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Kokemusasiantuntijat verkossa

The project is developing experts by experience practice in responding to the current need of online counselling /social support work competence and improve their possibilities of access employment. The project aims are following: 1) Strengthen the digital competence of the target group 2) Enhance the possibilities of persons with criminal- or substance abuse background to get employed and receive education 3) Develop and improve online easy access social support given by experts by experience

  • Implementation date9/1/2021 - 8/31/2023
  • FunderESR 2014-2020
  • Research programmeSustainable and versatile social and health care
  • Project typeKansallinen TKI
  • ThemesDigitalisation and information management in society, Pedagogy and cocreation
  • Project managerKaroliina Nikula

The "Experts by Experience Online" project assists experts by experience in developing the digital skills required in the workplace. You can watch the project introduction video here: Expertise Online Project Introduction - YouTube 

At the beginning of the project, a background study was conducted to assess the perspectives of experts by experience themselves and the organizations that hire them regarding the level of digital skills and the digital skill requirements in the workplace. Based on the background study, the target group's level of digital competence is relatively low, but their willingness to learn is high. You can read more about the study, for example, here (Digital Skills and Additional Training Needs of experts by experience - Perspectives for Development | Laurea Journal) and here (Views of Organizations Employing experts by experience on Online Work | Laurea Journal)

The project aims to develop the training of experts by experience to meet the requirements of remote expert work. It enhances the digital skills of experts by experience by offering training in areas such as reporting, social media usage, presentation skills, interaction, video production, and research methodology. At the same time, it strengthens digital skills, self-learning awareness, and the ability to participate in training and employment. The project responds to the increased demand for online services by strengthening the ability to produce and develop low-threshold online assistance methods. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tasks of experts by experience have also shifted to digital platforms and remote workspaces. The project helps experts by experience navigate the digital transformation of their work and provides them with the skills needed in the changing workplace. 

The project develops the methods and practices of experts by experience work on digital platforms, collaborating with professionals and students, for instance. Collaborative development methods are digitally mediated and involve digital interaction. Service design has also been utilized in the project. The need for peer support and community support is addressed by providing remote work supervision in collaboration with organization representatives. 

The project strengthens the career paths of experienced experts through, for example, a digital skills checklist and individual support, and it identifies hidden job opportunities. You can read about hidden job opportunities, for example, here (Locating Experience-Based Experts in the Workplace | Laurea Journal). The project also provides training in entrepreneurship. Work supervision experiments conducted in the project support these career paths. Through education, the project aims to open up new employment opportunities for experts by experience. 

The project aims to raise awareness of experts by experience work from various perspectives (e.g., Experienced Experts as Promoters of Well-being | Laurea Journal) and the competence of experienced experts (you can read more here: Making the Expertise of Experienced Experts Visible | Laurea Journal; Competence of Experienced Experts in Online Assistance | Laurea Journal; Experts by Experience Bring Their Expertise and Experience to the University Community | Laurea Journal). Expertise-based communication is crucial (examples of articles where experienced experts are authors: Loneliness Hurts – Experiences and Proposed Solutions | Laurea Journal; Experts by Experience - Volunteer Work or Paid Employment? | Laurea Journal). 

In the autumn of 2022 and spring of 2023, Digital Theme Webinars were organized, addressing important digital skills for experts by experience in the workplace. Recordings can be viewed here (link to recordings). 

In the spring of 2023, two podcast series were released in finnish. In the "Kokemusäänellä" series, various aspects of experts by experience were explored with the guidance of visiting experts by experience, people with experience backgrounds, and other experts. Listen to the "Kokemusäänellä" podcasts here (link to podcasts). The "Elämänpolkuja kokemusäänellä" podcast series was produced as part of the pilot of online assistance methods. In this series, three women who have completed the KEIJO experts by experience training share their life stories. A workbook to support rehabilitation was produced in collaboration with Laurea's social work students and Kuopio prison. Listen to the episodes here (link to episodes). 


Through project communication, efforts are made to have a broader impact on societal structures and attitudes, so that a criminal and substance abuse history does not hinder employment and so that experienced experts are better recognized as part of the social work field. The project collaborates with organizations such as KEIJO Experts by Experience training, Stop Drugs Finland, the VVA association, Irti rikoksista ry, and many others. Laurea University of Applied Sciences students and experienced experts work together on social work advocacy courses (you can read about course collaboration here: Social Work Advocacy – Effective Collaboration between a Course, a Project, and experts by experience | Laurea Journal). 


Voice of Experience - documentary

The "Voice of Experience" documentary delves into the professional lives of experts by experience with a history of crime and substance abuse.

Trained experts by experience Laura and Tony, along with Miska Nyman from the Finnish Romani Forum, who has personal experience that he utilizes in his work as a mental health and substance abuse professional, share their personal experiences from the workplace and the prejudices they've encountered.In addition to the experts by experience, the documentary features insights from Leena Rusi, the Development Director of Sininauha Foundation, Anni Karnaranta, the Unit Manager of Hämeenlinna Prison, and Juha Haapaniemi, the Chaplain of Vaasa Prison. Documentry is spoken in Finnish, but subtitles available in English.


Explore the "Experts by Experience Online" project poster (PDF), which compiles links to the content produced during the project's operational period from 2021 to 2023. This content includes podcasts, YouTube videos, and recordings of webinars related to digital themes. You will also find links to dozens of articles written by project participants in collaboration with their network on the topic of experts by experience.

Save the poster for your future reference, as there is a wealth of reading, listening, and viewing material available!


For more information:

Lecturer Tiina Leppäniemi

Phone: +358 40 7773934



Utilizing Experiential Knowledge in the Prison and Probation Service of Finland - Online Help Pilots

The concluding webinar of the Experts by Experience Online project delved into the online help experiments conducted in three different prison units of the Prison and Probation Service of Finland.

Johanna Kurki, a Project Worker from Laurea, introduced the "Life Paths with an Experiential Voice" podcasts piloted at Kuopio Prison. These podcasts are accompanied by the "My Life" workbook, presented by Janne Kumpula, a Social Service of Criminology Student. Tommi Tamminen, Expert by Experience from the Valo-valmennus Association and Prison Supervisor Maarit Nieminen discuss the pilot experiment in which individual meetings with an experiential expert were piloted at Käyrä Prison. Tuula Tick, Working life Coach from the Valo-valmennus Association, discussed the small-group online meetings at Hämeenlinna Prison's admission department.

The webinar also featured valuable comments on the effectiveness of the pilots from Katri Kärkkäinen, Project Expert and Lecturer in social work at Laurea. The event was hosted by Karoliina Nikula, a Principal Lecturer in social work and project manager at Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

The webinar took place on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. While the video is in Finnish, English subtitles are available.



Project-Related Publications

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