Review: 1st Policy Lab on “Education & Participation” in Vienna

Within the Policy Lab, the human rights districts of Neubau, Favoriten and Meidling address the question of how educational opportunities and participation possibilities of Viennese citizens can be further strengthened and implemented in the best possible way on a local level.

The Policy Lab is a participatory format that places the local population at the centre of the decision-making process and involves stakeholders from politics, administration, educational institutions as well as civil society associations and NGOs

The objectives of the first Policy Lab were: 1. to create a basis of trust , 2. to obtain perspectives of the participants on the areas of education and participation, 3. to address current challenges in access to education and participation, 4. to identify possible fields of action and 5. to jointly find innovative solutions within those action fields.

Marcus Franz, District Mayor of Favoriten and Shams Asadi, Human Rights Officer of the City of Vienna, welcomed the approximately 30 participants in the festival hall of the district administration of Favoriten. Sarah Theierling, project manager, briefly presented the EU project MUST-a-Lab and the implementation of Policy Labs in Vienna.

After the participants discussed existing opportunities and identified current gaps and access barriers to education and participation, the following fields of action emerged as the main results of the first Policy Lab: 1. school – combined offers for children & parents, 2. leisure – role models in digital & public space, 3. work – empowerment & future prospects.

In the 2nd Policy Lab (27.4.23), the participants will deal with these topics in more depth and then develop a pilot project to be implemented in Vienna in the period June-November.

The overarching goal of the City of Vienna is to promote inclusion and social cohesion and to enhance human rights education.