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Awards and prizes

 

EPSA 2011

The Knowledge Based Economy Project has received a new certification of Good Practice at the 2011 „European Public Sector Awards” (EPSA) within the European Institution of Public Administration.

The Best Practice Certificate has been received upon three evaluation steps made by an experienced jury, comprising a shortlist of 58 nominees from a total of 274 projects from 33 participating countries. The Ministry of Communications and Information Society, through the Project Management Unit, competed  in the EPSA 2011 Awards at the „Smart Public Service in a Cold Economic Climate”category. This Best Practice distinction rewards and certify the outstanding results that KEP Project has had until now.

 

The COMPUTERWORLD Honors Program

The Project Management Unit, within the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, has been named a Laureate in the 2011 ComputerWorld Honors Program.

The „Knowledge based Economy Project” joins 254 others from 23 countries as Laureates in this year’s program, from more than 1000 applicants world wide.

The Awards Ceremony will be held in June, 20th 2011, in Washington D.C., USA.

 

National Agency of Public Servants

1st Prize at the National Competition of Best Practices in Public Administration, , for "Improving public services through quality management and organizational performance" category, organized by the National Agency of Public Servants in 2010.

Knowledge based Economy Project is considered to be an example of good practice in Romania's public administration due to its remarkable results, its proven efficiency and its disseminated practices.

 

THE HIGHEST HONOR IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Finalist, at the International Project Excellence Awards 2010, in "Project Excellence in Medium-Sized Projects" category, organized by the International Project Management Association (IPMA).

The solid implementation and success of the IT&C Training Program in school and business and the eCommunity.ro Portal, both part of the KEP Project, have impressed the IPMA jury (Project Management International Association), who recommends them as one of the most important achievements in project management.

 

e-Inclusion 2008

Medal at the e-Inclusion Competitionorganized by the European Commission, at the section “Geographic Inclusion” section, Vienna, 2008. The Knowledge based Economy Project is considered an example of good practice for effective use of IT&C and digital technology to tackle social disadvantage and digital exclusion.

 

Romanian IT&C Awards 2006

Knowledge Based Economy was considered to be the "Project with the best informational content" at the Romanian IT&C Awards – Bucharest, 2006, for contributing to the extensive process of expanding access to information technologies and modern communications to rural communities.

What is the knowledge based economy?

Better information, appropriate channels to disseminate it and get to it, educated users, eco-efficient resources, investment in social capital, connectivity and competitive infrastructure, lower cost, higher efficiency, intelligent public services, social inclusion, direct access to a content global market (collective intelligence), support for small and middle sized companies, developing the search field for continuous innovation of the knowledge capital. In other words - use of knowledge technologies to produce economic benefits.

The ultimate objective of a knowledge-based economy is gross domestic product growth through investment in human capital, with information technology and training, learning to generate and exploit Knowledge.

Pan-continental and continental organizations for which social and economic development of disadvantaged countries and regions is an important objective, as are the World Bank and the European Union, address important research programs for a better understanding of the needs of the post-modern world. The results of these programs have identified solutions and recommendations that European and international policies are built on.

The Lisbon Treaty (2007), ratified by all EU countries, including Romania, the initiative i2010 and the Riga Declaration (2006) and the latest Digital Agenda for Europe 2020 are documents that ensure the transition from the Information Society to Knowledge Society. A manifesto and also important study and strategic plan is the political agenda of the next five years for „ future European knowledge society”, established in September 2009 by the Ministry of Communications of Sweden, a country which held the EU Council Presidency in 2009.

Knowledge Based Economy is a concept that Europe itself is trying, therefore, to make it applicable to its culture, trying to keep intact human individuality, but redefining the society as a whole.

What is the Project Knowledge based economy?

In Romania, under a study of the emerging knowledge based economy, prepared by the World Bank's pre-accession (2003), were proposed a series of economic policies that can reduce disparities identified in relation to European and international standards. In this context, a team of experts from the Ministry of Communications and Information Societz have developed the project documentation of the Knowledge Based Economy Project, a strategic pioneering project for the knowledge society in (KEP, the abbreviated version of the jargon of work) and obtained a loan worth USD 60 mil from World Bank, with the participation of the Government of Romania of USD 9,4 mil.

