Looking back on our Technical Assistance Programme

Looking back on our Technical Assistance Programme

Nine small municipalities of under 50,000 inhabitants received tailored support on project scoping and development from July 2021 to January 2022 through the Covenant of Mayors – Europe Technical Assistance peer learning programme

During this time, three full days of technical workshops brought the nine municipalities together with four expert cities and guest experts to provide tailored assistance in the development of projects related to building renovation and low-carbon mobility. The sessions took place online and combined presentations with small breakout groups for discussions and feedback.

The 1st day was dedicated to exploring participants’ needs, generation of new ideas and project scoping. Participants had the opportunity to explore with experts and their peers the following questions: what problems need solving in my municipality? What has already been done and what is needed? Where and how to start? Participants engaged in a role-play activity to help each other think about the problem and clearly define their needs.

In the 2nd session, participants learned about preparing the governance and thinking holistically about their municipal projects. The focus was given to stakeholder engagement and business modelling. The participants designed a stakeholder map for their project, identifying relationships, expectations and the roles identified stakeholders can play within the project. Charlotte-Katerina Lekkas from the University of St Gallen introduced some key concepts around business modelling, particularly highlighting the business model triangle and the need to understand the economic sustainability of projects and to diversify funding sources. Based on the presentation, participants applied the knowledge to their own project. Municipalities were encouraged to think about certain sections in advance using the provided project preparation guiding document. Particular focus was given to discussing together with peers and expert cities on value capture, the ‘why’ aspects of the business model.

The 3rd and final session was dedicated to funding and financing. Learner municipalities had the opportunity to hear from different inspirational examples of city financing: learning from experiences on procuring government funds in Northern Ireland, setting up an energy cooperative in Greece and setting up revolving energy saving funds in the Czech Republic and Portugal. The second part of the day was dedicated to receiving feedback on the financing of participants’ projects. Each of the learner municipalities pitched their project within 5 minutes and received tailored advice from finance experts, namely Bankers without Boundaries, Cartif and Adelphi. Before closing the programme, the EU City Facility and the Prospect+ project were presented, representing follow-up options for the financing of projects developed within the Technical Assistance program.

Presentation of the project concept

  • Salies: installation of PVs on public buildings connected with second-hand electric car batteries
  • Alcantarilla: local awareness campaign on sustainable mobility
  • Vallirana: renovation of the water network by implementing leakage checking technologies
  • Rafelguaraf: local awareness campaign on sustainable mobility
  • Priboj: promotion of public transport use via electrical buses and expansion of the cycling infrastructure
  • Mertola: installation of PVs on public and social housing through a joint procurement with other municipalities
  • Boticas: installation of PVs on municipal buildings to reduce energy consumption
  • Alfandega da Fe:  incentive measures and awareness-raising activities to change the behaviour of citizens related to energy consumption
  • Caino: creation of a cyclable path to promote the use of low-carbon modes of transport

The technical assistance programme in figures

  • 9 learner municipalities from 5 EU countries
  • 4 expert cities part of the programme: Padova, Murcia, Valencia, Derry Strabane
  • 7 guest experts: University of St Gallen, Cartif, Adelphi, Bankers without Boundaries, SEMMO (on behalf of the city of Litomerice), city of Almada, the Energy Cooperative of Karditsa (ESKEK)
  • 9 project concepts developed 


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