Capacity-building in URBACT refers to strengthening skills and know-how of people working in European cities. Ultimately, enhancing people’s skills in this context aims to foster more efficient and sustainable urban development in Europe.
Capacity-building in URBACT relates to the ERDF thematic objective 11 ‘Enhancing institutional capacity and efficient public administration’ as outlined in Regulation EU 1299/2013(ETC) Article 7.
In particular, URBACT III capacity building activities aim to improve the capacity of cities to manage sustainable urban policies and practices in an integrated and participative way.
Examples of capacity-building activities:
- National capacity-building seminars. These events provide tools and methods to enhance capacities of local group members of partner cities at national level, in national languages. Member States are strongly involved in these sessions.
- URBACT Universities. These events are a large transnational training based on the URBACT Method: i.e. fostering sustainable urban development through transnational exchange, by integrating sectoral policies, and by involving stakeholders in co-production processes.
- Other ad hoc capacity-building actions based on an established need can also be developed for specific stakeholder groups involved in the design and implementation of sustainable urban policies (e.g. elected representatives, managing authorities of operational programmes, national authorities, etc.).
The target groups or beneficiaries of these actions are practitioners, city staff and managers, elected representatives, other local stakeholders, cities involved in URBACT networks (including UDN cities implementing integrated urban strategies & actions under article 7 or 9).
Main capacity-building publications:
- URBACT III Guide - Applying the Results Framework to Integrated Action Plans (2016): The results framework is considered a key tool for effective and sustainable project management. It implies defining results from the beginning of a project: what will be achieved through the project, by when, and how it will be measured.
- URBACT II Local Support Group Toolkit (2013): This toolkit brings together guidelines and tools that have proved useful in bringing together city stakeholders, and facilitating collaboration in the analysis of urban challenges and the co-creation of solutions. The toolkit intends to provide inspiration, not to be prescriptive or restrictive.
- Getting Results through animated meetings: seven top tips (2012): This short guide aims to encourage and support cities to try out new approaches in meetings in their administration or with stakeholders. It showcases some of the techniques that have been in operation across the URBACT programme.
URBACT Summer University 2016
The Summer University is the main training event that builds up the skills and capacities of urban professionals that take part in the URBACT Programme. It already took place in Krakow (2011), Dublin (2013) and Rotterdam (2016). It aims at boosting participants’ skills to co-produce integrated action plans.
In the 2016 URBACT Summer University (USU), participants learnt to:
- Define problems so as to better define the objective of their action plan.
- Map stakeholders to involve all interested parties and guarantee effective implementation.
- Define a results framework to set out the desired results of the action plan – “the change we want to see” – by when and how they will be measured.
- Identify all the assets of a city.
- Planning actions and defining a roadmap.
- Communicating action plans and strategies.
The USU 2016 participants learning kit is available here.