The Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020 finances result orientated cross-border cooperation projects in Estonia, Finland (incl Åland), Latvia and Sweden

Findings on stakeholder feedback - eMS, simplifications, internal communication

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 13:22
While the programme is well up and running it is also continuously under development. At the turn of the year we asked for feedback on the programme’s support functions from the implemented projects. At the same time, feedback was collected from the internal bodies implementing the programme on how the internal communication is working.
All replies have been carefully studied and the outcomes shared within the programme team. While the overall results from both questionnaires were very positive, also needs for improvement were identified and have been taken into account in the respective processes for the future. The following findings can be of also general interest.
The eMonitoringSystem (eMS)
We have been and continue to be grateful for the commitment of our applicants and projects to develop the eMS. As the system is new and the Central Baltic Programme is one of the first Interreg programmes to have taken it into use, it needs active users in developing the functionalities to their full potential. Many detailed comments and ideas have been received from the users and we are thankful for them.

At the same time there have been questions about the different funding instruments all having their own systems. The eMS is a system developed jointly by Interact and made available free of charge to all Interreg programmes in Europe. Having one system in many programmes would make both the application and implementation processes smoother for the project implementers. We would like to see the system used also by other programmes in the Baltic Sea region in the future. Not least because despite the many development needs still in the young system, 55 % of the responded 31 projects regarded the use of the complex system ”fairly easy”, and 55 % of the responded projects considered the offered user support to be excellent, good or not needed at all.
One of the main dogmas in building the new Central Baltic Programme for the current period has been simplification. The simplifications concern processes, rules, structures and costs. We asked the projects about how big impact they see in the main simplifications made for project implementation and were satisfied to see that the efforts in making processes smoother proves to be making a difference. The graph shows that well over half of the respondents have considered the six main simplifications impactful in project implementation.

Internal communication
In order for the programme to function well towards its stakeholders the internal communication processes are of big importance. Although the overall satisfaction level amongst the internal bodies (MA, JS, CA, AA, MC, SC) was positive 4.3/5.0, some small improvements are done also in the internal processes. One of the concrete wishes from the Member State representatives in the Monitoring and Steering Committees was that they would like to receive more country and region based data and also other information on the projects. With the project database soon launched on the programme website some statistical tools will be made available. The new setup of the national Contact Points in all participating countries was considered a good structure both by the programme staff as well as by the national committee delegations.
Feedback will continue to be collected annually in order to be able to identify the needs for development and to ensure the best possible outcomes of the programme in the long run. All feedback and development ideas are always welcome and appreciated in the Central Baltic Programme.