The second semester of our project is about to end, so it's time for a recap.
The semester was supposed to be pretty busy. The consortium's second meeting and study visit were to take place in March in the Italian city of Ancona, and the consortium was to meet again in June in Sweden for another study visit.
Unfortunately, like other activities around the world, the project has been hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Not only did both meetings have to be cancelled, the situation also affected the daily working rhythm in all partner countries. Schools were closed in most countries, and people usually had to work from home while taking care of their children. Work on the project was also stalled because in more affected countries efforts had to focus on crisis management and there was no energy left to work on the project.
Regarding the project work plan, the direct consequence was the impossibility of organizing any event or study visit to achieve regional and international exchange of experience with both local stakeholders and partners. Progress reporting also suffered from delays, in some cases due to partner difficulties and in others due to delays in certification by the FLC.
In May, we agreed to hold themed meetings online to replace our cancelled trips. The first was organized on May 22 and was devoted to presentations of regional diagnosis proposals. All the partners made progress on the content of the diagnosis, and some almost managed to complete it. Although the meeting had several technical issues, the main objective has been achieved and we are confident that with further online meetings we will gain new experience and improve the process.
We try to find the positive aspects of the current situation and realize that at least online meetings save time and also the environment, which is in line with the focus of the project.
If the COVID-19 situation improves and international travels are allowed again, we will try to organize the study visits, perhaps concentrating them in the last two semesters.
The progress of the project is currently delayed by about 3 months, but we firmly believe that the situation will only get better and we will be able to catch up on the work on the project.