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Actions and Research

Our current research includes:

Forage - "Forage for later-life learning - building on European experience"
A Grundtvig Multi-lateral ‘network of networks´. 518459-LLP-1-2011-1-UK-Grundtvig-GNW

What is Forage?
Since the first European Year of Older People and Intergenerational Solidarity in 1993 there have been many pan European exchanges, projects, training events, seminars, programmes and networks concerned with learning in later life. The numbers increased significantly with the Grundtvig programme proving impetus and funding for imaginative and innovative work across all of Europe.

However we have not made best use of all these rich experiences in terms of building upon them, sharing information, analysing and assessing value and impact against education and ageing policies and research evidence and creating networks to do all this.

The Forage partnership wishes:

- to be the initial source of information for later life learning activities in Europe in order to:
  • Allow for better dissemination of project reports
  • Encourage further use of tools and outputs to increase opportunities available to individuals
  • Create an archive and access point for EU and other initiatives concerned with disciplines that intersect with later-life learning
  • Provide a source of advice and information to emerging and current EU programmes and access to sources of research evidence of the value of later life learning.
  • Provide information on relevant focus years and days; seminars and training events
  • Provide regular information on relevant new policy directions
  • Negotiate for standardised methods of data collection and dissemination to assist comparisons, analyses and understanding
  • Better frame and stimulate debates across bureaucracies, disciplines and silos
  • Be an agency where debate stimulates change.
- To connect later-life learning ideas, projects, policy, research and voices of older people, and thereby promote an integrated and coherent approach in future policy and practice

- To develop dialogue with key national and European politicians and decision makers concerning emerging and key themes and issues in later life learning

- To signpost to a lexicon of terms used across Europe and in disciplines relevant to later-life learning

- To increase the membership of the network by:
  • Adopting dissemination strategies to publicise the Forage identity and aims
  • Developing the resource in all major languages used in the EU
  • Embedding publication strategies to promote the network from the initial stages of development
  • Aspiring to create a free-standing association for later life learning in Europe.

What we hope to do:
- Create an interactive portal for each EU country to feed data about later-life learning - practice, policy, research, success and failure into an ongoing, sustainable, interactive and accessible database for wider use.
- Promote the use of data for research, analysis, sectoral searching, project building and partner searching.
- Document, evaluate and analyse projects at a European level and promote new ways to utilise results
- Promote collaboration and participation across disciplines.
- Create links and methods of cross-communication with other relevant EU networks, projects, programmes and potential partners.
- Give access to any databases of (good) practice in a range of learning areas around later life learning; education and ageing and training of educators in these fields.
- Offer an online forum for ‘live´ participation in debates/discussions around particular topics.
- Enhance the usage and value of data held on EVE, ADAM and EST databases.
- Encourage debate through our three pan European seminars and ‘virtual´ conferences, discussion groups, forums and consultations. These will be reported in our nine newsletter and three annual progress reports.
- Produce reports to disseminate to key stakeholders about our work and findings.


The Knowledge Volunteers
Grant Agreement Number – 2011-32-79/001-001

The Scenario: the Elderly in Europe
Europe is witnessing an important ageing of its population. The expectation of a longer life has brought about a deep change in the lifestyles and needs of seniors. By 1995, 70 million people over the age of 60 were living in the Union, almost 20% of the population. By 2020, this figure will rise to 25% and people of 80 years and older will more than double. This demographic evolution raises many challenges that ICT can help address, creating many benefits to older individuals, while also making the economy grow in more productive ways.

The project aims to:
(a) promote digital competence among older people at risk of exclusion through intergenerational exchange and relations with young people;
(b) encourage the active participation of older people in society through voluntary activities, thus enhancing self-esteem, identity and social relations;
(c) improve the production, testing, and dissemination of innovative curricula, methodologies and modules for adult learners; 
(d) create a network of “Knowledge Volunteers” of all ages;
(e) contribute to the creation of a more volunteer-friendly environment, with more people participating in volunteering activities throughout Europe, while facilitating international mobility among older volunteers;
(f) develop alternative learning approaches based on a Phyrtual Environment (integration of virtual and physical activities), leading to the creation of a dynamic repository of interacting good practices in the field of formal, non-formal and informal adult learning education.


WeDO  (Wellbeing and Dignity of Older people)

WeDo is a European project (2010-2012) involving 18 partners from 12 countries. It is coordinated by AGE Platform Europe and co-financed by the European Commission, Directorate General for Employment and Social affairs. Its overall objective is to develop a lasting and growing transnational partnership of stakeholders committed to working together to promote the wellbeing and dignity of vulnerable and disabled older people and prevent elder abuse at all levels and in all settings through the promotion of quality long-term care. The project seeks especially to develop a European Partnership Guide including a set of fundamental principles (the Quality framework).

The WeDO project aims to enable all interested parties to discuss and exchange experiences and good practices both at national and EU level. Together they will develop a pro-active approach to care for older people based on commonly agreed quality principles. The European Partnership Guide will include principles, recommendations, good practices and a methodology to ensure end users’ participation.

At the end of the project, we hope that all partners will commit to set up a national strategy inspired by the European Partnership Guide and to remain involved in the European Partnership as a contribution to the European Year 2012 on Active Ageing and solidarity between generations. The EU Partnership will then open up to new countries and partners.

More: http://www.wedo-partnership.eu/

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