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  • We provide comprehensive support for cross-border cooperation projects, including elaboration of application packages, preparation of project reports, implementation of activities

    We helped dozens of Kaliningrad applicants in the implementation of their projects within cross-border cooperation programmes. Specialists of the Agency have accumulated unique expertise in this field. We will be happy to share our knowledge for the successful implementation of new projects in the framework of future cross-border cooperation programmes.

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    Our approach to this work is based on the assumption that the strategies and programmes of social and economic development of municipalities elaborated with the assistance of our experts are not documents for the sake of documents, but a real working tool for the municipality's governing bodies, which the latter will be using as guidelines in their work.

    In view of this, these documents cannot be solely the result of work performed by external experts (otherwise they will not have good connection with the real state of affairs in the municipality). Elaboration of the strategy and the programme of a municipality implies active involvement in this work of representatives of all key units of municipal administration.

    The working process usually includes several basic stages:

    • Implementation by the Agency’s experts of a series of working meetings / workshops with representatives of administration units of the municipality (which includes brainstorming sessions, discussion of the key development areas of the municipality, etc.);
    • Aggregation and analysis of information necessary to identify factual and desired levels for target development indicators;
    • Elaboration, adjustment and approval of the final version of the document (strategy / programme).

    The time required to prepare an application depends on a number of factors. Here are the key aspects one should consider:

    • The depth of elaboration of the project idea: do the potential beneficiary / partners of the project have a clear understanding of how the project's objectives will be achieved (detailed activities, project team composition, project budget, etc.);
    • Availability of trusted project partners and their willingness to respond promptly to questions that arise during the preparation of the application package. Practice shows that in case of partners' poor fulfillment of their duties, the time required for preparation of documents for both the application package and during project implementation can increase manifold.
    • Availability of a feasibility study (for infrastructure projects). As a rule, for projects involving EU member states, the application package for infrastructure projects necessitates preparation of a special feasibility study designed to analyze cost efficiency of the project (in accordance with the principles of "cost-benefit analysis"). Elaboration of such a feasibility study is a very time-consuming task, which also requires a sufficient time reserve to be allocated.

    Thus, preparation of the initial project application package for implementation of an international project may take 1-3 months.

    Judging from the experience of the past cross-border cooperation programmes, project applications are considered in the course of 2-3 months from the deadline for application submission. In case an application is approved, the applicants in close contact with representatives of the programme implement revision of the application (duration of this phase largely depends on the nature and significance of the changes to be introduced in the application package, and may constitute a period of up to several months). The time frame can be predicted with better precision after the call for project applications is announced.

    Thus, the period from the moment of application submission until the start of project implementation may last 4-8 months.

    As a rule, there is a minimum requirement to prepare 2 interim reports and 1 final report within the project. Besides, in case 4 months has elapsed since the last date covered by the previously submitted report, an additional narrative report (in an abridged format) is submitted to reflect the progress of implementation of project activities. The exact rules of reporting are set out in the documentation of the corresponding cross-border cooperation programme.

    The duration of preparation of project reports depends on the good organization of teamwork between the beneficiary and project partners, as well as on the timely and systematic aggregation of information during the reporting period. It should be noted that the official language of the cross-border cooperation programmes is English, and as a result, it is necessary to make allowance for a sufficient time reserve for translation (if not all representatives of the project partners know English to the required degree).

    Interim reports include narrative and financial parts. Preparation of the financial report is the most time-consuming activity. Four-monthly report represents only a narrative section (with a limited number of tables reflecting contracts concluded within the project). 

    It must be noted that, as a rule, submission of reports subsequently transforms into a follow-up and revision phase based on the comments received from the programme managing body (this phase may take quite a long time in some cases).

    Thus, initial preparation of a 4-month report may take 1-3 weeks (with subsequent follow-up and revision of nearly 1 month); initial preparation of an interim report – 1-1.5 months (with subsequent follow-up and revision over the course of 2-3 months).

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