At the School of OpenCohesion (or ASOC, from Italian “A Scuola di OpenCoesione”) is an educational challenge and a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), designed for Italian high-school students. ASOC was launched in 2013 within the open government strategy on cohesion policy carried out by the National Government, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Representation Office of the European Commission in Italy. The project is also supported by the European Commission’s network of Europe Direct Information Centres.
Objectives. On the national OpenCoesione portal (www.opencoesione.gov.it), everyone can find transparent information on investment projects funded by Cohesion Policies in Italy. Open data on more than 1.183.365 projects has been posted so far with details on the amount of funding, policy objectives, locations, involved subjects and completion times. Data are updated every two months and can be freely re-used and explored interactively on the portal using maps, filters and detailed data sheets on projects and recipients. A Scuola di OpenCoesione builds on the OpenCoesione portal to actively promote the use and reuse of data by participating schools for the development of civic awareness and engagement of local communities in monitoring the effectiveness of public investment.
Program Contents. The program is composed of 4 main sessions. The first 4 build on the use of innovative and interdisciplinary skills to focus, respectively, on public policies, ICT and digital capacity and open data analysis, citizen monitoring and citizen participation , data journalism and storytelling. During the fifth session the students carry out on-site visits to public works and/or services financed by EU and national funds being developed in their territory and interview with key players involved in the projects’ implementation, beneficiaries or others on the sites where they are being developed, while the sixth step is a final event where students meet local communities and policy-makers to discuss the findings of their investigations and evaluations.
ASOC Experience – The monitoring continues!
ASOC Experience – The monitoring continues! is a contest created to promote monitoring activities of students who partecipated in previous editions of the ASOC project.
The names of the winning teams have been published for the contest ASOC Experience, the second edition of the competition that invites the teams that participated in previous edition of At the School of OpenCohesion (ASOC) to produce new report Monithon and videos that tell the story of the projects they monitored.
In 2019, first place went to the team Open Stadium Acquasanta (OSA). Students from Istituto Tecnico A. D’Aosta, in the region of Abruzzo, returned three years later to Gran Sasso d’Italia Stadium to tell the story of the work carried out for the new stadium in L’Aquila.
In second place was Team Zaleuco, from Locri, which, one year after their initial civic monitoring project, conducted additional interviews with the people responsible for the enhancement and construction of the aqueducts at the Metrano and Lordo dams.
Taking third spot was Team #Fermialporto, from Sant’Agata di Militello, who, for the 2016-2017 edition of ASOC, monitored a project for the development of a harbour and related coastline in Messina.
The winning team, Open Stadium Acquasanta (OSA), received their award on Thursday, 16 May, at 3:00 PM, during the event “Cittadinanza attiva, amministrazione aperta e partecipazione” (Active citizenship, open government and engagement) being organised within the scope of the PA Forum at the La Nuvola convention centre in Rome.
Here is the form to sign up for the event and the day’s complete schedule.
In 2018, following their participation in the educational project “At the School of OpenCohesion” (A Scuola di OpenCoesione, ASOC) more than 20 teams have produced new videos with updates on the projects on which they had based their researches one or more years before. The winners (Boulevard Guys Team – ASOC 2015-2016) were awarded by the European Commissioner for regional policy Corina Crețu during the Citizens’ Dialogue in Florence on 11 May 2018.