The leadership of the city of Turin has collaboratively involved the delivery partners in taking responsibility. The cooperation seems to have proceeded quite well, and management has shown high competence in organisation and planning. The planning of the Steering Committee well in advance has guaranteed the constant participation of all the partners.
The election in 2021 and the new municipal government didn’t have any impact on the project, which shows how Tonite objectives have found a cross-party agreement.
The delays have prevented us from assessing if and how the city of Turin will be able to scale the Tonite model to the local, national and international level.
Public procurement is a crucial issue in the project and one of the main reasons for the delays. The tender for projects and services put in place innovative solutions to disseminate the tender (public meeting both in presence and online) and to provide administrative and content support for potential participants (one to one support meetings). The one-to-one accompanying actions did not raise any issue in terms of transparency and fairness in the case of this call for contributions, but it raises some concerns in the case of a public tender procedure for the purchase of goods or services or with co-design procedures. Therefore, it seems to be an interesting experimentation but of limited application.
The first urban regeneration tender experienced substantial delays due to economic situation caused by Covid-19 pandemic (in particular due to the rise of prices of raw materials). This highlights the limits of the public tender legislation, which is not designed to respond to unexpected events and issue calls for adaptive mechanisms.
The project is led by the UE funds and Innovation Department of the city of Turin. However, the success of the project requires the active involvement of many departments. Established in September 2020, the inter-departmental working group met for its first meeting in February 2021. These meetings established promising practices to overcome the division of competences into silos. In light of the elections that changed the government of the city, it would be highly relevant to see if this practice will continue in 2022. Further, the contribution to the urban data platform shows a willingness for closer cooperation among departments. But 2022 will be the revealing year.
Participative approach for co-implementation
The active involvement of local stakeholders, citizens, informal groups, and non-profit organisations is a cross-cutting and distinguished feature of the TOnite project. Delivering activities of the 19 selected projects will be the crucial test-bed of the participatory approach. Many of the projects started their activities between November and December 2021 and 2022 will prove to be pivotal in determining if TOnite was successful in improving a participatory governance of urban security.
Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation are perceived as major challenges in the project. In 2021 the definition of M&E model was completed with the Public administration performance assessment framework: five decision processes were chosen to measure the impact of TOnite and in particular of the urban data platform. No other significant improvements could be assessed due to the delays in starting the activities: the pilot monitoring started in September 2021 and will last until the end of Tonite.
Quite surprisingly the call for contribution didn’t ask participants to design their own small-scale M&E model in line with the M&E model of the UIA project. Only later on, in the acceleration programme was the M&E of the small-scale projects redesigned according to the TOnite framework. By more carefully considering the relevance of the M&E next time, implementation could proceed differently, for example, refrain from asking the applicants to design their own M&E programme.
Communication with target beneficiaries and users
Despite delays, communication activities in 2021 kept the project alive. A Tonite brochure was completed in June 2021 and social media campaigns during 2021 reached a wider audience. An online event among all the UIA urban security projects was held in April 2021 and several representatives of TOnite participated in the EFUS conference in September. In the future, Tonite and the 19 projects could synergise their communication activities.
Due to The Covid 19 pandemic, the activities for scaling up and transferring the ToNite approach have been carried out online. The delays in the realisation of the main activities make difficult so far to understand the impact of these activities.