09.11.2010 / News - National level

Added value of cross-border cooperation

The publication of two studies about the evaluation of cross-border cooperation programmes

INTERACT Point Vienna conducted two pilot studies aimed at testing joined evaluations of cross-border cooperation programmes in Central and South-Eastern Europe. A published report presents the outcomes, including main common findings of both studies, the description of the evaluation process, limitations and lessons learned from the exercise.
The study examines the specific added value of cooperation from the point of view of projects in 12 cross-border cooperation programmes. The particular prominent types of added value achieved by cross-border cooperations are
a) new/ improved networks and partnerships, and
b) various types of achievements.

For most types of cooperation, the main added value is linked to the integration of project activities or results affecting people`s everyday working lives.
Regarding the added value of new networks the reports pointed out that a good partnership is usually the key factor for success, and extending networks and deepening cooperation are very important benefits. Indeed, the use of contacts established through the cooperation is considered as one of the leading later uses resulting from the projects. Moreover, whether a partnership works on a joint or a common challenge makes a decisive difference to the intensity of cooperation and expected benefits. Working on a joint challenge requires much more communication among partners and is thus often perceived as more difficult. However, working on a joint challenge often yields more explicit added value, which can be easier to communicate and demonstrate.
The survey also considers the expected achievements by the partners at the end of the project. In this regard beside capacity building and exchange of good practice examples, joint strategies (joint investments, joint marketing) are the type of achievements mentioned most frequently by the respondents.
Another set of questions was dedicated to the expected benefits from cross-border cooperation. The respondents mentioned awareness arising, cooperation and the access to new solutions. The last question to be answered is who will be the user of the results from the project? :
-    Main user group is the public sector, expecting to make good use of the knowledge and investments deriving from cross-border projects – especially in the field of natural heritage utilisation.
-    The second largest user group is the project partners, making use in particular of the contacts established through the cooperation.
-    As the third largest group citizens are seen as user benefiting of the investments carried out or prepared.
-    The fourth largest user group is the educational sector –– it is expected to use new knowledge and contacts developed by the projects.
-    The fifth user group is the private sector is. The private sector is expected to use the knowledge generated and to develop new working routines as a result of the cross-border projects.