“Being able to handle the computer was, in the majority of places that I have been to, a daily habit. Maybe not everyone was so advanced as Saschiz or Laslea, where small businessmen already manage their business on the Internet. Or as innovative as Viişoara, where for the booming flower industry, residents consult the web for new varieties of flowers. Or as enthusiastic as Zlatna town, where rehabilitation after closing down the plant, brings together the local intellectuals in front of the computer”. (Iaromira Popovici, in Dilema Veche Magazine, August 7th, 2009)

In Romanian media, perhaps the most beautiful recognition came from the quality press. The weekly Dilema Veche Magazine dedicated, in the summer of 2009, a comprehensive dossier which is an X-ray of the changes in Romanian villages after nearly three years of implementing the Project. “[...] and it doesn't relate just to a technology that the governmental programs via European organizations introduce „officially “ in the life of citizens, but the power that they acquired learning to use this technology”. (Extract from the article that relates the second literacy of Romania.)

Who runs the project?

The team that started the Project in 2005, build from personnel of the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, has designed a local network with 510 knowledge specialists and contributed to their professional development. They now work in 255 local communities included in the Project at putting into practice this vision.

They started their journey as specialists in different domains of work, from teachers, IT experts, public servants, to journalists or graduates. Every one of them was introduced into a massive training programme when entering the Project, which offered them access to domains of knowledge and performance unattainable before; practically, they were the first beneficiaries of the Knowledge Society. They were trained in project management, marketing and communication, risk management and change management, quality and environment, human resources management and institutional design, writing projects for European funding, web design and IT&C use in business. Along with the central team of the Project, who had the role of an initiator and energy catalyst, the experts stands for a wide national Knowledge network, adapted to the present time, citizen and community development orientated.

The Project coordination respect a set of clear procedures imposed by the World Bank and adopted in any project management process achieved at international standards. That is why one of the main components of the project is devoted entirely to project management, containing plans and indicators of deadlock, communication, risk, change, quality, human resources, etc., all subject to a continuous process of monitoring and evaluation which dictates the manner of the objective’s implementation.

The management accountability act was done by innovation in the context of public projects, namely in stating the role of national coordinator of the Minister of resort himself, mandated to lead the project as planned by management and the Romanian legislation.

The Project Management Unit within the Ministry of Communications ensures the strategic level (central) management and consists of a team of specialists in education and training, e-government, business administration, communication and public relations, procurement, financial accounting and human resources.

The operational level (local) of management is ensured by the 255 Local Community electronic Networks (LCeNs) and the 510 knowledge specialists disbursed in the local environment (a LCeN manager and an IT specialist for every community) who now became resource individuals for their community, the first direct beneficiaries of informational society, knowledge and information technology promoters.

Every Local Community electronic Network has aggregated four important community nodes, with the purpose of building an integrated network of creativity and access to knowledge: the Town Hall, the School, the Public Library and the Public Point of Access to Information (PPAI).

What are the partner institutions involved in the Project?

There are two levels of partnership: an operational one, which affects the implementation and a strategic one, that decides upon policies and ensures interdisciplinary interoperability. The first level, there are the 255 local authorities from KEP communities.

The second one, formalized by a Steering Committee, brings together officials from the Ministry of Administration and Interior, Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Business Environment.

What are the objectives of the Project?

The Government of Romania has launched an ambitious program advancing an information society and fulfilling the requirements of Lisbon Agenda and the Digital Agenda for Europe 2020. The focus of the program is to facilitate Romania’s progression towards a knowledge-based economy and to work towards bridging the country’s digital divide with EU countries.

Financed by the World Bank through a loan agreement which will be carried out until February, 2013, the Project responds to specific requests received by the Bank from the Government of Romania:

·         increasing utilization of public concern e-services that are already developed in the public administration sector;

·         increasing digital literacy through access to IT&C and building competences for an inclusive society;

·         promoting computer-assisted learning in basic and lower secondary education schools;

·         supporting private sector and stimulating innovative business initiatives for a sustainable community development.

 

Component 1. Expanded access to Information & Communication Technologies and improved digital literacy.

·         IT&C access for knowledge disadvantaged communities through telecenters (Public Points of Access to Information – PPAI).

