Project goal
Project to be developed at Aproximar, which aims to contribute to increasing citizens' awareness of the democratic role and values ​​promoted by the European Parliament. The “EU4ALL” project, cofounded by the European Parliament, aims to communicate "the 10 democratic values highlighted in the European Parliament" ​​in a more accessible way to groups in situations of social and information vulnerability, specifically in social neighborhoods and prisons.

Project duration:
January 2021 to July 2022.
My role
● Led the development of the candidacy. 
● Research about democratics values.
● Ran rounds of exploratory research with interviews and usability test for improve communication materials and adapt language to be more accessible for the users.
● Promotion of sessions with Portuguese europeans deputies, to validate the highlighted values and obtain opinions on the research carried out and the pre-selected values.
● Designed the project brand and all communication materials (digital publications, illustrations, printed materials and videos). 
The research
The first exploratory part of the project began by reading the monthly reports provided on the European Parliament's website on the topics, decisions and research results addressed during Parliament's sessions. This research aimed to understand which were the most discussed topics related to democratic values.
Next, an analysis and synthesis of the themes found in the research was carried out. For this, a "cloud of words" was created and links between converging themes. Some central themes were highlighted using a larger font size.
After creating the map (picture above), individual online sessions were held with Portuguese MEPs (euro deputies) in order to obtain their perceptions on the researched topics and ask them for help in identifying the most relevant values. We hold 30-minute sessions with 5 MEPs and 1 parliamentary advisor to an MEP.
During the sessions, while MEPs spoke, we created infographics with the main values identified by each of them. After the sessions, we analyzed the most cited topics until reaching the 10 priority values. In the following images are the configured maps of each session and then the final one, with 10 topics.
Among the 10 values identified, there were 2 that were not in the word map based on the bibliographic research and that was quite pointed out by MEPs: Social Justice and the Valorization of European Culture, in the sense of developing a greater appreciation in "being European" .
After analyzing and synthesizing the data obtained during the sessions with the MEPs, the 10 most relevant democratic values were arrived at. Illustrations and the design of the material were made to be delivered in the awareness workshops to be held in 10 social neighborhoods and 10 prisons in Portugal.
The material option, already described in the co-financing application, was an A4 folder containing infographics about the 10 values. The proposal to create this material consisted of making the values available in an attractive way and in a way that could be reused, that is, the folder, unlike other types of materials, such as flyers, ends up being used to store papers and therefore, ends up having a greater utility after its main use, to communicate the values.
In addition, although we live in an era of seeking to restrict prints of materials, the proposal to print the material refers to seeking to reach groups that suffer from what is called information vulnerability: information does not reach them, as they often do not has access to the internet, and when they do, it is communicated in a complex and difficult way to understand. ​​​​​​​
Usability testing
After we created the folder on the 10 highlighted democratic values, a section was held with Portuguese citizens in situations of vulnerability. The session helped to understand what information was not as accessible and how it could be adjusted. One of the points that was identified by the participants was about the numerical order of the values, which should start with the cover, continue on the inside and end on the back.
Final communication materials: Folder, digital publications, and videos
After testing with users, we made adjustments to the folder and also created digital publications about each of the values. Although the project is to reach vulnerable groups without access to the internet or with information vulnerability, it was thought that exploring the digital potential would be an asset, achieving greater reach.
And finally, two videos were created to present the values during the sensitization sessions with the target groups (residents of social neighborhoods and prisons). Both videos were created in Portuguese, as it is the most spoken language in these places and English is not accessible.
Implementation of awareness workshops
After creating the materials, the final stage of the project is to implement at least 20 awareness-raising workshops,10 of these in social housing and another 10 in prisons in Portugal.
The workshops were planned to have moments of exposition of the 10 values, as well as participation and joint construction on what each participant understands, how the values are present in their lives, how they could be better implemented and which values should be present and were not considered.
Images © 2022 Aproximar Cooperativa de Solidariedade Social - CRL, all rights reserved.
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