects and workshops with participation experts to identify influencing factors for the setup of participation processes.
EUth-services (WP4): To develop guidelines on how to conduct youth eParticipation 15 interviews with target group representatives and 25 young participants from the four pilots have been carried out. Additionally, a workshop was held on privacy and data protection.
Living Lab (WP5, 6, 7, 8)
Its aim was to prepare, support and supervise the pilots to use the platform for their participation projects. Additionally, the pilots’ experiences using the software were evaluated and used within the project to improve the platform (WP5).
Students Participation (WP6): AEGEE used the OPIN platform for their Agora in May 2016 and in seven Local Antennae. For this 14 capacity building workshops on the platform OPIN were held, reaching in total 365 youngsters.
Youth Empowerment (WP7): CPJ – Youth Council of Paris used OPIN to include youngsters in Paris in their work and to design a standardized participation process that serves as blue print for future participation processes.
European Young Citizens Participation (WP8): Partners in the cross-border region Triest-Koper and in Slovenia first recruited aspiring youngsters to become Young Community Managers. As main results OPIN was used in different participation projects in the cross-border area Trieste-Koper and in Slovenia. To make the programme sustainable, the EUth Community Manager scheme for personal development monitoring and validation of competences was developed.
Marketing and Deployment (WP9): successfully carried out various marketing and promotion activities:
- Project website Euth.net: 20.903 visitors
- Social media: Facebook page (facebook.com/euth.net) has 1.259 followers; Twitter has 316 followers. Facebook group “eparticipation” had 357 members, “ePartizipation” (german-speaking) – 1.307 members.
- Marketing materials: roll-ups, brochures and flyers.
- 2 animation videos produced
- EUth has been visible in various events: 1.452 participants in 34 marketing workshops; 3.927 participants in 56 presentations
- During the Open Call 10 contracts with new pilots were signed.
- Open Summit in December 2017: 131 visitors from 34 countries and 20 speakers. More than 400 people were following the online stream of the event.
• OPIN offers digital youth participation projects a digital home: OPIN does not only provide participation features – it enables registered projects to digitalize the whole process, fostering transparency and coherence.
• OPIN combines online and f2f participation: OPIN enables to host multi-tier participation projects which encompass also face-to-face participation methods, a complete new possibility that has not been developed by any provider before.
• OPIN is available for youth eParticipation also after the termination of EUth as a long-term offer. As there is currently no other platform specialized on youth eParticipation, OPIN can be seen as the basic infrastructure for youth eParticipation in Europe.
• OPIN is for free and thus affordable also for small youth organizations and administrations. By this we expect to attract new groups to experiment with youth eParticipation that before could not pay for it.