Peer Review - Cities Under Review
EUI – Capacity Building
The first Call for applications for Cities under review is launched on 4 April 2023 and has been extented to 10 July 2023 at 12.00 CEST. Applicants may submit an application before 19 June, 12:00 CEST for their application to be evaluated before mid-July.
EUI peer reviews are a set of pre-defined activities carried out by a cohort of cities to benchmark their Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) strategies. The aim is to improve the design and implementation of SUD strategies through a process of benchmarking, peer learning and provision of recommendations.
The activity brings together urban authorities undergoing review – they are the cities under review –, and urban authorities providing insights on the challenges faced by the cities under review – they are the peers. A peer review follows a specific fixed methodology and implementation process. The cities under review define the challenges to be addressed according to their specific needs, but the format and the timing of the activity is pre-defined by EUI. Applications for both cities under review and peers are submitted in dedicated calls launched at least once per year.
Cities under review will benefit from first-hand evaluation experience and use of the peer review outcomes to further improve their own strategies. All participating cities will discuss common issues and challenges related to their current work on integrated sustainable development strategies.
To achieve the capacity building objective of a peer review, peers are expected to share practical knowledge and know-how helping to improve the design and implementation of SUD strategies of the cities under review. While the cities under review are the primary beneficiaries, both cities under review and peers may improve their capacities thanks to the peer learning process. The call for applications for peers of the autumn/winter 2023 EUI peer reviews is expected to be launched mid-June to 30 July.
A peer review is required to focus on three specific challenges related to the design and implementation of Sustainable Urban Development Strategies within Cohesion Policy as defined in article 11 of the ERDF Regulation. Sustainable Urban Development Strategies, as understood within Cohesion Policy, are designed and implemented through a place-based, participatory and integrated approach.
Cities under review must complete the JRC Self-Assessment Tool for Sustainable Urban Development strategies (SAT4SUD) as part of the application process to identify the specific challenges to be addressed during the peer review. The challenges will be defined in the form of three guiding questions. The challenges must be derived from the six building blocks identified within the Handbook for Sustainable Urban Development Strategies:
- Strategic dimension
- Territorial focus
- Cross-sectoral integration
- Funding and finance
Further guidance is available in the Guidance for cities under review.
Eligible authorities are urban authorities involved in designing, updating or implementing a SUD strategy in line with article 11 of the ERDF Regulation (i.e. "article 11 cities"). Applicants are asked to provide information about their selection or their eligibility to be selected as an article 11 city, if known. EUI will confirm the result of the eligibility check of the applicants from those Member States.
The Call for Application for Cities under review is a competitive call. Applicants must comply with the eligibility criteria. Applications will then be assessed according to quality criteria, as defined in the Guidance for cities under review.
Applications are particularly encouraged from:
- Article 11 cities that were not article 7 cities in the 2014-2020 period, considering they lack previous experience on developing a SUD strategy.
- Cities with up to 500,000 inhabitants.
- Cities within less developed regions.
- Cities within transition regions.
- Cities that have not benefitted from a Peer Review organised by the Urban Development Network in the 2014-2020 programming period.
More information on the eligibility and evaluation criteria are available in the Guidance for cities under review.
Intervention logic of the peer review
Cities under review will carry out several activities within a peer review:
1. Content preparation
Cities under review are expected to consult with their local stakeholders on the guiding questions to be addressed during the peer review session and fill in a background paper (template provided by EUI).
A preparatory webinar will be organised before the peer review session, during which cities under review and peers will meet and discuss for the first time.
Cities under review will be asked to adapt their background paper into a presentation (template provided by EUI).
2. Peer Review event
Peer review events will be organised through three discussion rounds dedicated to the three guiding questions of cities under review. Each city under review will be reviewed in parallel in a separate breakout session.
Each discussion round will focus on one guiding question. The city under review will detail their question. Peers will be then asked to rethink the question (What is the problem behind the problem?). The new question will be discussed at the table, with peers providing policy advice based on their experiences, sharing lessons learnt and best practicies with the city under review.
3. Follow-up activities
Cities under review will be invited to answer to follow-up surveys to assess their satisfaction and capacity building in the peer review process.
Cities under review are expected to complete a follow-up report, based on the draft provided by the EUI peer review experts. This report aims at explaining how the beneficiaries have integrated and disseminated the recommendations and learnings within the urban authority. Such report will be the basis on the progress webinar, which will gather the entire cohort of peer review participants to discuss the progress of the Sustainable Urban Development Strategies of the beneficiaries.
Additional information on the set of activities carried out by the cities under review are available in the Guidance of the Call for application for Cities under review.
The Call for application for Cities under review for autumn/winter 2023 EUI peer reviews will open on 4 April 2023. Applicants are invited to fill in the Application Form hosted on EU survey.
Applications submitted before 29 May 2023, at 12:00 CEST will be evaluated and notified mid-June (indicatively 16 June).
Applications submitted before 19 June 2023, at 12:00 CEST will be evaluated and notified early July (indicatively 7 July).
The Call for applications for Cities under review for autumn/winter 2023 EUI peer reviews will closed on 10 July 2023, at 12.00 CEST. Applicants will be evaluated and notified mid-July (indicatively 21 July).
The Call for interests for Peers will indicatively open following the first phase of evaluation (16 June 2023) and will close on 30 July 2023. A follow-up matchmaking survey will be sent to the successful applicants to the call for peers, and will be open until early September.
The EUI Permanent Secretariat will assist applicants during the Call for applications for Cities under reviews. This support will be provided via:
- Application Pack: Read the Guidance for Applicants and courtesy Application Form.
- Applicant Webinars: See the recordings of the two Applicant Webinars here.
- Bilateral consultations: The Permanent Secretariat offers a limited number of appointments for online consultations on a first come, first serve basis with a limit of one per application. Book your consultation here.
- Email support: Contact us with your queries via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply for the Call
The submission of the Application Form is 100% paperless and is done via EU Survey.
Applicants are strongly invited to create their Application Form early in the application process. Going through the different sections of the Application Form and reading the information bubbles in each field will help applicants to better structure and design their project proposals.
The deadline for the submission of the Application Form is 29 May 2023 at 12.00 CEST.