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From strategy to action:
project selection

Chapter 5
Optimising the effects at local level


5.2 Optimising the effects in terms of area dynamics


In terms of area dynamics, the procedure for calls and project selection can have several effects:

a) the mobilisation of local actors

The call for proposals and project selection is a powerful mobilisation lever insofar as the approach is based on a concrete motive, i.e. to obtain funding. It is the opportunity for someone to plan or, even better, to realise an idea or project for which there are no financial means.

However, there are limits to this ability to mobilise: if the preparation of proposals proves to be too complicated or costly or if there are still too many uncertainties, mobilisation can give way to discouragement.

In some countries, the LAGs deplore the discouragement of project leaders when faced with the great complexity of the formalities to be fulfilled. Elsewhere, the delays in payments of the LEADER I balance have discouraged project leaders from submitting applications in the context of LEADER II.

It is therefore useful to properly manage the mobilisation potential that the call for proposals and project selection represent. Wasting it should be avoided; instead, it should be fully developed and used as a lever for other types of mobilisation.

b) the creation of joint references

Launching a call for proposals creates a joint reference by the very act of publishing and broadcasting the call: henceforth, the selection methods and criteria are publicly known and the conditions for submitting proposals become a joint reference for all those who have applied to be project leaders.

Depending on the way in which the call for proposals is made, this joint reference may be perceived as a mere formality linked to the call or, alternatively, as a reference to shared objectives.

In the first instance, each candidate will position itself as a potential project leader in competition with other candidates and, therefore, each adopts a strictly personal approach to the call for proposals which is perceived as a competition. Here, joint reference takes the form of an occasional game rule, linked to the call for proposals. There is then a competitive perspective between actors, which can sometimes exacerbate potential conflicts and reduce social cohesion.

In the second instance, on the other hand, reference to common objectives can be part of a more general reconciliation dynamic between the area's actors or it can be the bearer of mobilisation, dialogue and new development prospects through the specification and formalisation of joint interests. Here, the call for projects becomes a bearer of unifying challenges for public or private local actors.

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