Following the success of recent Interact Evaluations carried out by EPRC (e.g. case-based impact evaluation and operational evaluation of Interact), the team has been selected to look at the future set-up and roles of regional and national contact points in the 2021 – 2027 Interreg programmes.
National and/or regional contact points have become well-established components of Interreg programme management and implementation arrangements. While programme evaluations highlight the value of national/regional contact points (e.g. they provide place-specific detail/inputs to the programme, support programme generation tasks, build engagement with local/strategic stakeholders, give the programmes direct territorial ‘roots’/representation etc.), not all programmes have contact points and where they are in place contact points vary in their specific role, function and format, and there are various challenges associated to the contact points.
The overall objective of the work is to describe possible scenarios on the future set-up and roles of the contact point structures in the 2021 – 2027 programmes, with the aim of providing a base of information and analysis for Interreg programmes setting up or developing their Contact (national/regional/info) Points.
The evaluation team comprises Dr Irene McMaster and Heidi Vironen of EPRC and an independent consultant, Nathalie Wergles. The research team have long-standing and in-depth experience of territorial cooperation. This includes extensive experience of programme evaluations (Interact, Northern Periphery and Arctic and North Sea programmes), Interreg programme drafting support (PEACE PLUS), cross programme comparative analyses (ESPON and Arctic); and multinational projects.