A new report recommends that an innovative organisational model be created to respond more effectively to the needs of senior citizens and other stakeholders focussed on such needs. The report, prepared by Trilateral Research and Consulting, finds that calls to overcome the fragmentation of effort among existing organisations across the European Union could best be addressed through the creation of a new umbrella organisation aimed at fostering greater co-ordination and collaboration and at linking existing organisations, policy-makers and senior citizens themselves.
The “Report on mechanisms for stakeholder co-ordination”, one of the deliverables of the EC-funded BRAID (Bridging Research in Ageing and ICT Development) project, notes various calls for improved co-ordination, including those made by EU Ministers responsible for e-inclusion. It examines the needs of the various stakeholders (policy-makers, industry, civil society organisations, academia, the media as well as senior citizens) and finds that existing organisations do not adequately address all these needs, nor are they meeting the calls for greater partnership in responding to these needs. The report examines 10 different organisational models (each of which is represented by three different examples) and finds that each has advantages and disadvantages, but none appears suitable to meet the calls for improved co-ordination, collaboration and co-operation among all stakeholders.
Some organisations do exist to link industry and potential users; however, these fragmented initiatives are often short-lived and geared towards one type of stakeholder. A new organisation is needed that links industry, users, policy-makers, the media and other relevant stakeholders in order to achieve the maximum benefit for European citizens as they age.
BRAID is currently drawing up recommendations as to how a new approach for an inclusive, open and democratic organisation could support research and development, act as a focal point for e-inclusion, address the market for assistive technologies, help efforts to harmonise legislation, reduce regulatory barriers, implement standards and encourage interoperability of assistive technologies. The recommendations aim at supporting efforts by the European Commission and Member States to improve the lives of older Europeans and optimise national social policies and programmes. The BRAID partners are hosting a series of expert workshops across Europe this year to address these issues and to develop a cohesive vision for senior citizens and ICT over the next decade as well as a roadmap to achieve that vision.
Source: BRAID project