After the successful launch of the working process on 21 September 2021 with a kick-off event, the Digitalisation Working Group, composed of 19 municipalities from seven countries - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine - continued the process of mutual learning and building a network of peers with similar initiatives, creating space for potential future collaborations, focusing mainly on developing their own initiatives, ideas and projects with the acquired knowledge and capacities.
In order to meet the schedule and objectives set out in the group's action plan, four meetings were held within two months, focusing on different important aspects. The work process started with the identification of challenges faced by the participants, such as: lack of software capacity, time-consuming documentation of the digitisation process, low digital literacy and lack of compatibility of city archives.
Following this, the next session focused on identifying initiatives and possible measures already implemented or planned by municipalities to mitigate or completely eliminate the problems. These initiatives included the creation of a unified state register for citizens, the development of an app to facilitate access to municipal services, among others.
After the first two sessions, the urban practitioners present were given the difficult task of elaborating and pushing their ideas for future projects. In the two following sessions, the participants were able to develop ideas and later define their projects, while at the same time using their newly acquired knowledge.
As a result of the intensive work in the period from September to October 2021, the practitioners participating in the learning process not only created and gained a new knowledge base for their future or ongoing project, but also insights into the international practice of their colleagues. All members received recommendations and suggestions from participants and practitioners, while at the same time a supportive and encouraging environment was created within the group, offering potential for future collaborations or joint ventures.
The working group met four times for four-hour sessions that allowed members to present their projects and their development while listening to some good practices from the speakers.