Title of project: ATA Credits

Country or Region: Associations of Local Authorities (ALAs)

Sector: Human Rights, Democracy and Peace

Client: European Commission

Date: May 2019 – May 2022

Background and context: In May 2013, the European Commission adopted a Communication focusing on empowering local authorities in partner countries for better governance and development outcomes. The Communication outlines four priorities for supporting local authorities: decentralization processes, capacity development, sustainable urbanization, and reinforcement of Associations of Local Authorities (ALAs). The fourth priority will be the focus of this project.

ALAs play a crucial role in connecting local concerns and priorities with regional and international debates, as well as assisting their members operationally. The European Commission has established long-term strategic partnerships with regional and global ALAs to contribute to EU policy on local authorities’ empowerment. Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) were signed in 2015 and renewed in 2022 with five ALAs, selected based on their monopolistic situation.

These strategic partnerships consider mutual interest, common objectives, joint actions, and the impact of actions on global challenges and citizens. FPAs consist of two levels: the FPA itself, defining roles and responsibilities, and Specific Grant Agreements (SGAs), outlining the operational terms of the strategic partnership to achieve common political priorities and objectives.

Project objectives:  This project aims to support the reinforcement of ALAs in line with the European Commission’s priorities. The global objective of this project is to assess the achievement of goals agreed upon in the Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) with Associations of Local Authorities (ALAs). The project aims to capture valuable results and insights to enhance effectiveness and learn from previous experiences. Specific objective: The specific objective is to design a light-touch assessment mechanism for the FPAs with ALAs, building on lessons learned from the previous Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism (MEM). This mechanism should be manageable with a reasonable workload, allowing one person to implement and draw conclusions from the extracted information. The assessment mechanism is expected to be used annually.

Project Deliverables:

  1. An effective and efficient assessment mechanism for FPAs with ALAs, designed based on past experiences and lessons learned.
  2. Annual implementation and analysis of the assessment mechanism to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and build on lessons learned.