Third Meeting of projects of the ADELANTE Programme

San José
Costa Rica
November 27, 2019
ADELANTE Programme: Triangular Cooperation European Union Latin America and the Caribbean

Based on the very positive experiences of the meetings in Montevideo (October 2018) and Buenos Aires (March 2019), the Third Meeting of projects of the ADELANTE Programme was held in San José, Costa Rica, on 11, 12 and 13 November.

Representatives of each of the projects, together with the person responsible for the Programme at the European Commission/DEVCO and the International Technical Assistance team, exchanged views during three days around a detailed agenda, focused on three working areas.

During the first morning, special attention was paid to project management. From the challenges of financial monitoring and related accountability (with the final report as a reference tool), to the prospects for sustainability, no detail was left out. In this respect, the lessons learned from colleagues who have already prepared or are in the process of preparing the final report were particularly useful,  as well as those from projects that have held an internal monitoring session, in which the five assessment criteria of the Logical Framework Approach were analysed according to a methodology adapted for this Programme. All the topics discussed were reflected in the Monitoring Board, a tool that allows DEVCO to follow up on consultations and open discussions.

In a complementary manner, taking into account the timing of the whole Programme and of each of the projects, a special commitment was made to knowledge management to facilitate the identification, systematisation and consolidation of the lessons learned, good practices and success stories of each of the ADELANTE projects, in order to favour their traceability and reuse. To this end, a training session was organised with external experts and a working process was initiated to provide tools, advice and support for this purpose.

After these two main blocks, the focus was set on the many processes ongoing within the framework of the Programme to achieve higher quality triangular cooperation: a) the study on the ADELANTE Programme's contribution to Agenda 2030; b) the implementation of the Toolkit for identifying, monitoring and evaluating the value added of triangular co-operation, published by the OECD; c) the reflection on the European contribution to the Programme; d) the analysis of the various international consultancies, study visits and exchanges between projects that have taken place... always considering as a transversal element aspects related to communication and visibility, one of the strengths of the Programme with a heavy medium-term agenda.

Finally, DEVCO presented the structure of the second phase of the ADELANTE Programme, which will be implemented throughout 2020. This new phase, which is based on a different logic with smaller-scale initiatives but which reach a greater number of actors throughout the region, is committed to continue working jointly between the EU and LAC to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Concepts such as horizontal partnership, political dialogue, flexibility and ownership will be key in a capacity that will have three components: (i)  the operational one through logistical support to triangular cooperation initiatives; (ii) the analytical one with the Ibero-American General Secretariat; and (iii) the institutional one by establishing mechanisms for joint action with some of the main partners in the region.

These three days were a good opportunity to highlight the fantastic work done by those responsible for the projects, together with all the actors involved in each case. All ADELANTE projects are relevant, have a high level of efficiency and effectiveness and point to interesting and positive prospects for sustainability and impact.

In addition, it was noted that the parallel processes implemented at the Programme level have helped develop and maximize the benefits of triangular cooperation, and have positioned the ADELANTE Programme in the main arena of this modality. Of particular note here are the exercises on Agenda 2030 and the OECD methodology.

The holding of the meeting in Costa Rica also allowed for dialogue with Costa Rican institutions involved in one way or another in the ADELANTE Programme. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship and the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN), the Costa Rican government's focal points for planning and coordination of international development cooperation, participated in the three-day meeting. Also participating in the now classic fraternization dinner were Minister of Justice and Peace Marcia González Aguiluz, and Minister of Human Development and Social Inclusion Juan Luis Bermúdez, which are key institutions for the success of the Strengthening Restorative Justice and RED CALLE Projects, respectively.

The meeting ended with the presentation of first-hand learnings from the work of the Strengthening Restorative Justice Project. At the Civic Center for Peace (Centro Cívico por la Paz – Heredia), the project team organized a training and living together session on Restorative Justice, which was both very interesting and motivating,  providing strong evidence on the suitability of this modality, on the success of its implementation in Costa Rica and on the possibility of bringing it to more countries in the region with a high level of quality.

As for the way forward, the closing event of this first phase of the Programme will take place in the middle of next year; it will be a good opportunity to share success stories from these years, laying the foundations for an exciting new phase of Triangular Cooperation for the European Union, together with its partners in the region.