Information and knowledge management

From Municipal Cooperation

Promoting IMC
The need for IMC in Central and Eastern Europe
Obstacles to IMC in Central and Eastern Europe
The need for a national policy to promote IMC
IMC legislation
Financial incentives for IMC
Capacity building and expert assistance
Information and knowledge management

Information and knowledge management is a common feature in Western Europe. It is critical components of any policy to promote IMC. Information in support of IMC includes:

  • IMC guidelines and manuals
  • Model contracts/statutes
  • Compilations of relevant legislation
  • Databases of trainers/experts (private, local or central government staff)
  • Register of IMC initiatives
  • Collection and dissemination of good practices (national and international)
  • Case studies and mapping of experiences.

The channels for the dissemination of information on IMC include:

  • Web site
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Networks of IMC practitioners
  •  Newsletters

Table 5 illustrates the IMC promotion activities of 4 Italian regional governments.

Table 5: IMC promotion activities of 4 Italian regions (Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piemont and Veneto)

Information, manuals and forms Expert support Seminars and publications Dissemination
  • IMC Guide
  • Feasibility Stud Handbook
  • Forum for Frequently Asked Questions
  • Forms for fund allocation request
  • Drafts of statutes, regulations and constitution acts
  • Partnership decision and implementation support
  • Feasibility studies support
  • Reorganization support

Note: Expert support is provided by staff from regional administration, members of City or Regional Councils (sometimes in cooperation with regional universities)

  • Publications
  • Reports
  • Seminars
  • Meetings
  • Internet sites
  • Mapping of experiences
  • Register of experiences
  • Regional database
  • Diffusion of best practices
Source: Adapted from Elena Zuffada and Eugenio Caperchione (2003)

Internet is a key tool everywhere to provide and disseminate information on IMC . Box 10 summarizes the content of the Emilia-Romagna Region web site.

Box 11: The Emilia-Romagna region IMC web site

The Internet site is an operative tool for municipalities that decide to start or broaden their partnership experience. The home page provides access to a database containing information on the methods of starting up joint management functions and services, some examples of partnerships, and shows the map of all partnership forms. Furthermore, it contains a guide to the creation of partnerships, illustrating all procedures and local council ordinances necessary to start the proceedings or submit a fund request, as well as a legal advisory service and an information window showing the projects that have generated service improvements or economically viable management patterns, i.e. best practice examples. This free-access site offers the possibility to follow specific paths, and has been accordingly divided into three areas.

The first area, documentation, shows national and regional regulations, the role of the Region with regard to financial contributions, the support staff and the committee for partnership development. It provides links to studies and surveys on the matter of partnerships.

The central area, procedures, offers opinions and advice, and illustrates the most significant projects. It also provides facsimiles of forms and reports. Around 250 statutes, regulations and contracts can be downloaded.

The last area, experiences, reports data and documents pertaining to the partnerships in the region; the search can be carried out on the legal form of the partnership or managed function. It contains the map that details the territory extension of the partnerships in the region, and gives access to data on each partnership.

Together with these main areas, the site also contains service buttons and links. Also, a newsletter is sent regularly to all registered users.

Source: Elena Zuffada and Eugenio Caperchione (2003)