·         IT&C access for students in basic elementary ands econdary schools.

·         Digital Literacy for students and teachers through IT in schools.

·         Digital Literacy for communities and businesses.

 

Component 2: Development and promotion of government e-services.

  • Electronic system for online registration of authorized persons and family associations.
  • Integrated Software for Issuing Civil Documents for citizens.

 

Component 3: Promotion of e-commerce and innovation support for SMEs.

  • Developing the ecomunitate.ro portal for promoting e-commerce and business networks (eStore).
  • Establishing a grant facility for local entrepreneurs.

 

 

 

What happened so far in the Project?

At the end of 2005, began the ambitious journey of a young team, dedicated entirely to new targets, unprecedented in the local area. A team that would take management decisions that affected nearly 8% of people in the country and set out to find quick solutions to problems arising due to exclusive features, flaws and sensitivities of disadvantaged populations, disconnected from mainland reality.

From 2005, the Knowledge Based Economy Project aspired to engage the citizens and the communities involved in the Project into an innovative exercise, with an unequivocal target: improving the living standards for more than 1.8 million citizens, almost 20% of rural Romanian population, by joining everyone’s excellence and transforming collaboration into common value.

 

Piloting abridging the digital divide

The first step in reducing the digital divide between urban and rural society was to identify the nine communities that formed an experimental piloting network: Lăpuşnicu Mare, Albeştii de Muscel, Aninoasa, Jurilovca, Targu Lăpuş, Ostra, Corund, Şinca Veche and Pilu. The basic criteria for the election of the pilot communities was the national coverage, so that every community would serve as a champion of the origin typology.

The piloting process was perhaps one of the most relevant moments in the history of the project: it was when the radiography of the local climate was made, when the first feasibility studies were developed, when the scaling strategies were established, the needs were identified and a set of recommendations was designed as a base for the action plan of the entire project.

Notable for understanding the phenomenon are the program of Technical Assistance regarding integrating ICT into Secondary Education, held in the pilot schools and the Training programme for IT skills, whose beneficiaries were civil servants, teachers, the Local Community electronic Network personnel, entrepreneurs and other people in the pilot communities.

Access to information

The pilot network would become shortly the foundation which the next 246 Local Communities Electronic Networks (RECL) were built on. Because in Romania, according to a sociological study, the number of localities cut off from knowledge is more than one thousand- one third of all territorial-administrative units - engaging in a competition was necessary to the local authorities concerned.

The Project started with a selection process, to where were invited to participate all the City Halls from apron. 3000 rural and small urban communities in Romania (with a population under 30.000 inhabitants). From a number of 1.500 localities who wanted to concur in this Project, only 255 of them were declared eligible and were included in the Knowledge Based Economy Project.

The selection process was seven stages and was finished with the completion of the list of beneficiaries.

 

Second step: the Communication Infrastructure. The massive investment in assuring the IT&C infrastructure for every 255 community has stand for the starting point in offering access to knowledge and information. Optical fiber, modern hardware and software equipment, servers, furniture, all of these represented the ground zero in designing the a local integrated network for access to knowledge.

 

At central level, it was established the Community Support Center (CSC), a call-center dedicated to the whole KEP network, which provides technical assistance and support for all 255 communities.

 

Investing in the social capital

Third step: selecting and training the human resources of LCeNs. From feasibility studies it was apparent that the optimal formula of the local team of „knowledge specialists” is in collaboration of two experts with specific tasks: a network manager (LCeN manager), which was going to have an important role in the community, namely a facilitator and promoter of the factors contributing to local development and an IT administrator, who was going to maintain the integrated information system network. The Public Access Point to information (PPAI) would become the most popular network node.

All the 510 local experts represented the first direct beneficiaries of the KEP Project, because of the multiple training sessions that were dedicated to them: project management, marketing and communications, digital literacy, local community development.

