NEXTROM: Digitising the new Roma generations
Coordinators: Manuel García-Ramírez and Virginia Paloma.
Duration: Ongoing project.
Abstract: Post-COVID Europe must ensure that the next generations of Roma people overcome the inequalities they have suffered for centuries. The pandemic has catalysed these inequalities and risks further exacerbating their difficulties in accessing decent housing, access to employment and fair working conditions, real educational opportunities, as well as their access to health and gender opportunities. The European Public Health Alliance underlines that the digital divide is a new source of anti-Gypsyism that aggravates the cycle of poverty of the next generations. This situation is even more threatening for Roma women and girls, as the ripple effect of the pandemic has fortified existing gender roles as a means of survival. To address this scenario, in 2020, the European Commission published the “EU Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion and Participation”, which Spain has taken on board and approved by the end of 2021. Although this adaptation mentions the worsening of the digital divide as a consequence of the pandemic, it does not sufficiently emphasise its potential magnitude. NextGenerationEU provides an ideal scenario for imagining future digitised Roma scenarios that ensure that the EU recognises their vision and voices and that they become emerging leaders in the digital transition.
NEXTROM is an exploratory study that co-creates and imagines the implementation of the strategy in conjunction with the digitisation process by answering the following questions How can the digital transition driven by the NextGenerationEU facilitate the implementation of the Spanish strategy? What actions will ensure that we seize this opportunity to close the gender gap? What processes are needed to address the uncertainty of the future and co-design solutions with our most vulnerable communities? We will conduct a desk review, interviews, Photovoice workshops and other collaborative and creative methodologies to implement a collaborative planning process of future scenarios that may happen in the key areas included in the strategic framework in 2030. At the same time, a backcasting process will be used to foresee the specific actions needed to achieve these future scenarios, enabling the development of work plans, strategies and recommendations towards these objectives.
At the scientific-technical level, this project will develop a conceptual and methodological model to use scenario planning and backcasting to identify three future scenarios for each key area included in the National Strategy in 2030. A policy brief and other documents will be produced to ensure that the National Strategy achieves its objectives based on these scenarios. In terms of social impact, Roma participation will ensure the impact of measures developed to get more children, adolescents and young people on the educational ladder, to digitise their traditional employment niches, among other key areas. Our proposal will offer value-added opportunities to strengthen the role of women in the leadership of community organisations and other social spaces for political participation.
Spanish Government. Ministry of Science and Innovation.