Now that the agreements with the project coordinators have been signed, we are pleased to present to you the selected projects from the 1st Call for WBAA Projects 2021.
We received many great project ideas, and these nine projects came out on top in the evaluation process. We would like to thank all applicants for their great and inspiring project proposals.
For the 9 selected projects, the implementation phase now begins and the projects must be implemented by December 2021. We would like to give you a brief overview of the selected projects.
Leadership and Team Development Training (Leaders of Change)
Project coordinator: Milan Stojanovic
This project aims to provide leadership and team development skills including capacity and confidence building, stress and negative emotions management, know-how to get out of uncomfortable situations, build relationships and trust between team members, as well as between leader and team members. For effective team functioning, it is important that all team members understand their individual roles within the team and to know how to deal with their own cultural norms and expectations. The Western Balkan region lacks quality leaders, efficient team communication and communication in general. WBAA teams can, at times, be a small-scale illustration of this. This project will try to improve performance outcomes of WBAA teams by preparing 30 motivated WBAA members ready to give their active contribution in order to increase efficiency of teamwork with the final goal to establish better utilisation of WBAA resources. The training sessions are designed to include interactive lectures, workshops and teamwork. Participants will be divided into smaller groups in which they will work on various group tasks and stay until the end of the project. This 3-day training will be a full departure from the comfort zone where no one will be spared interactive participation. Bringing together 30 WBAA members from all over the region and from different WBAA teams will certainly provide a strong basis for further WBAA development and strengthening ties within our Network.
Building the Universities of tomorrow- Bridging the Higher Education programs from indoor to outdoor
Project coordinator: Pane Stefanov
This project aims to introduce outdoor learning as an active, experiential approach to teaching and learning, open to all, that involves being outdoors as a central part of the experience. Our goal is to use the outdoor environment as a vehicle for transforming the experience into knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions. This project will foster excellence and innovation in education by equipping professors and educational staff with the basic knowledge and skills to integrate outdoor educational activities in their education programs. On the other hand, we will present the major challenges to outdoor learning, such as staff confidence in teaching outside and uncertainty about how to deliver the curriculum through outdoor learning, which can be overcome by enabling professors and universities to work with and learn from each other. This project will result in a guideline „10 steps on how to prepare your outdoor learning experience“ prepared by the project participants.
How to maintain mental stability, positive spirit and increase productivity in the time of covid pandemic
Project coordinator: Vesna Travica
On behalf of the Western Balkans Alumni Association, The Serbian Center for RE & CBT, the external expert and a licensed CBT Psychotherapist, PhD Professor Gordana Nikić and the WBAA Project Coordinator and PhD candidate in Psychology Vesna Travica will organize and conduct the webinar "How to maintain mental stability, positive spirit and increase productivity in the time of covid pandemic" from 18.- 19.09. 2021. We all feel consequences of the global problem that the covid pandemic has brought into our lives: social isolation, economic crisis, reduced productivity, negative consequences for physical and mental health (increased confusion, anxiety, tension, aggression, stress and depression, sleeping disorders, decreased motivation for daily activities and reduced productivity, concern for the future, etc). These problems have been observed not only in the middle-aged and elderly people, but also in young people. One of the most important causes of all these problems is a limited social life. The main goal of this project is to try to help WBAA members and Erasmus Students from 6 WBAA countries to maintain mental stability and a positive spirit which is the basis for strengthening productivity and creativity in this difficult time. Through activities: interactive lectures, discussions, workshops, practical exercises and brainstorming, participants will develop basic skills for dealing with stressful situations caused by the covid pandemic. They will learn how to change their irrational beliefs, thoughts and dysfunctional emotions into rational beliefs, thoughts and functional and positive emotions. They will also learn how to maintain a positive spirit in difficult situations. By developing skills on how to cope with stressful situations and reduce stress, they will be able to increase productivity and efficiency at their studies, work and in their private life.
MOstarT Science 2021.
Project coordinator: Marina Marić
MOstarT Science 2021. is a Project with an aim of increasing the writing and publishing of scientific research among students, assistants and professors from natural and technical faculties.
