Studiare Sviluppo supports the Department for Cohesion Policy – Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM – DPCoe) in the Grant agreement At the School of OpenCohesion (ASOC) N.2019CE16BAT085 co-funded by the European Union.
At the School of OpenCohesion (ASOC) is an educational project and a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) designed for high-school students. It promotes the engagement of students in monitoring the effectiveness of EU cohesion policy investments via the use of public open data. The educational challenge is coupled with a competition: students should produce a communication product to illustrate their findings and submit to the competition.
At the School of OpenCohesion (“A Scuola di OpenCoesione”) was launched in Italy in 2013 as part of the national open government strategy, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Representation Office of the European Commission in Italy and with the support of the European Commission’s network of Europe Direct Information Centres. Since its inception, almost 20,000 students have participated in ASOC in Italy: from 7 secondary school classes in 2013-2014 to 200 classes and 5,000 students in 2018-2019. The educational challenge is based on a model that combines online content with group work in the classroom, using online tools, blogs and social networks. It focuses on cohesion policy, methods and techniques of statistical data analysis, storytelling and communication together with “soft” skills (project management, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving). The winning classes participate in educational trips to Rome and Brussels. In addition, after completion of the research, ASOC promotes ongoing monitoring by collecting follow-up videos on the implementation of EU projects.
In March 2019, the European Commission has launched a call for expression of interest “Pilot on civic engagement in monitoring EU-funded projects in the OpenCohesion School” in order to support the replication of the format in other Member States. Seven national or regional authorities in five different Members States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Portugal and Spain) submitted their expression of interest to the call. The pilot project aims at promoting good governance on regional development, given the importance of open data at EU and national level on cohesion policy and the information and communication requirements in the CPR of the current programming period, as reinforced in the EC proposals for 2021-2027.
In this framework the action has the general objective of supporting the main activities of transferring skills and expertise in the selected Member States to replicate the ASOC project fostering the culture of active citizenship and raising awareness of Cohesion Policy among schools’ students.