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Sweden: Using technical assistance to help FLAGs in final reporting and capacitation for next period

In Sweden, the Swedish Board of Agriculture is the Managing Authority for Leader and Axis 4 of EFF. A first effort by the MA to simplify the FLAGs’ closure processes, reporting and self-evaluation has been to produce a final activity report have been made available to FLAGs by the Managing Authority. Additionally, it launched in February 2014 the first steps of a series of actions and events aiming to help the FLAGs to produce an analysis and evaluation of their work in the previous period, to be used in several ways such as final report, report for co-financers, but also as ground material for the SWOT and strategy for the next period.

 

 

This project has been proposed by the MA to the FLAGs after a series of exchanges in the course of 2013. It answers a need expressed by the FLAG to receive support in evaluating their work. Some FLAGs managed to commission external evaluations for very small budgets of approximately €4000 euro, but in most cases, FLAGs didn’t have enough budget for such external evaluations. Most of the FLAGs had therefore to do the evaluation by themselves and within possibility of the remaining budget. The Managing Authority chose to tap into the technical assistance to provide FLAGs with such support, a good way to back-up with existing knowledge and experience. For the FLAGs, this also helped to assess jointly and face to face, what worked, what didn’t and how both ends of the delivery chain can build-up on the experience to step in the 2014-2020 period with the right foot.

Funded through Technical assistance of the Swedish 2007-2013 Fisheries Program, this initiative will last from February to June 2015. It was kick started with a launch workshop on February 5th. Animated by the Managing Authority, timed at being accessible and practical. Two representatives per FLAGs (28 persons in total) were invited in the MA headquarters in Jönköping to share a needs analysis and skills acquisition exercise, with the central objective to support FLAGs in producing the final evaluation reports requested by the Managing Authority.

The Managing Authority allocated about €19 000 of TA for long term initiative. This covered the travel costs of all participating FLAGs, accommodation and the food during the meeting. Furthermore, the MA will support an evaluation of the national FLAGs network, hence valuing the initiative of FLAGs who launched their network in 2012, and paving the way for a more formal networking process in the next period.  The launch event and support for the evaluation of the network for FLAGs about 30 000 kr (3800 euro).

Forthcoming events will also help foster to initiate a “multi-fund” philosophy in partnership capacity building, providing equal opportunities to LAGs and FLAGs through network meetings, parallel support and combined strategy writing training exercises.