Regional Project in the Eastern Neighbours Region

The Regional Project of DVV International covers six countries in Europe: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, and will be implemented from 2022 to 2024. Its main objective is to improve the policy frameworks for Adult Learning and Education (ALE) and to strengthen ALE centers' contribution to the implementation of SDGs based on best national and regional practices, experience as well as international expertise.

For achieving this, the project works closely with DVV International country offices in the region and its core partners on the meso- and macro-levels. This includes cooperation with national networks, associations and platforms of like-minded organisations and experts on Adult Learning and Education in the region engaged in the establishment of enabling environment for ALE and ALE-Centres offering needs-oriented training for their communities.

Building awareness of key actors in ALE from civil society and governments on global and regional policy documents and processes such as Sustainable Development Goals, CONFINTEA VII (Marrakech Framework for Action), European Agenda for Adult Learning 2021-2030 (NEAAL 2030), European Skills Agenda and others is one of the core components of the project. 

Enhancing regional exchange of best practices in establishing and developing ALE Centres in cooperation with local authorities will consolidate existing expertise among partners of DVV International in the countries and create opportunities for further development within the region. Formats of exchange include international conferences, working group meetings, documentation of best practices, study trips, and others.

Capacities of key actors from civil society in the region in establishing and developing ALE-Centres are being developed further by adapting the Curriculum managerALE programme and organising annual Advocacy Academies for joint learning and professional exchange facilitated by the leading European and international experts in the field. These activities include needs assessments, the creation of video lessons, training and workshops, working group meetings, and others.

So far, the first annual Regional Academy on ALE-Advocacy took place on 13-15 December 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. The objective of the Regional Academy on ALE-Advocacy was to gather representatives of key partners of DVV International from national associations/alliances/NGOs working on the promotion of ALE in the six countries of the Regional project and the ALE advocacy experts to enable mutual learning, exchange, and elaboration of new advocacy approaches, methods, and strategies each considering national contexts of participating countries. The Agenda of the Regional Academy on ALE-Advocacy contained relevant topics of Adult Learning and Education (ALE) at the global level and the European level. 

As the result of the first Regional Academy on ALE-Advocacy, representatives all of six countries of the Regional project have agreed to develop their National Advocacy Plans (NAP) to be implemented within the next years with the advisory and financial support of the Regional project. 

Within the second Regional Academy on ALE Advocacy, which took place on May 30 – June 3 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, over 30 representatives from the civil society organisations (associations, networks, and platforms) from six partner countries of the project presented their NAP drafts and received advice from European and international ALE-advocacy experts, and worked on improving and finalizing the documents. This capacity-building event was complemented by inputs on additional advocacy methods and tools which can be used during the implementation of the national plans. 

Also, on February 7th, 2023, the online webinar on the topic of “New European Agenda for Adult Learning 2021-2030 and EU’s New Skills Agenda” took place. The main objective of the event was to build awareness of the current discourse on ALE policy in the EU and the role of civil society in the development of the sector. During the webinar, the experts presented the “New European Agenda for Adult Learning 2021-2030 and EU’s New Skills Agenda”, and their reflections on the concept of skills. Consequently, the participants gained new information and perspectives on the topic and discussed relevant questions with the experts. 

In addition to other activities, a hybrid workshop "State of Convergence of ALE (Adult Learning & Education)-policies between the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the European Union" took place on April 25 in Chishinau and online. During the event, representatives of DVV International, regional authorities, and the NGO leaders took part in the discussion. The main topics discussed within the workshop embraced policies on adult learning in the EU, Ukraine, and Moldova, and the background to their convergence. In particular, the speakers delivered presentations on the most actual issues in regard to the main topic, such as "Policies on adult learning in the EU and in enlargement countries"; "New European Agenda for Adult Learning and the position of civil society towards ALE-policies in the European Union"; "Legislation, Governance and Financing of Adult Learning and Education (ALE) in the Republic of Moldova"; "Implementing the right to education for adults in Ukraine", "On the development of the draft Law on adult education in Ukraine" etc.

One of the main focuses of the Regional Project is enhancing regional exchange of experience in establishing and developing ALE Centres in cooperation with local authorities and consolidating existing expertise among partners of DVV International in the countries. In this regard, peer-to-peer exchange visits for the managers of ALECs within the region are planned. The peer-to-peer exchange programme for ALECs aims to build skills of ALECs managers in the countries of the Regional project based on their own training needs. Peer partnerships are possible not only at the country level; they can also take place within a single country. These bilateral exchanges, tailor-made to participants' individual needs and expectations, also aim to facilitate cooperation and exchange between ALECs on the national and the regional levels. The achieved successful experience in establishing and developing ALECs in the countries of the region could be shared and multiplied. Peer-to-peer learning visits of ALECs managers will be organised to provide participants with hands-on insights, facilitate informal exchange and networking, and deepen the understanding of used methods, tools and approaches. This will encourage exchange of good practices and mutually develop expertise. Coming back from the hosting ALE-Centre, participants of the peer-to-peer exchange programme should be enabled to adopt gained knowledge so it can create an immediate impact for development of the centres.

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