Spring Networking Workshops for Cities and Towns
Representatives of 29 cities and towns participating in the “Local Development” Programme attended spring networking workshops held in Warsaw on February 27th and 28th.

This was the final event addressing Urban Team co-ordinators and members – Programme Operators in each of the participant municipalities. The “Local Development” Programme is gradually drawing to a close. This is why presentations of municipal achievements and accomplishments were a major part of the meeting. Not only did representatives speak of projects and activities launched – they also described Programme-related changes, and issues encountered on the way. Presentations delivered by representatives of each of the 29 cities and towns included recommendations for other local governments.

The second day of the workshop focused on the EMPIRIAE” Experience Exchange Network, a unique Association of Polish Cities project based on the popular networking concept, and delivered as part of the “Local Development” Programme.

EMPIRIAE” are the very essence of what the Association is. In designing them, we were basing on the many years of Association of Polish Cities’ experience. Networks are a knowledge and experience sharing platform, bringing together representatives of cities and towns who can learn from one another and design new solutions around specific matters of key importance to the development of small- and medium-sized towns. Networks are an opportunity for having all activities consulted with a broader specialist and expert community – an option of looking at any given problem from another vantage point, and receiving immediate feedback for and evaluation of activities proposed. They make it possible to put the experience of other cities and towns to creative use.

Network themes focus on matters of key significance to the development of Polish cities, in conjunction with activities submitted as part of the “Local Development” Programme.

In the course of spring networking workshops, “Urban Human Resources” Network members presented the “Employee Satisfaction Survey Tool”. The horizontal team for participation showed extremely interesting outcomes of urban youth surveys, including conclusions and changes over time. The “EMPIRIAE – Things Worth Disseminating and Further Activities” session was an opportunity for further discussion and summaries.

Notably, networking workshops for cities and towns have been organised as part of the “Local Development” Programme with the primary goal of allowing municipal experience sharing, developing space designed to accommodate joint analyses of objectives, challenges and operating models of key importance to Programme Operators, and focusing on solutions to manage, organise and achieve effectiveness in Local Development and Institutional Development Programmes.

City and town representatives apart, spring networking workshops were attended by Ministry of Development Fund and Regional Policy officials, as well as strategic advisors, sector advisors and municipal advisors of the Association of Polish Cities, the great majority of session participants highlighting the role of and support offered by the latter throughout the difficult project.