Organizing a transnational project

1.1 Identifying and mobilising local project partners

1.2 Defining your cooperation strategy

  • Make local stakeholders aware of what cooperation can bring
  • Identify cooperation promoters and partners
  • Identify tangible ideas

Questions to ask yourself and your prospective partners could be:

  • Do we have in depth vision of the socio-economic context and the political framework of our area?
  • What types of development challenges and enviromental needs exist?
  • Are there any existing transnational projects within our area?
  • Do some local actors already have ideas concerning possible cooperation projects? What is their motivation and capacity?

1.3 Organising project ideas

  • To set priorities and concentrate efforts on a limited number of truly strategic actions because human resources, time and financial means are inevitably limited.
  • To have a clear idea of the resources (financial and human) that may be allocated for cooperation. This will help in making decisions about what types of projects can be afforded.
  • To know there are enough resources to achieve the project goals and also carry out your other work. Experiences from LEADER areas have sometimes shown that they invested so much time and resources into their Transnational Cooperation actions that they were not able to properly carry out their main day-to-day duties involved with implementing their Local Development Strategy.
  • Cooperation projects often require inputs from different local actors and so each project idea needs to have a plan for mobilising relevant actors and keeping all stakeholders informed about project progress and the inputs required from them at different times. Establishing and maintaining this momentum among local partners is a critical success factor for cooperation projects and the work involved should be considered as part of the analysis for each project idea.
  • Results from this process can lead to an informed range of stakeholders possessing knowledge about cooperation and the opportunities that it offers.

1.4 Key points to mobilising local project partners:

  • Make local stakeholders interested in cooperation
  • Create a local ‘cooperation think tank’, and
  • Identify cooperation ideas

1.5 Using external support

Effective management of a cooperation project is vital to its success. The choice of a project manager is therefore a delicate operation and important during the planning phases. Some Transnational Cooperation projects are developed and managed solely by an organisations existing staff, whilst other projects can be managed by dedicated external project personnel. External project managers are normally used when the necessary skills, time or resources are not available within the lead organisation. Outside expertise can be useful at different stages during the planning, implementation and evaluation of cooperation projects.

The advantages and disadvantages of internal and external project managers:

Internal manager


  • Knows several or all the local actors
  • Knows the cooperation partners
  • This is useful for communication and problem solving
  • No extra cost is required


  • More likely to be under local political pressure
  • May have little experiance in running cooperation project
  • The running of the cooperation project may become over dependant on the manager.This may cause problems if the person quits his job.

External manager


  • More likely to be objective
  • Free fom local pressures
  • May have more experience in running a cooperation project


  • May act in his own interest rather than in that of the project
  • Probably doesn’t know the local and transnational partners at the start
  • Extra cost is required
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