Course materials:

·            Introduction to using Computers

·            Fundamentals of managing networks

·            Interdisciplinary management for local communities

·            GLOCAL: Think globally! Act locally! Sustainable development (DD), ″UMBRELLA″ of local economic development (DEL)

·            How we measure sustainability? A conversation about SMART indicators

·            Local economic development (DEL), vector of sustainable development (SD)

·            Leadership: from complexity to change

·            FINIS CORONAT OPUS: year of reflection, learning and personal growth

Perhaps the most important professional training program was the intensive course for using ICT in school and business, completed in the summer of 2009 with the granting of over 5000 CNFPA certificates. Addressed to all members of the KEP communities, especially to teachers, librarians, entrepreneurs and public servants, the course was conceived and structured in a personalized manner, using the basic indicators of the socio-professional profile of beneficiaries, their needs, the degree of familiarity with computer use and digital resources.

 

 

 

Medrea Alexandrina, teacher in Saschiz:

«By implementing the project EBC, the services available in our school are: access to the Internet, use of PC courses, facilitating exchange and partnership, and why not, the competitions with other schools, use of modern teaching and learning.»

Adina Grădinaru, local councilwoman, Ibăneşti :

«You are doing a great job. These courses should be organized at the village level, on large areas.»

Radu Aniela, entrepreneur, Rebricea :

«The course was extremely well planned and presented which made the learning process easy and enjoyable.»

Tomulescu Silviu, civil servant, Slobozia Bradului:

«In PAPI I learned many things from the RECL team, especially how to use the computer. My knowledge of computers were quite confusing at first, but gradually I began to learn how to format text, how to manipulate a database, use the Internet and email, etc.. I can say now that I know I how to use the PC as much as I didn't hope at college graduation.»

The approach involved an unprecedented deployment of forces, but the effort was worth it. Not only because they have open access to information, but it also had a significant component of inclusion on the basis of age: the monitoring report shows a volume of almost 40% of the graduates are over 40 years of age.

Graduates that come from a business background were invited to further their learning by participating in 7 regional seminars dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. The structure of the seminars gave information entrepreneurs about open calls for the granting of European funds, presentations of success cases, notions about online marketing and e-business with application in eComunitate portal.

Innovation in education trhough IT&C

Next Step: integrating ICT in education. Accessing digital resources in the educational process during primary and secondary education was, until now, an alternative. Although just one click away, there is a horizon of knowledge that abolishes the limits of communication and offers a huge amount of resources, schools in Romania, especially those in rural areas were deprived of this privilege.

Therefore, the development of public policies for ICT integration in the pre-universitary education system was the first goal that was achieved through a joint-work between the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Education.

 

In terms of innovation in formal education, KEP hungered to create competences and a “culture” of collaboration among the local schools through Internet-based resources and established communities of pedagogical practices. Innovation in education stands for an answer to the needs and problems facing education (financial cuts, budgetary constraints, unequal opportunities in the teaching-learning process), but also for the population’s ideals and aspirations. The objectives in education take into account three dimensions: curricular (innovation in school programs), pedagogical (innovation in the learning process) and organizational (structural innovation, roles and functions accomplished by the people involved in education).

 

The project established school-based node in the LCeN and provided computers and other IT&C equipments in basic and lower secondary education schools. The project helps schools with convenient access for teachers and pupils to the Internet and digital information.

 

The e-Holiday! competition that takes place under the Knowledge based Economy Project was developed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports is aimed at strengthening the positive practices in extracurricular educational activities, characterized by a creative use of computer, communication and development of educational communities and of modern teaching practices. Close collaboration between project’s schools participants is aimed at assimilating new techniques for using IT&C in education and attracting new users in rural areas (parents, grandparents, entrepreneurs, local citizens).

 

KEP has developed so far 7 editions of e-Holiday! (2006 – 2012). For a review of all the results, uploaded materials, participants and champions, but also for visualising the entire educational process based on innovation, access the dedicated section in this portal (http://ecomunitate.ro/evacanta).

