JDC-Eshel and Digital Israel

The challenge

An ambitious new government initiative in Israel includes a comprehensive digital inclusion effort for marginalized populations, and JDC-Eshel, the leading nonprofit responsible for programs for older adults in the country, was asked to create a national digital literacy initiative for older adults.  After a global scan, leadership from Eshel recognized that that OATS would be the best partner to support the 18-month pilot phase and accelerate the design of the national program.

The strategy

Compile and transfer organizational knowledge in a structured way from OATS experts to the Israeli team working on the project in order to inform the evaluation of existing technology programs for older adults and begin to transform the goals of the program from simply achieving “digital literacy” to an impact-oriented active aging model supported by technology that was more similar to the well-developed and highly successful Senior Planet program model.

The solution

In order to transfer almost 15 years of organizational knowledge in a format that was appropriate for use in a foreign country and supported with academic and research-based evidence that was expected from a highly-disciplined partner, OATS realized that the project would require more work than sharing the materials used in training programs and conducting “train the trainer” sessions. So the partners approached the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, which generously supported a more ambitious collaboration. Because of this, OATS leadership was able to travel to Israel to conduct trainings and workshops, a delegation of government and nonprofit leaders were able to come to New York City and Maryland to observe OATS programs in different local settings and meet with stakeholders, staff, and participants. The partnership was extended in length to support the duration of the pilot in Israel and allow the organizations to continue working together to shape the future of the program after the pilot phase. Through this partnership and the financial support of the Weinberg Foundation, OATS was able to invest the amount of time and energy needed to complete a structured and thorough transfer of organizational knowledge and learnings in written form and create a versatile online platform for continuous collaboration.