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Tools for internal review of participation in networks

Model for Internal Review of networks (Tool for Analysis)

The Model for Internal Review of networks is described as a Tool for Analysis for application by a group of/ by a strategic person/s within the agencies. It includes consideration of a) existing networks and b) potential new networks.

ERA-LEARN presents a global list of criteria for network participation based on review of international policy reports; review of international academic literature; analysis of national involvement; and analysis of agency involvement in a core set of shared ERA-NETs.

The criteria have been divided into two categories:

  • NETWORK encompassing complementarity to other funding instruments; potential national added value; the long-term perspective; financial commitment; consortium composition and the running of Joint Calls.
     
  • OUTPUT covering Joint Call outputs; other joint activities in the network; the learning effects and the cost-benefit ratio.

Defining these criteria and testing the initial model necessitated the construction of a Questionnaire To Programme Managers for use in interviews with network project staff and a set of Instructions To the Strategic Person within the Agency in how to use the model.

 

Background

Member and Associate States need to evolve clear strategies for their involvement in P2Ps based on thorough analyses of their national and regional needs and priorities. Participation to date has been bottom up, ranging from individual decision making to comprehensive consultative decision-making processes involving executive management. This has led to substantial variation in fit with organisation strategies and, in some instances, to less than optimal levels of client participation.

Achievement of strategically aligned network participation necessitates a structured approach to determination of engagement and/or continuation. To this end, there is a need to develop standardised review criteria and to define output, particularly to differentiate between project generating versus "learning". These criteria should be defined within an overall strategy for trans-national cooperation.

The application of such criteria should help to eliminate wasteful use of resources in projects that do not fit to defined priorities or do not meet the expected standard. At the same time, resources should be available for networks that are entirely in line with defined targets. This will ensure constructive networking which will eventually be beneficial for the clients.

Elaborating a strategy for trans-national cooperation and participation in networks will benefit from the development of guidelines that build on positive experiences to date and reflect a common understanding of the principles that should be applied when contemplating trans-national cooperation.

The aim is to deliver a limited set of clearly defined evaluation criteria designed to facilitate a structured and standardised comparison of network participation as part of the overall strategies of the participating organisations.

The criteria should be detailed but flexible, allowing the participants to use the framework within the confines of their parent organisation structures and decision making processes. They should apply to a continuation in an existing network as well as to the assessment of a possible participation in upcoming networks.

Last update: August 2015