Training on IPA CBC management structures and implementation procedures
The first training for the representatives of National Authorities regarding the management and implementation of programmes under IPA Component II was held in Skopje on October 18-19th 2007.
21 persons from various Ministries and Agencies of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia attended the training. Some of the trainees are directly involved in the implementation of IPA component II (e.g Ministry of Local Self Government, CFCU and Secretariat for European Affairs), others have participated in the programming phase and should further participate in the evaluation and monitoring of CBC projects (e.g. Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture).
The main objectives of the course were described before the course as:
1. Understanding what institutional framework needs to be established in order to manage the cross-border programme:
- What steps need to be taken before the cross-border programme can be implemented?
- Who is responsible for what in different steps?
- Role of various documents in the process.
2. Know and understand how the different steps of the cross-border programme Grant Scheme work– i.e. Call for Proposals (CfP), evaluation, pre-financing, etc. With special focus on:
- Who is responsible for what?
- The role of the various documents in CfP
3. Know where to find relevant information in relation to the implementation of the cross-border programme Grant Scheme, e.g.
- Cross-border programme
- IPA Implementing Regulations
- Annexes to PRAG.
The course was divided according to two main strands:
a) Which institutional framework is to be established in order to implement the cross-border programmes (this part was mainly based on IPA Implementing Regulations);
b) Different steps in the implementation of the cross-border programmes (this part was mainly based on PRAG and PRAG annexes but also on the previous experiences of the trainees in implementing Neighbourhood Programmes).
Important elements of the methodology of the training are the following:
- · Combine theory with exercises (“learning by doing” approach). Due to the relatively short duration of the training (two days), most of the topics were presented in plenary sessions (courses followed by “buzzing”). However, group exercises were organised on the following topics: role of the actors in preparing/implementing a cross-border programme, call for proposals preparatory activities, steps in launching a CfP, steps of the projects evaluation and evaluation of a concept note (real case provided by the EAR).
- Review of the previous day (each participant tries to answer a question).
Conclusions and Lessons Learned:
- Many of the training materials were adjusted/adapted slightly before and during the training itself. This was important, as there were still a number of things that needed to be clarified.
- It is important to use the momentum that is created, meaning that the contacts that are established with and amongst the different institutional representatives are maintained in view of the activities that need to be carried out.
- Organise more meetings/information activities making use of the various materials that were prepared for the training.
- The final beneficiary trainings need to be held shortly
- Make use of the experiences obtained in order to adapt the training to be held in other countries.