eurlyaid logo
Eurlyaid Newsletter January 2020 - Agora Project 3. Meeting
Newsletter Agora project, supported by Velux
agora logo
Dear colleagues,
In this newsletter we will inform you about 3. Agora project meeting that took place:
October 2019, 28 and 29th, in Brașov, Romania
Organiser and host: Dizabnet

3 agora 1
3 agora 2
3 agora 3
Agenda for the meeting was:
  • Management
  • WP3, Piloting – Presentation from each country’s implementation
  • WP3, Piloting – First evaluation of impact
  • WP4, Strategies for Policy Changes and “roadshows”– Presentation of draft strategy
  • WP4 – Discussion on National Roadshows & Roadmaps
  • Dissemination material
  • discuss/generate ideas for final conference
  • Next steps
All important topics on the overall management and partner management were discussed. Both on contents as on finances. Velux Foundation has given consent to extend the project with 6 months- which all partners wished for. Because of this essential change, Tim Ghilain, EASPD coordinator, explained during this meeting a slighty changed payment of project tranches.

3 agora 4
WP3,Piloting and evaluation on impact:
Vladislav Matej, Slovakia, National Association of Supporters and Service Providers of ECI, leading partner on WP3, presented the results so far.
Overall: Some variations in practice, but no striking differences between partner countries in Finesse (final ?) results.
After introductory conference, selection of relevant services. Introduction to all staff the process – training of 55 people across 3 pilot seminars (2 NGO and 1 public). 25 involved involved in running the pilot. Families and services don’t yet understand fully the concept, all are happy with the new experience and want to continue. Still a long way to what we want to implement.
3 Agora pilots with supervision, 3 providers aside AGORA, 31 (all) providers informed of the developments. 6 providers going to be trained in 2020. Residential care settings. Changing working methods and skills for professionals and for families change expectations and attitudes is a process that takes time.
Questions on ‘What is my role?’ for both professionals and parents.
Some providers want to change a lot, some want to adapt what they already do, more piece by piece. Lessons learned: importance of working as a team. Slovak leaflet on family centred ECI to be translated and available on the Agora website.

4 trainings of 67 persons (mostly service providers). 3 trainings still to take place. First 5 in Hungarian, last 2 in Romanian. 7 pilots (mostly Transylvania + 1 in Bucharest), 4 trainers in total. Implementation will take time because professionals have to accept model and adapt to it. There are, within professions, different visions and expectations. Scepticism about working in homes. 1st questionnaire given after each training. 2nd questionnaire in spring.
10 pilot organisations. 2 persons from each pilot came together to Varna in May to plan the project, 2 days ½. Trainings started in June – 2 to be finished in November. 2 trainers, training each pilot individually. Training about 1 day. From November to May, implementation. Changes within the project lifetime will be present, but exepctations should be realistic – it’s a start, changes in working habits will take time.
First training in May, 3x 1 day trainings over extended period of time.
Training changed the mind of individuals on their answers in Finesse (?), different understanding. Takes time to develop new methods for everybody and performing homevisits.