With the Project we hope to improve knowledge about proper writing of scientific articles as well as the statistical processing of the results. Since many scientific articles are written in cooperation with faculties and institutes, this project would be a nice start for better scientific collaboration in our country and in the region.
The Project is going to be held in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
STRENGTHENING YOUTH CAREER CAPACITIES DURING EPIDEMIC CRISES
Project coordinator: Sonja Sovljanski
The main objective is strengthening the capacity of youth for future entrepreneurs or to raise the level of youth employability. The goal is conducted through trainings in entrepreneurship skills and in transferable skills that are necessary in the world of work. Workshops will be done in 4 modules: 1. Running Projects, 2. Leadership skills, 3. Communication and Sales and 4. Interview and CV. There would be 12 workshops overall and about 10 participants per each training/workshop. A manual will be developed about Youth (Self) Employment and Self-empowerment, in which there will be all the information from the trainings, so participants can get all the information later in their career, if needed. Participants will learn skills that are highly sought after in the job market but that they did not get from their faculty. From the first phase of an interview for a job/project/subsidies to the skills needed for most positions: leadership skills, motivation for achievement, inner critic, time management, negotiation, presentation and communication skills and project writing. The training will consist of 3 workshops, organized in 3 days of training with 3 hours per day and the focus of the module is on project cycles, PCM (project cycle management), phases of the project cycle, project financial management, HR management and practical examples of good practices, etc. As part of this project activity at least 10 project proposals, with which young people can be entitled to a subsidy, would be written. Project writing and running can help entrepreneurs to get funds, but it is also a desirable careers skill for many job positions. Other workshops are about Leadership, communication and sales, as well as interviews and CVs. The aim of this project it to encourage young people to take a proactive stance through non-formal education and experiential learning. This project allows affirmation and improving business of young entrepreneurs and to reduce poverty. The project is aligned with the strategic documents in the youth sector: The Youth Law, The National Youth Strategy for the period 2015-2025.
Make your way
Project coordinator: Nebojsa Ratkovic
Through the workshops, we want to provide participants with free psychological support and to show them the mechanisms and ways in which they can best get volunteer opportunities and employment. Every individual in this process has their own path and there is no pattern to necessarily follow. Through these workshops, we want to give every interested individual the opportunity to recognize opportunities, to give them support and to work individually with anyone who wants to. As a result, everyone who attends the workshop, and is interested in working on themselves, will receive three free online individual sessions of psycho-social support and counselling. The region in which the project will be realized is especially sensitive when it comes to the independence of young people during and after graduation. For every young person, the period after completing their studies is especially challenging. The need to find a job and financial security and stability is inevitable. The frequent need to volunteer in order to acquire knowledge that will be functional, as a way to get a permanent job, is a common thing today. The consequences of such events in young people can often contribute to increased stress, fears, anxiety and depression. Dealing with such emotions often requires professional support to help you overcome the situation. In addition to support in this regard, this project can be especially useful for students who are just starting their education, moving to another country to start their studies and planning their future. The seminar will be dedicated to gaining knowledge about volunteering, finding a job and dealing with unpleasant emotions that this period of life brings. Attendees will learn how to recognize and control unpleasant emotions in a way that they become grounded in the present, to be constructive, and for a person to learn from them. We believe that the acquisition of such skills is especially important because the current situation in which we find ourselves differs significantly from the usual patterns of living. The virus pandemic brings with it a special challenge in finding business and mental security and leads to our emotions becoming more pronounced and visible. In this regard, we will hold two workshops, two weeks in a row, we will send follow-up material to the participants, and we will do counselling meet-ups with interested participants. The project is mostly focused on the following three goals: strengthen the links between HE & the labour market to ease school-to-work transition and increase employability exchange and share knowledge, experiences, contacts among WB alumni within a multinational and intercultural association unify alumni within countries and across WB region to ensure the sustainability of the project we will create a network or group, with participants who will actively share experiences in the future. Strong contacts established during the workshops will result in a constant exchange of experiences that will be of multiple benefits and will enable the connection of a large number of active and socially responsible people from the region. They will have the opportunity, through this interaction, to learn from each other, but also about each other. They will be presented with further opportunities for additional workshops, personal training and counselling.
