On 24th October 2017 in Bologna we launched a 3 years project sponsored by the European Commission: Making Informal Recognition Visible and Actionable (MIRVA).

Beyond the project’s current partnership, we are looking for Associate Partners interested in exploring with us how to make informal recognition visible and actionable.

MIRVA was an active participant in the 15th ePIC conference where we have started working on the definition of an Open Recognition Framework.

Project Summary


Recognising non-formal and informal learning is increasingly seen as a way of improving lifelong and lifewide learning, employability and citizenship. More European countries are emphasising the importance of making visible and valuing learning that takes place outside formal education and training institutions, for example at work, in leisure and social time activities and at home. Open Badges, the open standard for the recognition of learning achievements has proved the power of a simple, affordable, resilient and trustworthy technology to create an ecosystem supporting the recognition of informal learning working across countries, educational sectors, work, social environments and technologies. Yet, the current achievements have been limited to the ‘formal recognition of informal learning’; the opportunities offered by Open Badges to support the ‘informal recognition of informal learning’ have yet to be explored.

Such is the objective of MIRVA: Making Informal Recognition Visible and Actionable.

With the release of the new Open Badges 2.0 specification providing a support for ‘Open Endorsement’, the Open Badge initiative is entering into a new phase: we now have with ‘Open Endorsement’ a unique opportunity for exploring the potential of ‘informal recognition of informal learning’. As Open Badges can now be ‘endorsed’ by any person or institution to accredit informally their value and currency, we now have the potential to move back the centre of gravity of recognition towards the informal space’ providing individuals with greater agency in a recognition process currently dominated by institutions of formal education. Open Badges and Open Endorsements offers the possibility to create a continuum between formal and informal recognition.


The aim of MIRVA, is to study the conditions of an Informal Recognition environment through the exploration of:

  • The potential benefits of Open Endorsement as proposed by the Open Badge 2.0 specification;
  • The conditions (technical, educational, political, etc.) for the successful implementation of Open Endorsement;
  • The services that could emerge from the information generated through Open Endorsement;
  • The mitigation of the risks of poor endorsements practices (e.g. LinkedIn!);
  • The conditions for creation of an effective continuum between informal and formal recognition.


Through the consultation of a network of organisations and practitioners, MIRVA will produce:

  • O1 Open Recognition Framework
  • O2 Guidelines for Communities & Individuals
  • O3 Guidelines for Organisations & Practitioners
  • O4 Guidelines for Technology Providers & Clients
  • O5 Guidelines for linking informal recognition with Frameworks
  • O6 Open Recognition Framework Validation

Expected impact

By exploring the conditions for an effective Informal Recognition environment, MIRVA will:

  • Inform practitioners, employers, public authorities and technology providers on the opportunities offered by Informal Recognition;
  • Contribute to the empowerment of individuals taking a greater role in the recognition of their own achievements and those of
  • others;
  • Contribute to bridging the gap between informal and formal recognition of learning achievements;
  • Contribute to Increasing the transparency and trustworthiness of qualifications and credentialing systems.

Long term benefits

Long term benefits are a more inclusive society, a more open and transparent employment market and an increased trust in the data relative to individual achievements (CVs, diploma transcripts, etc.).


  1. EMF, France 
  2. EAEA, Belgium / Europe
  3. FiBS, Germany
  4. Gear Up, The Netherlands
  5. EPL EFPA EURE , France
  6. Open Knowledge Belgium
  7. CINECA, Italy
  8. Mind 2 Innovate, Greece