Strengthening capacity of medium and small cities in Poland for implementing effective development policies
In 2019-2024 the Association of Polish Cities is implementing the largest advisory and training project in Poland, „Strengthening capacity of medium and small cities in Poland for implementing effective development policies”. The project is designed to help improve the situation of towns selected by the Polish Academy of Sciences as centres in the most difficult socio-economic situation in Poland.
The project is a pre-defined project whose role is to support the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, being the Programme Operator, in the implementation of the Local Development Programme grant component.
The Local Development Programme is addressed to small and medium sized towns selected by the Polish Academy of Sciences as centres in the most difficult socio-economic situation in Poland. It is a response to the most important challenges facing these towns, such as the implementation of accessibility standards or support for entrepreneurship and the local economy.
The towns taking part in the pre-defined project carried out by the Association of Polish Cities will not only have at their disposal funds (EUR 102 million), but will also be able to significantly improve their capacity for effective programming and implementation of local development policies. In this way they will be capable of making full use of the public intervention potential offered by the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy .
The money for the development of Polish towns comes from Norwegian Funds and the EEA, i.e. a special pool of funds that Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have allocated to 15 countries of Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.
The programme has a budget of EUR 117 million, of which EUR 102 million will be allocated for developmental projects for towns. The money for the development of Polish towns will be derived in 85% from Norwegian funds and EEA funds for 2014-2021 and in 15% from the state budget.
The Association of Polish Cities (leader of the pre-defined project), the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IRMiR).
The long-term objective of the Local Development Programme is to strengthen social and economic cohesion in small and medium sized towns in Poland:
- through the creation of conditions for improving the quality of life as a result of local social and economic development, taking into account the civic participation dimension in managing towns and compliance with environmental protection principles, and
- by strengthening institutional capacity of local-government authorities in these towns to adequately and effectively react to the changing and diverse needs of citizens.
Within such a spectrum of actions, the Association of Polish Cities, along with partners of the pre-defined project, is responsible for the following actions:
• Ensuring that 50 towns, to be selected through an open call by the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, obtain advisory support which will enable them to prepare high quality grant applications, and in broader terms will enable them to significantly improve their own capacity for effective programming and implementation of local development policies,
• Ensuring that 15 towns which will become beneficiaries of the grant competition receive regular advisory assistance to allow for efficient implementation of prepared development plans,
• Preparation and wide dissemination of an integrated local development model in the territorial dimension, with recommendations concerning institutional development – among other local governments in the country.
• Development of bilateral cooperation between Polish local governments and institutions, and their counterparts from the Donor States (EEA FM – Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein)
• A series of seminars for City Advisors in the 1st project phase, to prepare them for work with towns
• In the 2nd phase, active advisory support for towns preparing grant applications, with the use of the Local Development Monitor
• A series of foreign study visits in the Donor countries in all three project phases
• A tool for self-assessment of development of local government units, prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
• Preparation and implementation of Local Development Programmes and Institutional Development Plans by towns taking part in the grant component
• Urban geographical information system (U-GIS) as a tool for analysing and monitoring local development, taking into account diversity within towns – preparation and implementation
• Implementation of tool for assessment of the investment potential of real estate and raising real estate value in towns taking part in the grant component
• Establishment of effective partnerships between towns in Poland and towns in Norway
• Regular promotion among towns of knowledge on the methods and tools of integrated management of local development
• Review of Management Status in Local Government, prepared by OECD