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Get Online Week 2012 in Romania

European Get Online Week 2012 in Romania – locally branded as Hai pe Net! – was organized and coordinated by the Educating for an Open Society Foundation (EOS) in cooperation with the Digital Alliance for Romania – a collaborative platform built on the convergence of e-inclusion of Romania, aiming to improve skills and absorption of new technologies among the Romanian population.

Only the national launch of the Get Online Week 2012 campaign that took place on March 26 in Bucharest gathered more than 200 representatives of officials and public figures, mass media personnel, coordinators from e-centers, librarians, teachers, students of different age groups and simple citizens – all key actors in achieving the goals of the campaign. But in the end, 576 telecenters were involved in the campaign, raising the public’s awareness about the importance of digital skills on their personal & professional lives and on a national & European level.

» view the GOW2012 pictures from Romania

European Get Online Week 2012 in Romania – locally branded as Hai pe Net! – was organized and coordinated by the Educating for an Open Society Foundation (EOS) in cooperation with the Digital Alliance for Romania –  a collaborative platform built on the convergence of e-inclusion of Romania, aiming to improve skills and absorption of new technologies among the Romanian population. The Alliance signatories include government representatives, civil society and the business environment.

The objective of Get Online Week was to help get people through the doors of their local telecenters – represented in Romania through a solid network of libraries (aprox. 1600), e-centres (40), public acces points to information (252), education venues  and NGOs. With this first step behind, telecentre staff would be able to build people’s confidence and lead them into a more structured learning about technology and the benefits it brings to their personal and professional lives.

The campaign’s target group was identified based on Eurostat statistics regarding digital skills and the usage of technology today. The main focus was on:
» People who never used a computer and have no knowledge of the benefits of ICT
» Young people between 16 and 24, who that don’t have the digital skills needed and/or do not know how to use the software packages required on the labour market
» Unemployed people
» Seniors

EOS’s vision regarding the GOW campaign was to make it PUBLIC and RAISE THE PUBLIC’s AWARENESS about the importance of digital skills on their personal & professional lives and on a national & European level, and to inform the population about the aim of the Digital Agenda for Europe. A strong, well-structured and coordinated strategy was developed and implemented, to make the campaign and its objectives, as visible as possible. All communication channels were used: mass media coverage, Facebook and blogs, websites, and the networks established by EOS with different partners in previous projects: e-centers (founded by Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program), public libraries (equipped with computers, software, access to Internet and training for the librarians in Biblionet Project founded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), educational institutions networks (Ministry of Education and Microsoft – Partners in Learning Program).

The national launch of the Get Online Week 2012 campaign took place on March 26 in Bucharest and gathered more than 200representatives of officials and public figures, mass media personnel, coordinators from e-centers, librarians, teachers, students of different age groups and simple citizens – all key actors in achieving the goals of the campaign and concerned by the high percentage of Europeans, with focus on Romanians, that never used a computer or the internet and are not benefiting from our information-rich society, from job opportunities or education chances, and are not contributing to or collaborating on the internet.

Together with those 200 key actors, 576 telecenters were involved in bringing online the 15.760 Romanians during the week 26-30 of March. Through an application form that proved their commitment and trust in the objectives of the campaign, the coordinators along with their staff and volunteers used different activities (first click, e-Government services, e-Banking, online women, online seniors, intergenerational learning or online services), materials (The Guide for TelecentersThe PR Guideflyersposters, caps, shirts, badges and banners) and tools & training methods (Skillage for youngsters, the Employment toolkit for the unemployed and for those looking for a better job and the Online safety tool) to bring as much people as possible to the telecenters, to motivate them in using the technology, to give them confidence regarding ICT’s and to show them the benefits provided by technology.

With this, Romania came third in terms of rate of participation in the European Get Online Week Campaign. The results of the campaign were achieved through a motivated, concerned team of more then 576 members, coordinated by EOS, all with the same interested in maximizing the social and economic potential of ICT, defining the key role of Information and Communication Technologies and helping Europe to succeed in its ambitions for the 2020 Digital Agenda for Europe.

» Download the complete report of Get Online Week 2012 in Romania