WP1. Project Management
This action is intended to ensure a smooth, controlled and coordinated operational management of the project. It will cover all aspects of non-technical operations and general compliance with the AA Programme requirements. These activities will be coordinated by the lead partner, UTAD, in close cooperation with all the partners. The project management will be also supported by a Technical Secretariat with a long track record in the management of EU projects.
Partners will be fully involved in the project management and coordination and co-operate with the coordinator in setting up the appropriate structures and procedures to ensure a smooth project implementation and fluent internal communication. Each partner will appoint a Partner Coordinator. The Partner Project Coordinators will compose the Steering Committee (SC), a collective body responsible for overall decision-making and implementation of the project that will meet physically on a six-month basis.
The partners will provide to the Lead Partner a certified expenditure report and an independent first level control (FLC) certificate using the due templates provided by the Programme. Each partner will be responsible to point out a financial manager for their organisation and to undergo the FLC according to the National Programe requirements. For the financial follow-up and report submission, the Lead partner will be assisted by the Technical Secretariat. Both parties will remind, encourage and support partners to submit their financial reports according to the eligibility rules of the Programme as well as to comply with the financial plan scheduled and the decommitment rule (n+3).
Controlling, monitoring and quality assurance of the project activities will be ensured by the SC. An external evaluation will be entailed, contracted by P2. Arouca to assess the project compliance with the activities, outputs and indicators set in the project and offer corrective measures.
1.1 – Management structure
To ensure appropriate management and balance involvement in decision making, Atlantic Geoparks will create a Steering Committee (SC), the main body for the project implementation, composed of a coordinator of each partner. All the appointed members will have the appropriate technical skills, a good command of English, as well as experience in cooperation projects, if possible. The SC will meet twice a year (see A.1.2). This structure will be permanently supported by the Technical Secretariat.
Deliverable: Partnership agreement
A Partnership Agreement will be signed among partners to regulate their rights and duties as well as their joint governance. It will have a critical influence on the rest of the activities and define the appropriate systems for conflict resolution. ATLANTIC GEOPARKS – WORKING.
1.2 – Project coordination meetings
Partners will meet regularly to coordinate the project implementation. On periodical basis, approximately every 6 months, partners will organise partner meetings to overview and follow-up the project implementation, results delivery, financial performance and decision-making to ensure the successful execution of the project. The host partners will be: P1.UTAD+P2.Arouca, P3.Azores, P5.Marble Arch Caves, P6. Basque Coast, P9.PNR Armorique and P11.Burren and Cliffs of Moher.
Deliverable: Coordination meetings and minutes.
There will be 6 coordination meetings during the project lifetime. In order to ensure value for money, they will coincide to the five study visits (A.4.1) and the Final Conference (A.3.4). The meeting minutes will be produced immediately afterwards.
1.3 – Management reporting and audit trail mechanism
In order to guarantee a clear, transparent and efficient management of the project, progress reports and financial claims will be produced by all project partners every 6 months. These activity reports will gather information on the project implementation whilst the financial ones will include updated data on the level of expenditure. Partners will be supported and guided by the Technical Secretariat for the project reporting.
Deliverable: Progress Reports
All partners will produce a progress report every 6 months describing the activities carried out, along with the expenditure paid in the reporting period, including supporting documents of the expenditure and materials produced for audit trail.
1.4 – Internal communication
Partnership will design and implement clear communication procedures between beneficiaries, through their respective representatives. Project partners will hold regular call conferences to update project progress and review pending tasks and will have constant communication via e-mail.
Deliverable: Internal communication tools
The operational management will be supported by the use of advanced ICT tools to allow easy access to all project documentation and to facilitate collaborative work between partners. Cloud repositories will be used to share documents.
1.5 – Risk, Quality Management and Evaluation
Risks will be jointly identified by all partners and assessed during the project implementation. Coordinating meetings will specifically address the identification, assessment and prioritization of risks for each WP.
An external evaluation will be carried out to assess the project compliance with the activities, outputs and indicators set in the project. The evaluation will also identify, monitor and follow-up the threats and opportunities.
Deliverable: Interim and Final Evaluation Report
The interim evaluation will assess the project compliance guiding the partnership to make corrections for the upcoming activities. The final evaluation will assess the implementation, impact and sustainability of the project activities.