Implementing Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity (ImplOED)

The project aims to implement the OED Grundtvig network results at different levels (policy and providers) as well as transfer them to different sectors (vocational, basic skills, etc.). Eleven partners will work to make Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity a reality in their countries and at the European level.

Europe is currently facing great challenges – growing inequalities; high unemployment; persistent discrimination of disadvantaged groups such as the Roma, refugees and migrants; insufficient basic skills – which could be tackled by reaching out to adults that are not learning and that are caught in a low-skilled trap, engaging them into lifelong learning opportunities and valuing their contribution to the adult education sector.

Elaborating very successfully guidelines for trainers and staff in adult education as well as policy recommendations for policy-makers at different levels, the OED Grundtvig network already made some big steps in the right direction. The implOED project will give the consortium the opportunity to mainstream our results and implement them at different levels (policy and providers) as well as transfer them to different sectors (vocational, basic skills, etc.).


The objectives of the project are:

  • better integration of disadvantaged groups
  • a stronger intercultural understanding of the diverse groups for each other
  • more empowered and active citizens based on their learning and development
  • more diverse adult education institutions, which will help them be more effective instruments of integration
  • the stronger involvement of a diverse group of learners, which will on the one hand improve the participation in lifelong learning, but also the active citizenship and the integration of learners´ voices

By making outreach strategies mainstreamed and adult education more diverse, this project will engage disadvantaged adults in learning and thus substantially contribute to achieving of the ET2020 benchmarks, decreasing the number of NEETS and reducing geographic and social disparities within the EU. By fostering the empowerment of learners, the project will create a more inclusive and fair society, increase active citizenship and make education policies more effective for the needs of the disadvantaged groups.

The final aim of the project is to start a change in the mind-set of policy-makers and adult education providers in order to make them aware of the fact that outreach, empowerment and diversity are possible to achieve.

Implementation and outcomes:

The consortium will work in two clusters:

  • Implementing OED on the provider level: six partners will target staff, managers and trainers/teachers in adult education. They will rely on their membership and their knowledge of the challenges in their geographical areas to adapt the guidelines to the training needs in their countries and regions.
  • Implementing OED on the policy level: five partners will target regional, national and European policy-makers by informing and training policy-makers on the concepts and implementation of OED. The results of the network will hopefully inspire more activity on behalf of policy makers in the targeted areas.

All the partners will very closely monitor the questions, challenges and successes of their activities through an impact assessment. The final product of implOED will be an instruction manual for implementing OED that will bring together the learning points of all the partners, propose concrete solutions on how make outreach, empowerment and diversity a reality as well as suggestions on how to transfer the OED products to different sectors and geographical areas.


Kick off Meeting- Porto, 7-8 March 2016

Second partner meeting – Paris, 3-4 October 2016

Third partner meeting – Helsinki, November 2017

Final partner meeting – Brussels, October 2018



The implOED consortium brings together 11 organisations from as many countries.

EAEA – European Association for the Education of Adults

The Network for Outreach Empowerment Diversity is coordinated by EAEA – the European Association for the Education of Adults. EAEA is a European NGO with around 137 member organisations in 44 countries working in the field of adult learning.

Dafni Kentro Epaggelmatikis Katartisis DAFNI KEK (Greece)

DAFNI KEK basically plans and implements actions and learning activities targeting to social disadvantaged population and groups at risk ( unemployed, single mothers, rural habitants, migrants and Roma) responding to the Official Calls either in National and European Level or in local area by organizing workshops on active consciousness.

Educational Disadvantage Centre EDC, St. Patrick´s College, Drumcondra, A College of Dublin City University (Ireland)

The Educational Disadvantage Centre (EDC), located within the Faculty of Education, St. Patrick´s College aims to contribute to best practice in national and international policy regarding the implications of social and economic disadvantage on education.

Estonian Non-formal Adult Education Association (Estonia)

ENAEA is the umbrella organization for adult education organizations/providers (74). ENAEA is a social partner for Ministry of Education and Research.

FOLAC – Learning for Active Citizenship (Sweden)

From Kiruna, in the north of Sweden, to Malmö in the south, there are in total 150 free schools for adults, so called folk high schools.

