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COVER SLIDE. Thematic Networking in EQUAL “EQUAL differs from the mainstream ESF programmes in that it is a “laboratory” to develop new ways of tackling discrimination and inequality in the labour market”. (European Commission, 2003). context. What is Thematic Networking? It’s about…

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Thematic Networking in


“EQUAL differs from the mainstream ESF programmes in that it is a “laboratory” to develop new ways of tackling discrimination and inequality in the labour market”.

(European Commission, 2003).


What is Thematic Networking?

It’s about…

Creating a space for dialogue, shared learning, peer review, communities of practice, joint collaboration …..

Building a critical mass for mainstreaming




  • What is a Network

  • Networks are groups of projects or bi-lateral arrangements between projects (formal and informal);

  • Networks are constructed on the basis of themes, issues, methodologies, target groups, similar approaches to broad policy issues (practice and policy);

  • Networks are resourced through your dissemination/mainstreaming budgets;

  • Networks are driven by DP’s;

  • Networks focus on solutions not problems.

  • explanation


Where is it located in the scheme of things?

Formal Networking



Policy Group





Equal DP

Other policy opportunities

Informal Networking

innovationlearning/joint collaborationmainstreaming

  • Thematic Networks in Round II

  • The Inclusive Workplace – Accommodating Equality andDiversity focuses on the demand side of the labour market, employers and the workplace

  • Types of Activity: recruitment practices, in –work progression, challenging attitudinal barriers, organisational change to accommodate diversity

  • Accommodating Equality and Diversity in Integrated Service Provision focuses on the supply side of the labour market, service provision (training, referral, employment services etc)

    • Types of Activity: how services are directed and delivered to people experiencing discrimination, new approaches to labour market inclusion, client focused holistic service delivery



  • Thematic Networks in Round II

  • Entrepreneurship – focuses on the non traditional entrepreneur, women, non nationals, LTU

  • Types of Activity – access to credit and finance, training, mentoring supports

  • Life Long Learning – focuses on innovations in delivery and approaches in a traditional educational environment

  • Type of Activity – outreach education, progression in education, ICT strategies, teaching and learning methods, validation


  • Exploring the potential of Bi-lateral Work between projects

  • Some Examples:

  • DP9 and WAM - disability profiling psycometric testing

  • Equal Youth and DP9 + You’re EQUAL - Client Profiling

  • Carlow, WAM and KWCD – Equality Awareness strategies

  • Equal at work + Roma = cultural mediation competence

  • Transition Support programme + Equal Youth = service delivery to young people


  • Thematic Networking and Mainstreaming:

  • Active involvement in thematic networks should form part of your DP’s Mainstreaming Strategy;

  • Mainstreaming is a process of identifying and extracting the important “impact” lessons from pilot activity;

  • Happens at different levels;

  • Mainstreaming demands good strategic planning;

  • Mainstreaming demands a clear understanding of policy;

  • A strong partnership is crucial;

  • Demands an openness to engage in meaningful dialogue;

  • Demands an ability to articulate or market the innovative policies of practice changes;


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