APLOAD is a double-sided service provider structured into two main independent departments currently offering services in Evaluation and Social Planning and in Landscape Architecture. Each of these departments has its own scope and objectives, provision for specific professional services, own dedicated professionals and specific clients and partners.
The Department of Evaluation and Social Planning (EPS) provides services under Monitoring & Evaluation of Projects, Project Design and Innovation, Social Research and Vocational Education and Training (VET) related services. A brief summary of its portfolio is presented hereunder:
- right upon its creation, the ESP Department has been actively involved (2013-15) in a Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation project, where it researched about implementation and use of the electronic Portfolio system as a tool for promoting the employment of recently graduated VET students.
- the following European initiative of the ESP Department was the project ‘Better e-Learning for All’, an adult education project aiming to implement the use of e-learning by training provider NGOs who target social ‘hard-to-reach’ groups (Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership, 2015-17). This is seeking to address the lack of preparation of trainers in the creation of well-structured e-learning courses, as well as looking to improve the learning of people that are hard-to-reach and at risk of social exclusion. Among many other things, ‘Better-e’ is working to help e-learning providers to improve e-learning environments as places for innovative teaching, develop e-learning tools and methodologies appropriate for people engaged with the world of education thus far, and improve the level of key competences and ‘soft’ skills for people in this group.
- APLOAD has also been engaged with Cooperation and Development issues. It has Monitor and Evaluate a transnational Project implemented under the Youth in Action Programme, Action 3.2 – “Youth in the World” (2013-14), which gathered partner institutions from Portugal, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe. This experience was of extraordinary value for the enhancement of the company’s competences and understanding of Youth, Employment and VET’s internationally relevant issues, both conceptually as geographically;
- APLOAD made the final evaluation (2015) of a rural development strategy implemented during 6 years in a Portuguese southern territory (7 municipalities of Alentejo) strongly based on a VET and entrepreneurial approach and policies, which also enhanced the company’s expertise about direct development interventions;
- APLOAD signed a partnership agreement (2016) with Agenzia Regionale per il Lavoro – Servizio Politiche del Lavoro, Interventi di Politica Attiva del Lavoro de la Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia (Regional Agency of Labour – Labor Policy Service, Labor Active Intervention of the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venice Giulia), northern Italy, in order to host a traineeship of a young VET graduate coming from the city of Trieste. This partnership aimed to enhance the Company’s international cooperation also beyond the EU funded projects, as well as to enhance the intercultural environment and response of the company;
- APLOAD integrates the international Partnership of the project “Free to Choose (FtC)’ (2017-19). This project is being developed under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission’s DG Justice and Consumers, and aims to support and promote gender equity at the workplace;
- APLOAD is designing and implementing packages of training courses and workshops directed to adult professionals, namely, tutors, trainers and teachers and also to other professionals, promoting their skills and competencies for a) an excellent pedagogical use of ICT in the classroom (‘ICT for teachers’ courses series), b) the promotion of health and health related behaviours at school and in the school community (‘Health at School’ courses series), c) the promotion of an evaluation culture on social intervention (‘Monitoring & Evaluation of Social Intervention’ courses series).
By integrating ‘SupportAbility’ partnership, the company is fully compromised with the project in order a) to provide its inputs under the Portuguese VET contexts, b) to carefully implement all the necessary activities under its charge and c) to contribute for a fruitful cooperation among partners. In order to do so, the company will engage not just the ESP Department but also the Landscape Architecture Department whenever applicable, in order to guarantee that the project results are enhanced and incorporated by the company itself and by our further partners and clients.