Manual on Developing and Managing EU-Funded Projects
It can be extremely challenging for individual CSOs to understand how investment decisions are made within EU institutions, and how to successfully apply for EU funding. Indeed, for many CSOs the challenge seems like an insolvable mystery. For organisations in the Western Balkans and Turkey (WBT), despite being geographically and, in terms of forthcoming accession, close to the EU, the EU’s funding processes can appear mysterious and frustrating.
To help clarify and explain this process we have produced the manual. It and the accompanying toolkit is aimed at assisting CSOs in the Western Balkans and Turkey to understand the process of accession and subsequent successful management of EU funds. It is not a comprehensive guide to EU funds nor a guarantee of success when making applications for them. It is, however, intended to show CSOs how they can become more efficient and effective in accessing and managing EU funds.
The manual is made up of three sections: firstly, the introduction which explains the nature of EU funding and the specific opportunities in the region; secondly, a section describing how CSOs can navigate their way from the very beginning of the process of identifying funding opportunities to the very end where they report on funds spent; and thirdly, a brief section to explain how to use the accompanying toolkit, and finally a glossary of terms and references.
Guide for Trainers: Developing and Managing EU-Funded Projects
TACSO also developed the guide as an online resource to accompany TACSO’s manual on, Developing and Managing EU Funded Projects. The aim of the guide is to demonstrate a range of methodologies and tools that can be used in many different types of learning activities for CSO managers, staff, local trainers and consultants who are interested in helping and enabling CSOs gain access and manage EU funds.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of the European Commission’s (EC) assistance has been around for a relatively long time and various M&E methodologies have evolved, aiming to strengthen monitoring and evaluation of this assistance thus contributing to its greater transparency and accountability. From the M&E system of 1999, focusing mainly on progress and aid efficiency, the EC started to move towards setting up a performance-based monitoring system. As of 2002, the performance based monitoring system or the “results-oriented monitoring” system is largely applied by the EC as a method for assessing the operations financed under different EC instruments, including the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
Together with evaluation, monitoring is an important part of the EU Project Cycle Management (PCM), which is used to describe the management activities and decision-making procedures during the lifecycle of a project. It helps to ensure that:
- Projects are supportive of the overarching policy objectives of the EC and of development partners;
- Projects are relevant to an agreed strategy and to the real problems of target groups /beneficiaries;
- Projects are feasible, meaning that purposes can be realistically achieved within the constraints of the operating environment and capabilities of the implementing agencies;
- Benefits generated are likely to be sustainable.
From the very beginning, TACSO has been assigned the important task of supporting and monitoring EU-funded grant projects and providing guidance to CSOs in all aspects of project implementation.
The aim is to raise standards and performances of EU-funded projects and to improve project management and monitoring, to create learning for the design of subsequent activities and to improve CSOs’ accountability to both the EU and their own project beneficiaries and constituencies.
Taking into consideration all of the aforementioned, the guidelines provide guidance to the implementation of EU-funded projects, as well as to monitoring of the same, thus excluding the evaluation. It addresses how TACSO sees its role and contribution, what kind of support TACSO should provide, and in what way can contribute to enrich each project’s quality.