The MEGA partner meeting in Riga marked the end of the 1st year of the project and many important decisions were made regarding further development of the mobile application as well as the training and data-collection phases of the project. It took place from the 14th to the 16th of November 2018 with partners from Finland, Germany, Zambia and South Africa visiting Riga Technical University (RTU) to continue working on the project that commenced in October 2017.
During the meeting the first data-collection results from South Africa were presented by the University of the Free State, marking a new stage in the MEGA project. Since then, other partners from South Africa and Zambia have commenced and implemented data-collection in their regions, providing essential data for further progress of the project.
Numerous important steps were taken in terms of the dissemination of the project activities. Informative videos were made with each partner explaining a topic relevant to the project and the first project newsletter was created and published in the MEGA project website as well as on social media. Colourful MEGA T-shirts, bags, notebooks, smartphone screen-cleaners and other promotional materials were distributed among the partners to advance the dissemination activities in all partner countries and make the MEGA logo more and more recognizable.
A very important part of the meeting was the development of the MEGA mobile application. RTU presented the current status of the app and discussions were held on the necessary adjustments and improvements that need be made. The meeting was a crucial milestone in the project development process, with many important decisions made regarding the final version of the app.
An important part of any capacity building project, such as MEGA, is the exchange of expertise among the partner countries. To inform the partners about the current situation and challenges in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry in Latvia, a presentation and discussion was delivered by Dr. Nikita Bezborodov, one of the leading child psychiatrists in Latvia. Despite the geographical location, many similar challenges and problems can be observed in Latvia, South Africa and Zambia, proving that the impact of MEGA could go far beyond the borders of the countries in question.