Key Achievements of SCiDEV’s Projects in 2023
Laboratory of University Debate-From Words to Action, 4th edition – The project successfully involved 12 universities in debates, trained 120+ students in digital activism and decision-making, hosted 22 national debates, and mentored 12 student activists for data-driven advocacy campaigns. It organized the Youth Debaters Forum for policy development and published four youth-led policy documents on critical educational and societal issues.
National Festival of Digital Rights – The project has trained nine local civil society organizations in digital rights and security and educated 80 young people from 4 Albanian cities on protecting digital rights and cyber security.
Laboratory of University Debate, 5th edition – The debate program will expand for the first time in all public universities in the country, including Elbasan and Gjirokastër, and engage 100+ students from public and private universities. It will continue data-driven advocacy actions by students and organize the second edition of the Youth Debaters Forum.
Regional Youth Leadership Programme (RYLMP) – The project has empowered 19 policy disruptors, facilitated 3 research mobility periods across Tirana, Belgrade, and Skopje, and produced 4 Advocacy Research Reports. Additionally, it hosted two regional events in Tirana and Belgrade to disseminate program outcomes and delivered a capacity-building mentorship program in research methodology and data-driven advocacy. It organized 38 youth-led meetings with stakeholders and partners in Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia.
Youth Participation in Digital Democracy: From Digital Skills to Digital Rights of Youth with Fewer Opportunities in the Western Balkans (EYDR) – The project led by SCiDEV and its seven partner institutions focuses on engaging, connecting, and empowering young people in the digital world. Over two years, it will research the current situation of youth participation in digital democracy and implement the “Youth Digital Democracy Accelerator Programme” and the “Digital Skills to Digital Rights” awareness campaign. These initiatives aim to enhance digital literacy and promote safe participation in digital democracy, marking the first time SCiDEV leads a European project of this scale.
University to Society Collaboration for Inclusive Digital Transformation in the Western Balkans (U2SID) – SCiDEV plays a pivotal role by researching and publishing a needs assessment on digital literacies in higher education for Albania and Montenegro and developing a working paper focused on the ethical implications of artificial intelligence in higher education, developing communication and outreach as well as sustainability and stakeholders’ engagement plan for the project partners.
Revitalization of the Community Center School in Kurjan for better access to social and economic development for young people and disadvantaged groups – SCiDEV leads conducting community needs research, mentoring young entrepreneurs, creating communication and awareness activities, and training municipal staff including a need assessment report, survey participation of over 100 citizens, capacity-building training for 21 municipal staff in project development, social service delivery, and local development, plus a guideline for staff on supporting local agribusinesses in promotion, branding, and marketing.
Advancing Inclusive Regional Mobility and Catalyzing Mobility-Driven Innovation and Knowledge Transfer in Western Balkans – The project conducted four online consultations from July to August 2023, resulting in 4 briefs summarizing key takeaways. Advocacy meetings were held in Berlin, Brussels, Sarajevo, and Munich/Berlin between September and October 2023. A final public event in Tirana discussed these recommendations. Additionally, 3 op-eds were written, and a final policy paper with recommendations was produced, addressing challenges and proposing recommendations for the Berlin Process Leader’s Summit, supported by a collaborative advocacy strategy within the WB6 and the EU. A high-level panel was organized as part of the Civil Society and Think Tank Forum of the Berlin Process. A policy paper was published on mobility-driven research and innovation.
Strengthening Journalistic Safety through Engaged Stakeholder Collaboration and Journalists’ Capacity Development in Albania – The project aims to create a secure environment for journalists in Albania, enabling them to work without fear of threats or violence. It will be led by SCiDEV in collaboration with Citizen Channel (CC) and Free Press Unlimited (FPU), contributing to an enabling environment for the safety of journalists and media freedom in Albania.
Combating Disinformation in Albania: An Initiative by BIRN Albania & SCiDEV – BIRN Albania and SCiDEV have collaborated to analyze and counteract information manipulation. Their efforts include a detailed media analysis and a campaign against disinformation. This project encompasses a public event, the publication of two analyses on Iran’s propaganda and China’s public diplomacy in Albanian media conducted by SCiDEV, and establishing a resource hub that provides data and insights on disinformation in Albania.
“Increasing representation of women in STEM and countering gender stereotyping in Albania” – STEMspressoXmuc – The project aims to combat gender stereotyping by enhancing the visibility of local Albanian women in STEM across five municipalities. It seeks to foster a STEM education culture among youth in these areas. Key features include 5 STEM talks and 10 podcasts spotlighting women and girls in STEM from Korce, Elbasan, Berat, Vlore, and Kukes. The project also includes ten articles and profiles celebrating the achievements and contributions of these STEM professionals.
Increasing Cyber Resilience of Local Media Outlets in Albania – The project aided five Albanian media outlets in enhancing their digital security. This included conducting digital security assessments for each outlet and 12 journalists, providing five expert consultation sessions on digital safety, and offering organizational support and resources. The project culminated in a dissemination event to share its findings and impacts.
Western Balkan’s Digital Rights Cooperation – The main objectives of the project are to encourage and improve the debate on digital rights in the Western Balkans region, improve the capacities of Western Balkans organizations through networking, and open up opportunities for these organizations to do joint advocacy in the area of digital rights.