Within our project, the 10 city partners plan and implement a variety of different measures and activities – locally. But we would not be a project, founded by the Baltic Sea region programme, if not the aspect of cross-border cooperation and learning, exchange and joint collaboration would be at the core of our project!
Learning from colleagues from other cities and even from other countries gives a very valuable input to everyday work in a municipality. It brings a new perspective, new ideas and inspiration and provides the possibility to discuss with other experts.
That is why we use the method of peer reviews extensively in the project: In two groups, cities are reviewing each other’s processes, plans, activities and measures, depending on their need of feedback at a certain point in time.
Meeting more informally in small groups, facilitates a different way of discussion and exchange than in project meetings and provides the possibility of deeper exchange. An important part of the peer review meeting is an extensive site visit – that means the reviewers can get their own impression of the city, the situation and circumstances, they can meet other people involved and give more concrete feedback.
Also the reviewers usually benefit from the visit – by giving feedback based on own expertise and experience, they often also learn new things and get new ideas!
In the project, Kalmar was first out to be reviewed by the cities of Vilnius, Tartu and Guldborgsund. The input of the colleagues from abroad on the initial plans for the mobility point were perceived as very useful and valuable. Robert Dahlström, project coordinator for CMM in Kalmar summed it up with “It was a great, productive and positive experience to have the colleagues here and I am very happy for the respectful sharing of ideas we had. This is very positive for Kalmar””
Next up were the Danish partners in Aarhus and Guldborgsund in April and Rostock in May. Also in those three cities, the method proved to be useful and both the host cities and the reviewers had learnings to take home.
Coming up in the autumn are the peer reviews in Gdansk, Riga and Vilnius!
Picture: Peer review in Aarhus