La Ligue de l´Enseignement (France)

La Ligue de l´enseignement gathers more than 30,000 associations in 102 departmental and 22 regional federations in France with the common aim of training responsible citizens who will fulfill their duties, make full use of their rights and be active in society reinforcing its democratic, humanist and social character. These associations also work collectively against all inequalities in order to discuss and build a fairer and more independent society.

lernraum Wien (Austria) – Institute for Multilingualism, Integration and Education is the research department of the Wiener Volkshochschulen (VHS Wien).

KERIGMA – Inovação e Desenvolvimento Social (Portugal)

KERIGMA is an association for innovation and social development in Barcelos, Portugal, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote innovation on education, social development and sustainability of the region and its people

The Learning and Work Institute – L&W (England and Wales)

NIACE´s strategic plan commits us to supporting an increase in the numbers of adults engaged in formal and informal learning in England and Wales, in Europe and across the world.

Romani Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen (Spain)

The Roma Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen is a non-profit organization created in 1999 by Roma and non-Roma women with different characteristics and backgrounds (age, academic level, job, etc.).

Solidarci- Associazione Solidarci Caserta (Italy)

Solidarci Caserta is an association that works in the field of Culture, Sociability, Solidarity, Human Rights, Education, for the promotion of human and civil practices.

The Finnish Lifelong learning Foundation, KVS (Finland)

Kansanvalistusseura, The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation – KVS – supports learning and builds a society of learners by offering expertise and services. The foundation, established in 1874, cooperates with a wide variety of adult education stakeholders in Finland and internationally.



“{Educational} Outreach is a process whereby people who would not normally use adult education are contacted in non-institutional settings and become involved in attending and eventually in jointly planning and controlling activities, schemes and courses relevant to their circumstances and needs.” (Kevin Ward, Replan Review 1, August 1986)

Like a number of the terms used in post-compulsory education, the word ‘outreach´ tends to be used rather loosely. There is no single and universally accepted definition. While the central connotation is to go outside a centre or institution (a staff activity), a number of other meanings have accrued to the word: to make people in different locations or groups aware of what a provider can offer (a marketing or recruitment strategy); to mount learning programmes in community locations (a delivery mechanism); to liaise and make contact with community organisations and groups (a networking process); to work in an informal and participative way with people outside a centre or institution (a particular approach or way of working), to develop new learning programmes in response to identified needs (curriculum development).


Gutierrez (1994) defines empowerment as the “process of increasing personal, interpersonal, or political power so that individuals, families, and communities can take action to improve their situations”. Thanks to the increase of confidence, motivation, self-reliance, insight and understanding of the people involved in the process, empowerment is instrumental to have more control over all aspects of their own life.

Being empowered presupposes not only some level of common sense and emotional maturity and but also the access to appropriate information and know how. The United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights declared education is an “empowerment right” which enables persons, adults and children alike, to participate fully in their communities. Nevertheless, traditional teaching approaches are not effective for this purpose. It is crucial to use different approaches to lifelong learning, including aspects of social learning and more interactive methodologies that give a central place to learning by doing.

Empowerment has proved to be one of the most powerful approaches in promoting the inclusion and integration of disadvantaged groups. As empowerment is aimed at changing in power relationships that can apply to individuals, groups, organisations or communities, this concept may be considered as one of the prerequisites for modern democracy, which also include constitutional foundation, democracy as a process, participation, deliberation, and recognition and involvement of others.


Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. These include but are not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, as well as religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographical location, socio-economic status, language(s) spoken, physical appearance, marital/parental status, political affiliation, or other ideologies. Diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing.

Diversity encompasses a commitment to recognise, accept and appreciate the variety of characteristics that make individuals. The concept itself doesn´t require only a simple tolerance, but needs a mutual respect of each person´s individuality. It is important to support and protect diversity by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.

Active citizenship

Active citizenship means that citizens have the capability, opportunity and will to participate in different spheres of society such as work, civil society organisations, politics and culture. Active citizenship addresses the relationship between the individuals and their communities. It is founded on democratic values and human rights and stresses involvement and participation.

Active citizenship is fundamental to democracy. There is no such thing as democracy without active citizens – citizens who are conscious of their rights and responsibilities and have the ability to make their voice heard and to take action. Our societies are facing deep and difficult challenges: financial crises, unemployment, widening gaps, migration, racism and xenophobic tendencies, gender inequality and climate change. We can learn from history that there are no positive solutions to these challenges without the involvement of active citizens and a vibrant civil society based on human rights. In a globalized world active citizenship should be conceived in a multidimensional way including the local as well as the regional, the national, the European and the global level.