The ‘Knowledge-Based Economy Project’ (KEP) is a strategic pioneering project for the knowledge society in Romania, developed and carried out by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society (MCIS). The project is financially supported by a loan worth $60 million from the World Bank, with a participation of the Government of Romania of $9.4 million. Since its beginnings in 2006, the project aimed to support a better use of knowledge by reducing the digital information gap that exists in villages and small towns in Romania.
By its primary objective – ensuring social development by supportingm digital access to information for creating knowledge capital with the help of ICT, the KEP selected 255 Romanian communities with a population less than 30,000 inhabitants. Targeting 1.8 million inhabitants and approximately 20% of rural Romanian population with low and very low access to knowledge and ICT skills, KEP is determined to sustain the digital revolution in the current rapidly changing social, economic and environmental context and become a part of the strategy of the European Digital Agenda 2020 by implementing knowledge, competitive local development and digital inclusion. The primary step was reducing the digital divide between urban and rural society by developing a Communication Infrastructure. KEP financed the establishment of 255 Local Communities eNetworks (LCeNs) in order to provide support for the social and economic development of the community, the implementation of the ICT tools for digital literacy, introducing ICT in the process of education in schools, promoting and providing local eGovernment services, stimulating entrepreneurial initiatives and local businesses.
The KEP is an alliance between the strength of the knowledge-based economy vision and the results already achieved by this project, which put Romania on the list of best practices in Europe. To this end, KEP formed a strong coalition within each of the 255 communities who benefit from the Project, between four important nodes: school, library, Town Hall and Public Point of Access to Information (PPAI). Within every local network, KEP introduced and developed over the years public services addressed to each disadvantaged community to reduce the digital information and knowledge gap that have existed for so many years in Romania, with the full support of local authorities.
By introducing novel solutions, starting in 2010, every 255 KEP community delivers, throughout every LCeN centre, basic and specific public services geared to local needs: consultancy services for accessing funds, ICT services, website development, ICT training services, Job Club assistance, tourist information and promotion, assistance for making online applications of grant files, etc. Launched in 2009, the eComunitate portal (www.ecomunitate.ro) is the most complex content site founded by the Government. It offers digital access to all 255 communities, a social network where users transfer knowledge and generate content using Web 2.0 technologies. eComunitate portal holds all the functions of a virtual platform for all public sector innovators, but also hosts specific features about areas of interest in all 255 KEP communities, from economics, to education, culture and most importantly, public administration.
|Award category:||smart public service delivery|
|Sector:||Information society, technology, media and audiovisual|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Knowledge-based Economy Project (KEP), Local Communities eNetworks (LCeNs), Public Point of Access to Information (PPAI), digital access, digital literacy, eCommunity, eGovernment, information society, innovation, knowledge disadvantaged communities|
|Short English description:||The KEP is an alliance between the strength of the knowledge-based economy vision and the results already achieved by this project, which put Romania on the list of best practices in Europe.|
|Organisation:||Ministry of Communications and Information Society, The Project Management Unit|
|Level of government:||national level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||11-15|
|EU membership:||EU member|