The SIC+ Focus Group: Fostering global collaboration between European Safer Internet Centres and like-minded organisations around the world

In October 2022, the day after the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), participants from the SIC+ programme gathered together from all over the world to participate in the SIC+ Focus Group in Brussels. In addition to the SIC+ members, a number of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs), the European Commission (EC), BIK Youth Ambassadors and Twitter were also represented. The session focused on two main topics for exchange: public-private partnerships and Safer Internet Day 2023. This article provides a brief overview of the points discussed.

Date 2022-12-06 Author BIK Team Section awareness, helplines, hotlines, industry, sid Topic media literacy/education Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers
Group pictures of the participants of the SIC+ meeting in Brussels on 28 October 2022.

Public-private partnerships: Exchange of models and opportunities

The first half of the Focus Group focused on public-private partnerships. SIC+ members were invited to discuss best practices, learn from each other, and provide inspiration for those who struggle to establish public-private partnerships. The session commenced with three Safer Internet Centres, Safer Internet Centre Poland, Safer Internet Centre Malta and Fundación Pas Mexico, sharing their partnership approaches, followed by exchanges in smaller groups. 

The main points of advice, insights, and tips to create meaningful cooperation included:  

  • Include a wide range of organisations for example, in the Advisory Board, and make sure that every sector is represented.
  • Invite partners to take a role during the annual Safer Internet Day (SID) campaign. Partners can act as sponsors by providing name visibility, or support with showcasing certain gadgets, applications, or activities of the company/organisation.
  • Cooperate with the local authorities. Oftentimes, local authorities are already doing certain work around internet safety, such as the police participating in awareness campaigns in schools. Ensure that you provide proper training or guidance.
  • Look for organisations that are similar in approach to the Safer Internet Centre. Invite the organisations for ‘study visits’ to exchange best practices and learn from each other.
  • Keep a positive attitude if faced with difficulties when implementing certain programmes or initiatives (for example, there may be challenges in working with the government in establishing a hotline). Sometimes the urgency needs to be explained multiple times until the right person, in the right place, acknowledges the need and supports the initiative.

Following the presentations, the SIC+ members discussed among each other the challenges and opportunities they have had with building public-private partnerships:

  • Building a long-term sustainable relationship with partners can be challenging.
  • Oftentimes, around Safer Internet Day, partners will be more present but Safer Internet Centres tend to ‘lose’ them throughout the rest of the year.
  • Awareness of the existence of helplines and hotlines can be difficult, especially in remote areas.
  • Parents remain a group that is difficult to reach.

Safer Internet Day 2023: Celebrating 20 years of global awareness

In the second half of the Focus Group the conversations revolved around Safer Internet Day (SID) 2023, the 20th anniversary of the campaign! The general slogan of SID is “Together for a better internet”. Every Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day Committee and supporter is at a different point in the SID journey, and this is reflected through a range of actions. For example, some SID supporters some might release a press statement on SID, whereas others might actively go into schools with a campaign, or may host a high-level conference.

Presentations from Safer Internet Centre Ireland, SaferNet Brasil, Twitter and a BIK Youth Ambassador from Cyprus, outlined how SID has been celebrated in the past from different stakeholder perspectives. Best practices were shared with each other:

  • Create and share free ‘ready to use’ SID packs for schools. Include scripts for all age groups, so that schools can implement them right away.
  • Involve young people in a SID Ambassador programme, and encourage them to lead SID activities in their schools. Guide them through a programme that runs in the months before SID to help to build interest and confidence.
  • Reach out to stakeholders and present SID to them. Offer ways for them to get involved.
  • Use the media, such as the radio or television, to spread the word around SID.
  • Initiate competitions and awards to activate people to think about a better internet.
  • Map all the activities taking place within your country.
  • Make use of social media platforms that are involved in SID to discuss a better internet and amplify the campaign’s messages.
  • Encourage youth participation during SID, such as by co-creating resources or inviting youth to talk about their online experiences.
  • Share interesting data coming from the helplines and hotlines so that the press will pay attention to it.

The SIC+ members will gather once more before the Christmas holiday to go deeper into the topic of Safer Internet Day and to make it a great success in 2023!

Picture of the participants of the SIC+ meeting held in Brussels on 28 October 2022. Credits: Better Internet for Kids.


Find out more about the SIC+ programme on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal. You can also find out more about Insafe, INHOPE and the network of Safer Internet Centres in Europe.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day at

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