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Peer learning manual

Deliverable number: 3.1 Author: EUROCITIES Version: 2

This manual has been written using the following reference documents: MIXITIES peer review manual. Copyright: EUROCITIES BUSTRIP peer review methodology. Copyright: Union of the Baltic Cities

CASCADE is a EU-funded project coordinated by EUROCITIES which aims to design and deliver large-

scale networking and mutual learning actions on local energy leadership among members of the

EUROCITIES network. The CASCADE consortium is composed of: EUROCITIES, Wuppertal Institut,

Koucky & Partners and the following cities: Amaroussion, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Burgas, Edinburgh,

Eindhoven, Gateshead, Genoa, Gijon, Malmo, Mannheim, Milan, Nantes, Stockholm, Sunderland,

Tampere, Terrassa, Venice and Warsaw.

The CASCADE project is co-financed by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme. The sole

responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the

opinion of the European Union. Neither the EACI nor the European Commission are responsible for any

use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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CONTENTS About CASCADE .............................................................................................................. 3

About this manual........................................................................................................... 3

About peer learning methodology ........................................................................................ 3

1. The peer learning process ............................................................................................5

2. Before the peer learning visit........................................................................................6

2.1. Understanding the CASCADE benchmarks ..................................................................... 6

2.2. Self-assessment report host city .............................................................................. 6

2.3. Desk Review........................................................................................................ 6

3. During the peer learning visit ........................................................................................7

3.1. Peer learning team ............................................................................................... 7

3.2. Programme ......................................................................................................... 7

3.3. Conducting interviews and workshops ......................................................................... 8

3.4. Evidence ...........................................................................................................11

3.5. Drawing conclusions and presenting recommendations....................................................13

3.6. Peer exchange seminar..........................................................................................14

4. After the peer learning visit........................................................................................ 15

4.1 Feedback report..................................................................................................15

4.2 Evaluation of the peer learning experience .................................................................15

4.3 CASCADE toolkit ..................................................................................................16

Annex I. Template self-assessment report

Annex II. Template desk review

Annex III. Guide for host cities

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About CASCADE CASCADE is a networking and mutual learning project on local energy leadership which supports cities in delivering the European Union 2020 targets for energy and climate change. CASCADE objectives are:

Improve and accelerate the implementation of sustainable energy action plans;

Ensure meaningful and sustained learning and sharing of good practices between cities; and

Promote the position of cities as transfer agents within their country.

Focusing on three main thematic areas (energy efficiency in buildings & districts, renewable energy sources & distributed energy generation and energy in urban transport), the project will inspire improvements in the implementation of sustainable energy policies through three cascading levels of high quality networking and mutual learning activities:

Year 1. In depth peer learning visits among partner cities;

Year 2. Study tours, mentoring and work shadowing visits; and

Year 3. Regional and national networking.

About this manual The CASCADE project provides the necessary tools to ensure meaningful and sustained learning and sharing of good practices on local energy leadership. During this first year of the project, CASCADE is testing the peer learning methodology which involves in-depth assessments of local energy policies in a transnational context. To make sure city experts can use this methodology with confidence, it is vital that they and their invited local stakeholders participate in the peer learning training arranged by CASCADE in Brussels on 14-15 November 2011.

The purpose of this manual is to guide participants in applying the peer learning methodology. It defines the operational guidelines for the peer learning visits, including programme preparation, how to conduct interviews and workshops, draw conclusions and give recommendations.

About peer learning methodology The peer learning methodology is a light version of the peer review methodology developed and tested in several European projects (e.g. BUSTRIP, MIXITIES, PRESUD , PLUS or CASH-Project). The rationale is the same: a group of experts from different cities working in similar issues evaluate local policies, programmes and practices being implemented in a particular city and give recommendations on possible areas of improvement.

This assessment is done in a structured and focused way, following a common standard (benchmark for integrated learning).

Those making the evaluation are called peers or equals because they come from backgrounds similar to colleagues whose work is reviewed. A key strength of the process is that as peers they can readily understand the goals of the practitioners whom they visit, the pressures on them, and the complexity of their

http://www.bustrip-project.net/http://integratingcities.eu/http://euronet.uwe.ac.uk/www.presud.org/http://www.luciassociation.org/plus-workshop.htmlhttp://urbact.eu/en/projects/low-carbon-urban-environments/cash/homepage/

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environment.

Besides assessing the performance of cities against a common standard, this is also a process of learning and exchange. Peers share their wealth of knowledge with the municipalities which they visit and review. They take back to their municipalities knowledge from the places they visit, strengthening their understanding. This methodology thus offers them an opportunity to exchange skills and experiences, and to reflect on their own work.

Compared to other peer review projects, the CASCADE peer learning methodology is a combination of assessing and learning, characterised by:

Shorter visits (3 days), including one day dedicated to a peer exchange seminar;

Focus on key challenges in the implementation of local energy policies;

Focus on three thematic areas (energy efficiency in buildings and districts, renewable energy sources and distributed energy generation, or energy in urban transport); and

Focus on specific initiatives/projects being implemented in the host cities (e.g. bus corridors, large-scale scheme for building retrofits or waste-to-energy programme).

Table 1. Glossary of terms

Benchmark for integrated learning: a standard to aspire to and a reference against which performance can be measured.

Local energy leadership key factor: features of local governance which are crucial for the successful implementation of local energy policies.

Evidence: the material which peers and city officials across Europe can use to verify whether the key factor is present in the citys practices or structures.

Context: factors outside the citys control that could affect its ability to meet the benchmark.

Thematic leader: representatives from Koucky & Partners, City of Malmo and Wuppertal Institute leading on the peer learning visit process in their thematic area.

City experts: City officers/practitioners from participating cities responsible for the implementation of local energy policies.

Local stakeholders: Experts on the thematic area of their peer learning visits (buildings, renewables or transport) who actively cooperate with the cities in developing and implementing their local energy policies. They can be experts from other local or regional administrations, energy service providers, social housing associations, universities, research institutes, etc.

Peer learning team: The group of peers participating in a peer learning visit. The peer learning team is made up of the peers from city administrations (city experts) and local stakeholders. The work of the team will be steered jointly by the thematic leaders and EUROCITIES.

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1. THE PEER LEARNING PROCESS