Developing a participatory methodology for addressing trans-regional issues bridging science and practice: Use case of Intelligent Transport Systems from a managerial and technical perspective (BRIDGE WBAAP)
Project coordinator: Daniela Koltovska Nechoska
The project aims to develop and devise integrative methodology for innovative managerial/technical aspects in the domain of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The methodology will be based on a multi-creation approach and critical success factor method (CSF) as means for identifying important elements which lead to effectiveness. Systematic and successful approaches set priorities and establish the long-term vision; promote convergence for addressing trans-regional uses for innovative managerial technical access in ITS. Additionally, this project will devise guidelines/roadmap, describing in detail how this methodology can be used efficiently. The best practices and lessons learned from North Macedonia will be distributed in the region and all identified stakeholders.
RADAR - Paving the Way Towards a Brighter Future
Project coordinator: Jovan Jovancevic
RADAR - Paving the Way Towards a Brighter Future, this project aims to help Montenegrin students with breaking into the country's job market. The program connects students (mentees) with young industry professionals (mentors) from the same discipline. While the mentees will get general help for application resource preparation (CV/motivation letter writing, networking, etc.), the mentors will provide specific feedback, inform the mentees about particular opportunities and help them land their dream first job. Finally, if the epidemiological situation permits, the plan is to showcase the mentees in front of Montenegrin industry professionals and company representatives. We will measure our success by: the number of landed jobs, then the number of secured interviews and the number of new contacts mentees get from their target industries.
Enhance Health Research Skills in Western Balkan
Project coordinator: Ilda Hoxhaj
This project aims to enhance the research capability and capacity among students in the health fields in the WB countries, through online training sessions on the basics of epidemiology and research methodology. Students, currently enrolled in a bachelor or master program in the field of health, such as general medicine, public health, nursery, pharmacy, etc., will be eligible to participate. A total of 36 participants will be selected: six participants from each WB country, based on their curriculum vitae, motivational letter, reference letter, and an adequate level of English proficiency, paying special attention to the gender balance. Online training sessions will be interactive, including a discussion part, questions, and answers, and at the end a practical exercise session. These sessions will be conducted in English by trainees with an extensive background in the field of research methodology, epidemiology, and public health. After every session, the participants will be asked to translate in their national language, the slides presented by the trainees, so the material could be available for a wider audience. In order to be accessible for the students in all WB countries these sessions will be recorded and published on the website dedicated to the project, after considering data privacy policies and taking the consent of the participants and trainees. The specific program will cover the following topics: 1. Evidence-based research; Principles of epidemiology and public health. 2. Statistics basic concepts. 3. An overview of study designs; Descriptive epidemiology. 4. Analytical epidemiology. Experimental epidemiology. 5. Bibliographic research in the main scientific databases; Systematic reviews and meta-analysis. 6. Translational research; Research application to healthcare practice. The participants will have the possibility to interact in a workshop with field researchers, which will introduce them to the practical aspects of the health research, along with the theoretical knowledge given in the online training sessions and contribute at understanding the current landscape of health research needs, barriers, and facilitators in WB countries. In this workshop, field researchers, member of Associazione Medici Albanesi Italia will discuss the main factors that could facilitate the implementation of research knowledge into practice, whereas the participants will present the barriers and challenges faced in WB countries in research. This project has the potential to create an important inter-regional network among students in the health fields within and across all WB countries. A network will be created among students, trainees, and field researchers, which could be the start of new research collaborations in the future. The students will be equipped with important tools and instruments to conduct research in several healthcare topics. The acquired knowledge will enable participants to be part of different research projects in their home countries and/or abroad. The knowledge acquired in this project could enhance the participants’ academic performance. Furthermore, the institutions of these students will benefit from the project since the participant students could share their experience and acquired knowledge with their peers in the home universities.
Stay tuned for any news and updates regarding these projects on our website and social media channels.
If you already have a great idea for a project, mark your calendar for mid-August when the 3rd call for WBAA projects 2021 will be published!
7 July 2021