 

Related articles:

·            e-Stories: Life seen through the eyes of children from disadvantaged communities in Romania is full of hope

·            e-Vacanţă 2009 graphics: A happy and multicolored world, seen through the eyes of child

·            e-Vacanţă!, opportunity for children of Dărmăneşti to make their own blog

·            e-Vacanţă! at Râu Alb de Jos or how to spend your holidays than at school

·            Creative holiday to Sãlcioara

·            „e-Vacanţa” at Halmeu - photographer at age 8

·            1st Prize „e-Vacanţă”, won by 30 children and a computer

·            The winning teams of the e-holiday competition were awarded at camp Poiana Pinului: „You should continue to learn what you started!”

e-Government

In most of our communities and, in general, in the rural areas, citizens carry their documents by cart tens of kilometers (or even hundreds), to the local authority for an Apostle. To establish a proper relationship between state and citizen, reduce costs, save time, not let taxpayers talk to a stand , after staying in a queue, winter or summer, all of these have been identified as needs which to their support come the services of electronic governance.

“[...] optical fibre was installed in Savîrşin city because, otherwise, Public Finances would there be abolished, since they could not transmit data to the county administration, and people ought to walk 100 km round trip to the nearest point, on a road full of curves and very crowded. Thus had had the Săvîrşin citizens to benefit from connecting to the Internet. The account belongs RECL manager of Vărădia de Mures, which tells us something about the snow ball effect that our project started in close communities, not KEP network.

Our project has proposed to help the citizens by providing a local government integrated system, capable of issuing civil status documents (birth, marriage and death certificates). In other words, the system brings locally the database record of the citizen (which, at present, is in Bucharest and at the county residence), and filing the documents, by the citizen, is reduced to a form electronically transmitted online. Preparation of the technical documentation and the necessary documents and implementation of acquisition was a long process and is the result of the study and technical analysis completed by a common working group MCSI-MAI.

The project also invest in a system dedicated to environmental stimulation of the business environment, system that provides a platform for online registration of the authorized individuals and of the family associations who want to start a business. To be quickly made available to potential entrepreneurs, territory officials attended use courses. Unfortunately, the platform can not be put into use until you will suffer some changes due to new legislation.

Grants for innovation in business

When launching the KEP Project, the business environment within the selected communities was almost absent, or not at all. The need for a massive intervention with business strategies for creating an entrepreneurial climate was impending. This was the framework for developing the e-Growth grants scheme.

The launch of the funding program in 2009 has had an awareness campaign, with 7 regional seminars, appearances in local media, peak appearances at national television and other commercial channels dedicated to business people. The scheme addressed authorized individuals and family associations that can create a better visibility in the online environment, but as well as micro-companies who wish to become more competitive, purchasing for example, a customer relationship management system or a production line that uses cutting-edge technology.

A virtual platform for digital content

Launched in 2009 as the most complex content site financed by the Romanian Government, the www.ecomunitate.ro portal represents an unique initiative in Romania, a massive digital instrument with which all 255 local communities can interact, can transfer knowledge and generate content, access information and good practices through web 2.0 technologies.

Hosting more than 1900 educational materials, more than 2000 success stories, articles, news and events from local areas, 2 webminaries, 102 local websites, useful resources and an online company’s catalogue, eComunitate.ro has become a virtual informational resource for 1.8 million citizens as direct beneficiaries of KEP project and for more than 2.5 million portal visitors.

Which are KEP’s performances?

The innovation journey to smart public service delivery by digital access was demanding, but never the less very rewarding and included many steps in its implementation. Based upon its general and specific objectives, the performances registered up until now are very encouraging for the Ministry of Communications and for the 255 local communities.

 

Approximately 1.8 million people in Romania have now access to a new technology and information and to the opportunities and benefits they can offer.

For Romania, member of the European Union, access to and use of knowledge and new information technologies is an important part of the integration process and of catching-up with the living standards of the member states.

 

But the Knowledge Economy Project is not just about technology and broadband access. It is about ensuring that people are comfortable using it and understand the benefits from using it.

Innovative knowledge sheltering in education via IT&C:

- more than 3800 teachers from 229 schools trained in innovative use of IT&C and financing project elaboration for school’s development;

- training for librarians in the use of IT&C in each public library from every KEP community;

- More than 30% of teachers use computer and Internet when preparing evaluation subjects for students, learning materials and lessons;

- e-Holiday! schoolar competition has gathered until this moment 7 editions and recorded more than 15.000 students and 1000 teachers from more than 200 participant schools, 318 educational projects and 1900 materials uploaded on ecomunitate.ro portal;

Skills development programs for inclusive community growth:

- 5225 trained people with CNFPA certificates (1940 teachers, 187 librarians, 1207 civil servants, 662 entrepreneurs, 530 potential entrepreneurs, 178 graduates, 521 other local people);

- 60 accreditations as IT&C Professional Training Centers that had been given to 60 LCeN centers, making another step towards sustainability, self-financing and development of their communities;

- 100 IT specialists were trained in IT&C use in business and web design and creation (102 websites were created for local entrepreneurs and firms from KEP communities, which are also hosted by the ecomunitate.ro portal);

- 7 regional business seminars were held, with a participation of 480 LCeN managers and IT specialists;

- 2 training sessions were organized regarding the efficiency of local communities to attract external funds in their community, with a participation of 250 LCeN managers and IT specialist; 3 development priority needs were identified for each of the 255 KEP communities;

- 2 online workshops were mentored on the ecomunitate.ro portal – “Successful businesses in virtual environment”.

Intelligent outlines for LCeNs sustainability:

- 229 KEP communities have 100% completed a sustainability plan (87 KEP communities were declared champion and very good communities).

 

 

Knowledge sharing and transferability for mutual tuition:

- 40 exchange experiences were effectuated between other KEP communities, where representatives from all 255 KEP communities have participated;

- 37 LCeN managers and 15 Local Project Coordinators have participated at 5 international study visits in Ireland, Hungary, Lithuania, Denmark and France, facilitated by the Knowledge Based Economy Project.

A platform for the public sector innovators:

- www.ecomunitate.ro portal, national repository of the most relevant contributions of the knowledge-enhanced-workers has gathered more than 2000 articles, news, events, success stories, hundreds of blog type articles; 2.5 million users and visitors generate the most powerful web 2.0 learning instrument used by civil servants, teachers, entrepreneurs, local leaders;

- 50 wiki materials, 300 forum discussions, 150 comments only in 2011.

Proactive approaches on the grounds of a cold economic climate:

- 432 funding applications were written based on the 3 priorities of community development, with a total potential attracted value for eligible projects of 250 mil Euro.

Facilitating partnerships which address European challenges:

- 328 partnerships were concluded with 101 partners (NGOs, associations, private companies);

- 206 KEP communities have concluded at least one public-private partnership, one community (Bustuchin, Gorj County) has 6 partnerships concluded, nine communities have 5 partnerships concluded, six communities have 4 partnerships concludes and thirteen communities have 3 partnerships concluded;

Developing and financing a networking program for KEP communities:

- during the CONECT Partnership Program, the total value of grants was 300,000 USD and a maximum of 8.500 USD per eligible project;

- through CONECT Program, 31 projects were selected to be financed with a total amount of 731185,77 ROL ( 248.00 USD);

- among the CONECT Projects, we can find: “Information for Development”, Berchisesti, Suceava County; “An informed citizen, an efficient administration”, Balta Alba, Buzau County; “Innovation and technology for Aina-Oravita area tourism potential”, Anina, Caras Severin County; “E-Active, counseling and training services for unemployed”, Rafaila, Vaslui County; etc.

Monitoring and evaluation indicators: 2009 vs. 2008 GROWTH :

  • Training sessions held at PAPI + over 100%
  • Projects developed in schools + 23%
  • Projects developed in libraries + over 100%
  • Companies-local entrepreneurs who used the RECL resources to access services of central or local government + over 200%
  • PAPI services dedicated to local micro-enterprises + over 7,75 %
  • Projects financed by the European Union and other sources + over 50%
  • Partnerships between local companies and regional ones + over 39 %

Quantitative indicators of market research: 2009 vs. 2008 GROWTH

  • PAPI notoriety + 29 %
  • Computer utilization (total population KEP) + 10 %
  • Internet usage (total population KEP) + 11%
  • The level of ICT knowledge (of teachers) + 21 %

What comes next?

The economic crisis, poverty, feelings of exclusion, the lack of digital skills, distrust of local actors should be converted into legitimacy, skills, confidence in their ability to succeed, confidence in authorities, the regaining of self-esteem, intercommunity cooperation. We could also add connecting of rural households to the wider market and transferring extra information in rural areas, rural community.

