The Inclusion & Diversity Forum 2021 took place on 29 November – 2 December 2021 in Ostend, Belgium, focusing on the future possibilities of Erasmus Plus and European Solidarity Corps.
SALTO Inclusion & Diversity organised the conference with the aim of focusing on creating greater visibility for inclusion & diversity and building bridges between stakeholders in the EU youth programmes.
The participants exchanged good practices, looked over achievements and learned more about the Inclusion & Diversity strategy.
Inclusion & Diversity in Erasmus Plus
The Inclusion & Diversity Forum 2021 was structured around participatory activities, such as:
- round tables;
- presentations by national and international experts;
- workshops on specific topics;
- best practices.
Purpose of which was to highlight the work that has been done in the past generation of the EU youth programmes, as well as the new formats and possibilities in the new Erasmus+ programme and European Solidarity Corps, and in the new Inclusion & Diversity Strategy.
To explain how to drive Inclusion and Diversity in Youth Programmes (Erasmus Plus and European Solidarity Corps) SALTO made available a roadmap.
How To: ID in Youth Programmes
The five main points on how to drive Inclusion and Diversity in your European projects are:
- Increase commitment and buy-in: through increased knowledge, awareness and understanding, people should feel inside themselves why I&D are so important and connect their beliefs to their attitudes and actions. Nobody should doubt that this is (one of) the priorities.
- Active outreach, to have more young people with fewer opportunities in the EU Youth Programmes: it is not enough to just say ‘we are open to all’ but there should be some active effort to appeal to and reach out to (organisations working with) specific (underrepresented/disadvantaged) target groups. Going the extra mile – not just waiting for them to come. It is about promotion to specific organisations/networks that represent young people with particular needs.
- Reduce barriers: take away as much as possible all obstacles – and if not possible, support beneficiaries to overcome the obstacles, either by upskilling them and increasing confidence and know-how, or with structural support. Give the (potential) beneficiaries the tools/skills to make it happen. Aim towards a system for the programmes that is flexible enough to accept and support all people with different needs, not asking the individuals to adapt to a system.
- Maximize the impact of your European projects;
- Mainstreaming Inclusion and Diversity: all E+ youth & ESC projects should be ‘inclusive with diverse participants’ by default. In the ideal case, there should not be any special I&D projects anymore. The basic setup of all projects should cater for different needs and diverse backgrounds. It’s not about ‘normalising’ the topics, but embracing it, making it ‘every day’ and encouraging for everyone and anyone to be ‘within the circle’.
To see the above steps in more details, visit the roadmap.
The ID Forum 2021 website is everyday-updating with new contents and information about how to consider Inclusion and Diversity when writing your European project.