The main events of EU_SHAFE during its third semester

The main events of EU_SHAFE during its third semester
Events, Interreg Europe

The intense sharing of good practices for interregional learning in Hamburg and the Bizkaia domain focused interregional policy learning online workshops

In spite of the great difficulties that the current health emergency is causing, the EU_SHAFE project succeeded in organising the two main events that were on its agenda during fall-winter 2020-2021: the project’s first intense sharing of good practices for interregional learning and the second domain focused interregional policy learning events.

The intense sharing of good practices for interregional learning in Hamburg

Copyright: Hamburg Media Server – Hamburg Art and Design: Sabina Trojanova

The intense sharing of good practices for interregional learning workshops have been organised by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Ministry of Labour, Health, Social, Family Affairs and Integration, on the 19th and 26th of November 2020 as online events.

On the 19th, the objective of the first workshop was to share the lessons learned on the WHO Domain 1 for age-friendly cities and communities – Housing’s seven local good practices collected in the EU_SHAFE partners’ regions and to present the results of the SWOT analysis of the policy instruments in this domain, with reference to the evaluations received from the local stakeholders’ groups consulted in the different regions. During the meeting, the methodology developed by the EU_SHAFE partners for analysing and influencing local policy instruments in the SHAFE area through interregional knowledge exchange has been applied for the first time.

The methodology, presented during the workshop by the University of Deusto, has a twofold objective: first, it aims at analysing how the policy instruments from each participating region approach four from the eight WHO domains for SHAFE (Housing, Social Participation, Community and Health Services and Communication). Secondly, it is expected that the methodology developed supports the regions in identifying possible room for influencing each policy instrument with reference to the work that has been carried out in the field by other European Regions.

The results of the SWOT analysis related to the Domain 1 selected practices have been presented by the following projects partners: Caritas Coimbra, Provincial Council of Bizkaia,        Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia, Center for Assisted Living Technology – Aarhus Municipality, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Ministry of Social Affairs and Louth County Council.

Those presentations showed the workshop’s participants that both the situation in the different regions and the regions’ policy instruments are quite diverse. An intense and fruitful discussion took place as closing part of the meeting. It gave the partners a better understanding of the strategies to support the development of smart and healthy living environments in the different contexts.

The meeting on November 26th had the form of an online study visit of two ERDF-projects in Hamburg, local good practices related to the housing domain. The workshop’s participants had the chance to get some insights on practices by key stakeholders that contributed to their development, management and assessment.

The first project presented,“Vernetzes Wohnen im Quartier” (in short, VWIQ) was funded by the former ERDF operational program (2007-2013), and is included as a good practice in the EU_SHAFE Assessment Report.  The second one, “Aktive und Gesunde Quartiere Rübenkamp und Uhlenhorst”, is the scale-up of the first project. It is characterised by a more integrated and cross-sectional approach and aims at connecting different housing aspects at district level. The scale-up project started in 2016 and is still ongoing, within the current operational program (2014-2020). Prof. Thilo Böhmann from the IT Department of the Hamburg University, formal scientific leader of the VWIQ project, presented the project foundations and the results that emerged in the long-term evaluation carried out in 2014-2016, highlighting the arguments that lead to its scale-up. Mr. Paskel Vogel, as well from the IT Department of the Hamburg University, gave an overview of the scale-up project and introduced the digital neighbourhood platform, “MyNeighbors”, underlying the high level of acceptance of this technology by elderly people. Mrs. Ivonne-Nadine Jürgensen, from the Nursing and Management Department of the Hamburg University of Applied Science (HAW), presented the numerous activities related to health promotion. She brought evidence of the success of this strategy in achieving the set targets, also during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, Prof. Uta Gaidys, from the HAW, showed the outcome of the project evaluation.

As closure, the participants got a good overview of the projects and activities financed under the ERDF operational programme in the context of smart and health living environments in Hamburg from 2012 on.

Bizkaia domain focused interregional policy learning meeting

The second in the series of EU_SHAFE Inter-Regional Policy Learning Workshops, was hosted by the Bizkaia region on 19th January 2021, with organisational and media support provided by ECHAlliance. The event, which was delivered virtually because of the COVID-19 restrictions, was attended by almost 60 participants representing a broad spectrum of European regions and actors.

Focussing on sharing the lessons learned and collected good practices in the different regions participating in the EU_SHAFE project and related to the WHO for age-friendly cities and communities Domain 2 – Social Participation, the aim of the meeting was to boost the international learning policy exchange between the different territories and to share additional experiences relevant to the project. The event also allowed participants to gain a deeper understanding of initiatives and actions implemented in the Bizkaia region.

The workshop, organised in four sessions to allow a proper EU_SHAFE showcase of the good practices selected within the social participation domain and the outline of local policies and initiatives in Bizkaia, was opened by Jose Miguel Corres Abasolo, Council of Bizkaia and EU_SHAFE Lead Partner, who welcomed participants and gave an overview of the EU_SHAFE project. Amaya Mendez Zorrilla, University of Deusto, presented the preliminary results of the EU_SHAFE Aggregated Report on Good Practices related to the WHO social participation domain. This included the collection of EU_SHAFE good practices focussing on their scope and challenges. The first results related to the good practices assessment and analysis have been completed and these identify actions to be prioritised to strengthen impact and scale-up opportunities. Aitzider Mugurra, University of Deusto, closed the first workshop session deepening the Bizkaia good practice in this context, Friendly Cities 4 All: Civic engagement in the field of urban accessibility.

The second session of the workshop, presented by Sergio Murillo Corzo, Minister of Social Action of the Government of Bizkaia, focussed on an overview of Bizkaia’s social policies and strategies and Asier Alustiza, Director General for the Promotion of Personal Autonomy of the Government of Bizkaia, opened the third session outlining the practical articulation of those initiatives on the Bizkaia territory. The workshop’s third session was complemented by the presentation of two local initiatives, the current activities of the Council for the Elderly, presented by its president Manuel Merino and the plan for the participation and quality of life of people with disabilities in Bizkaia, introduced by Yolanda Fillat.

The final session of the workshop, presented by Lourdes Zurbanobeaskoetxea Laraudogoitia of the Council of Bizkaia, allowed the EU_SHAFE stakeholders to learn about a theoretical approach aimed at supporting the older people to become actors in their personal and social life.

The workshop concluded with a highly interactive question and answer session between participants and the various presenters. Following this the Moderator, John Farrell, Reference Sites Collaborative Network, summarised the outcomes from the second EU_SHAFE Interregional Policy Learning Meeting. The following were the key take-away messages:

  1. The perception of society should recognise the needs of all citizens, and a greater understanding of the challenges faced by older adults and those with disabilities in their living environment should be encouraged
  2. Social Participation and Social Innovation provide a framework for greater inclusion of older adults and those with disabilities in the co-design and co-creation of solutions and initiatives which facilitate autonomy and independence
  3. Policies need to be responsive to the needs of society. A changing demography, greater societal needs, and a recognition of citizen rights are some of the key issues to be considered by policy makers in designing services and infrastructure, as well as creating opportunities for the integration of new digital technologies which support independence and autonomy. To ensure the needs of all citizens are provided for it is therefore important to create cross sectoral and cross Government approaches that bring together policy makers and service providers with entrepreneurs, SMEs, Researchers and Citizens to understand the challenges and collaborate in the development and implementation of solutions.

The online Bizkaia workshop’s material, speakers’ presentations and online recording, can be found on the EU_SHAFE web site, in the library section

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