Narcisa Nenec, Local Dissemination Manager from the city of Suceava, Romania, shares some experiences gained as a follower city within the CIVITAS SMILE project. These experiences may be of interest to other follower cities within the CIVITAS family, and especially for CIVITAS Plus cities
Entering a partnership within the EU project framework has enabled Suceava to be in contact with people with varying experiences. All the partners, regardless of prior experiences, have benefited from this collaboration. Suceava was a follower city and benefited from the leader cities experiences. Suceava welcomed the Malmö project team who recognized the support and experience they were able to offer Suceva. We were able to adopt measures that could bring solutions to similar problems that Malmö had encountered in previous years and we learnt about the management and organisation systems set up in Malmö ‘s institutions to overcome these problems. Completing the implementation of the measures and recording the results made us realise that although the cultural/educational contexts were different, the problems were similar and we could still benefit from Malmö’s experiences, By adapting their solutions to our realities, we managed to make improvements. The collaboration within the impact and process evaluation work package is a significant part of the work, as this is a complex field and the extent to which a measure/project is successful can only be assessed through accurate and comprehensive evaluation.Being a follower city in CIVITAS SMILE, we understand the obstacles and lack of experience that may prevent other follower cities from getting the maximum out of each activity. The advice we would give to other cities starting out in a follower role within CIVITAS Plus would be to make contact with another city from their country, who began with a similar cultural / educational / psychological / technical background to implement measures to eradicate similar problems. Also, when choosing the team, they should select competitive people with responsibility who are able to distinguish between the best solutions and solutions that are likely to fail.