Four of the eight projects have been successfully completed by the end of 2016. Both the completed and the ongoing projects have resulted in a high number of positive and concrete results. Below is an overview based on the five project goals.
Results in Lithuania
Thanks to SCIEX fellowships 50 Lithuanian doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers have taken part in a fixed-term research residency at the Swiss universities of Lausanne, Geneva, Fribourg and Lucerne, and at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA). Lithuanian and Swiss higher education institutions also implemented 11 bilateral research projects and 9 institutional partnership projects together.
Mother and child healthcare
The project builds on the successful cooperation in the 1990s between Switzerland and Lithuania in the field of mother and child care and helps reduce differences in the quality of medical care provided in the towns and rural areas. The provision of support to the Lithuanian healthcare system has resulted in a dramatic reduction in child mortality, which is now comparable with Switzerland’s. All 27 hospitals have been equipped with modern machines (ultrasound devices, display units, incubators, etc.) to monitor the progress of newborns. Three hospitals have also been equipped with special vehicles to transport premature babies. Over 2,300 nursing staff members have been trained in how to use the new machines.
24 hospitals have increased their energy efficiency and use of renewable energies. By the end of 2016, this work was successfully completed in seven of the hospitals. Depending on needs, each building was equipped with new windows, roofs, wall insulation, energy-efficient lighting and heating systems, improved hot water and electricity supplies, modern ventilation systems, solar panels and heat pumps. These investments bring down hospital maintenance costs, improve the indoor temperature for mothers and babies, and reduce polluting emissions.
Modernising the judiciary
Twenty-three courtrooms, 13 prison halls and two prosecutors' offices have been equipped with videoconferencing units and audio recording devices so that the people involved in court proceedings can be linked up. A total of 142 court and prison staff in Lithuania have been trained in using the new communication technologies. This has helped greatly to increase the efficiency of the judiciary and the transparency of court proceedings in Lithuania.
Support funding for NGOs
NGOs have received funds to independently promote and strengthen civil society's participation in the economic and social development of the country. A total of 97 sub-projects were implemented by NGOs, including 32 projects dedicated to strengthening voluntary actions by the NGOs and 22 projects aimed at increasing cooperation between NGOs and municipalities. Swiss NGOs partnered five of the projects.