further planning:
  • Evaluation by partners of pilots and families after implementation, between 15th April to 15th May 2020
  • Partners report all the after evaluation data to NASSP, by June 15th 2020
  • Partners send country impact assessment report to NASSP, by June 15th 2020
  • NASSP creates impact assessment report, by 15th August 2020
  • Country report preparation:
  • Max 10 pages for the whole report in English.
  • How the pilot implemented the routine and family centered approach. Negative feedback is also useful.
  • Work in natural surrounding
  • Used tools
  • Work with family members
  • Positive findings
  • Challenges for the future
  • What is the correlation between the changes in pilots and changes in families perception? How do the families react? What will follow after the implementation of pilots? How will the pilot organisations spread the concept further?
3 agora 5
3 agora 6
WP4, Strategies for Policy Changes and “roadshows”
Presentation of draft strategy and Discussion on National Roadshows & Roadmaps by Anelyia Atanasova, Bulgary, NASO, leading partner on WP4
WP4 is the work package on raising awareness, developing a network of stakeholders – the AGORA – and having an impact on policy level. The ‘Roadshow’ is the awareness-raising and development of network part, with events and meetings. The Roadmap is a document highlighting the plan to have an impact on policy level. National ECI Plan. Could be: legislation, detection & monitoring systems.
A report, based on a questionaire, will look into examples from different European countries, not necessarily involved as project partners, about the steps of introducing legal changes on a local, regional or national level aimed at enhancing the quality of life of children with disabilities and their families. The examples will serve as guidelines for the ECI Agora project partners from Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia about how to proceed with the implementation of a local, regional or national legal framework of early childhood intervention (ECI).
1) Contacts, where queastionaires can be send to, to be sent to NASO by 5th November.
2) Paper without the examples to be ready by end November.
3) Final draft paper to be ready by end January.
3 agora 7

Roadshow already started.
Bringing together stakeholders to discuss at where Slovakia is in each 6 areas of the Guide Graph, and see how things can improve. Broader group, not just NASSP, to have a large conversation. Impossible to have all developments in one year, but discussion started. Development 10 priorities of what they want to achieve in the coming years, as basis for discussion with stakeholders.
Bringing policy makers, members of Parliament, to support a change of legislation. Public discussion to be had with NGOs, parents, service providers, to push for change and adopt new legislation.
Long process, no guarantee it will succeed within the project lifetime, but the important steps are started. Objective to have the proposal of legislation written and discussed with stakeholders.
Synergy with the Harvard study group. EurlyAid to put in contact. Importance of (international) research-based arguments for ECI.

Events already started taking place, bringing the different stakeholders together. Future events to discuss concept and model of ECI.
Need link with pedagogical services. Important to reach out to policy makers after recent elections.Roadmap linked to the appropriate use of funding. Trying to focus on the 0-3 age.

Events to be organised – probably 3. Introducing the output of the project, with focus on recommendations of the country report and the Guide.
No legislation on ECI in Bulgaria. Will try to involve as many stakeholders as possible (services, local authorities, families, education, healthcare). Objective to bring together in a network, to develop together the roadmap. Events will be used to receive recommendations on the content of the roadmpas.
Final event will present the developed roadmap, final discussion and adoption.

No umbrella organisation to have national impact. And there is already a ECI national system – though imperfect, it makes it harder to change. Need to base on the potential of piloting centers, though they cover only a small part of the country.
Meeting with the pilot organisations to brainstorm on what can be done together, how to have an impact. Organisation of local conferences in spring. National conference in Warsaw in summer.
Bringing the voice of the parents from the pilot organisations, to show the change and impact.
Importance of the international, and in particular EU, messages to impact Polish policy makers.

Dissemination material
  • WP1 summary report: each partner will receive a number of requested printed copies. There will be an online version that can be downloaded at the project website. translation into partner languages will be done by partners.
  • website is online
during the entire project updates ( and translation of those updates) is an ongoing process.
  • EASPD is leader in the illustrated book. It will soon be ready.
  • EASPD is leader: an animation video to explain in a few minutes “what is ECI”. All partners will combine efforts and deliver materials.
Final conference 2020:
discussion 2 options:
  • Brussels (september/october)
  • Prague ( just before or after Eurlyaid conference, October 19-21th)
Next project meeting
Budapest, Hungary. 2020, 16-17th March.

Our hosts organized a suberb dinner at Belvedere Restaurant where “pieces of art” were served that tasted fantastic! Work continued and we celebrated the birthday of Judith.
3 agora 8
3 agora 9
3 agora 10
After concentrated working days and hours we had time left to visit (rainy) Sighișoara for a few hours and have some impressions in Brașov:
3 agora 11
3 agora 12
3 agora 13
3 agora 14
3 agora 15
3 agora 16
eurlyaid logo