The last year of the project is essential to get us where we set out to go and therefore requires an integrated effort, able to connect and to coagulate the results of seven years of KEP. Almost all activities planned will take place on competitive criteria, so that human resources can be properly justified. In other words, we invest in the transfer of knowledge to beneficiaries of the project, which will be given much more than the joy of being competent but also social recognition. Whether it's the LCeNs personnel or teachers, entrepreneurs or librarians.

60 ICT skills training centers

The 60 centers provide a network of locally managed trainers, which will continue what the Knowledge Based Economy Project started in accessibility, when it trained 5,000 people who received CNFPA certificates. It is obvious that services offered by network training will address the entire population, KEP or non-KEP.

229 Resource Centers for Community Development

Currently, PAPI receives reduced financial resources and the equipment offered in the project lacks a viable plan for sustainability that would provide an ideal framework for operation. 229 Local Communities have proactive responded to the challenge of continuing the innovative activities of the LCeN and transforming the Public Point of Access to Information into a Resource Center for community development.

The RECL manager will become a disseminator of community welfare, a resource citizen within the community perceived as a factor of improving the quality of life. The IT manager will become a local expert in technical and digital infrastructure, enlarging the book of services delivered in the community.

Technical Assistance for KEP schools

As a major component of KEP project, the Technical Assistance programme for smart use of IT&C in local schools and libraries is under running and has as a prior objective enabling the access to knowledge for disadvantaged communities, regarding education. As direct beneficiaries of this programme, the teachers and pupils from KEP schools have responded to the challenge of engaging into an innovative exercise for embracing new IT&C technologies in the classroom and using technical and digital content resources in the learning process, but also in community development activities by attracting funds and building interschool partnerships.

Building partnership through European projects

Building pan-European partnerships ascertain for the Knowledge Based Economy an important objective in the Project’s evolution, who tenders to assure a sustainable continuance of the achieved performances. Validating these partnerships will certify the existance of some national good practices and will encourage the design of transnational collaboration that will conduct to new approaches, services and models of good practice.

Awards and prizes

 

EPSA 2011

The Knowledge Based Economy Project has received a new certification of Good Practice at the 2011 „European Public Sector Awards” (EPSA) within the European Institution of Public Administration.

The Best Practice Certificate has been received upon three evaluation steps made by an experienced jury, comprising a shortlist of 58 nominees from a total of 274 projects from 33 participating countries. The Ministry of Communications and Information Society, through the Project Management Unit, competed  in the EPSA 2011 Awards at the „Smart Public Service in a Cold Economic Climate”category. This Best Practice distinction rewards and certify the outstanding results that KEP Project has had until now.

 

The COMPUTERWORLD Honors Program

The Project Management Unit, within the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, has been named a Laureate in the 2011 ComputerWorld Honors Program.

The „Knowledge based Economy Project” joins 254 others from 23 countries as Laureates in this year’s program, from more than 1000 applicants world wide.

The Awards Ceremony will be held in June, 20th 2011, in Washington D.C., USA.

 

National Agency of Public Servants

1st Prize at the National Competition of Best Practices in Public Administration, , for "Improving public services through quality management and organizational performance" category, organized by the National Agency of Public Servants in 2010.

Knowledge based Economy Project is considered to be an example of good practice in Romania's public administration due to its remarkable results, its proven efficiency and its disseminated practices.

 

THE HIGHEST HONOR IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Finalist, at the International Project Excellence Awards 2010, in "Project Excellence in Medium-Sized Projects" category, organized by the International Project Management Association (IPMA).

The solid implementation and success of the IT&C Training Program in school and business and the eCommunity.ro Portal, both part of the KEP Project, have impressed the IPMA jury (Project Management International Association), who recommends them as one of the most important achievements in project management.

 

e-Inclusion 2008

Medal at the e-Inclusion Competitionorganized by the European Commission, at the section “Geographic Inclusion” section, Vienna, 2008. The Knowledge based Economy Project is considered an example of good practice for effective use of IT&C and digital technology to tackle social disadvantage and digital exclusion.

 

Romanian IT&C Awards 2006

Knowledge Based Economy was considered to be the "Project with the best informational content" at the Romanian IT&C Awards – Bucharest, 2006, for contributing to the extensive process of expanding access to information technologies and modern communications to rural communities.

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