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ON THE BLOG: Advice on how to manage Cooperation Projects in COVID-19 Context

How to manage Cooperation Projects in COVID-19 Context

This article aims to provide informal advice to UK organisations involved in Creative Europe-supported projects and partnerships, with a particular focus on the Culture sub-programme’s Cooperation Projects

The Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis creates an unprecedented challenge to Creative Europe project actvity and the organisations running these, and we have recently published our general advice for UK organisations.

The Agency has also published guidance on their website, and in addition to that we wanted to provide some advice to Culture project beneficiaries. The Creative Europe Desks wrote a joint letter to the EACEA in April 2020 seeking additional clarification/reassurance, and we will share updates with you as we get them.

In the meantime, we hope the following 8 tips will help you to deal with the current situation, and ensure your projects and reporting can continue as smoothly as possible:

There is no pressure to have plans revised in the next few days/weeks, but we’d recommend letting your project officer know you’re in touch with partners and will share proposed changes in due course and keep this article updated 

Many of you have told us you are minuting these additional partner meetings and costing them to communications budgets

Once you’ve agreed a plan B (and possibly a plan C or D so you can be flexible with the ongoing uncertainty), look to create a summary of proposed project changes to submit to your project officer. We’d suggest this includes:

o a summary of key changes – such as a bulleted list and cover paragraph (recommend 2 pages max)

o an updated timeline

o an updated budget

It will be helpful to present your project officer with a well thought out and costed revision of plans. Every live project across Europe needs to be revised, make it easy for them to simply agree the changes. They will be seeking evidenced reassurance that their investment will still deliver on the original aims of the project

Some project officers are offering calls with lead organisations, although note that in addition to dealing with a high number of queries, staff at the Executive Agency may also be managing caring responsibilities and health issues and may take longer to respond

It may be helpful to try and plot a timeline of when individual, organisational (your own, airlines etc) and government decisions impacted your spending and delivery plans (this could be useful if you need to explain decisions at a later date). If you have emails outlining policies and advice you’ve taken, retain a copy

When rescheduling activity consider the future capacity of your organisation and your partners. Consider the impact of many festivals and projects moving activity to Autumn 2020

You are the experts on your creative output and the experience for your participants and audiences 

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We’ll support you as much as we can, and please contact us if you’d like to bounce ideas off us. We’re also keen to bring beneficiaries together (via Zoom/ video calls) to discuss common themes beneficiaries are considering, such as ‘How to change live events to digital’ and ‘What are the alternatives to putting everything online?’ You can find out more information on our events page

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This article is for guidance only, we welcome your input on how to make it more useful for everyone.

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Image Credit: Artsadmin, Summer Lab 2018