Kongres Współpracy Transgranicznej Lublin

The Best Practice Contest is organized regularly, as part of the Cross-Border Cooperation Congress. It aims to present the best and inspiring solutions, implemented across Europe and the Eastern Partnership countries.

The Best Practice Contest 2021 will feature innovative projects of the cross-border cooperation that work best for the benefit of local and regional communities. It is crucial for the city and the region development (including the international cooperation development). More details soon.


The theme of 2020 edition was Covid-19 and, in particular, the best practices of dealing with the pandemic in the following five sectors: local government, culture and tourism, education, social assistance, entrepreneurship.

We have received altogether 49 applications, from such countries as: Georgia, Spain, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Palestine, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine. In each category, the Contest Commission selected 3 winners. During the Congress, on October 6-9, the participants had the opportunity to vote online for one, best, practice in each category. The winners were announced during the official closing of the Congress.

Winners of the Best Practice Contest 2020:

  1. Municipality of Gdynia, Poland: The work of Gdynia Contact Centre (GCK) has been reorganised allowing to maintain contact with the residents under all circumstances, even working remotely. During the pandemic, there were launched:
    - a new website – with all collected and updated information on the municipality office and the City;
    - Account of the Resident - an original solution enabling online visit booking to the Municipality Office, obtaining psychological help as part of the Gdynia Supports programme, managing the presence of children in kindergartens that were launched in May, reporting problems through the Resident's Assistant;
    - the extended digital catalogue of city services.

  2. Muratpasa Municipality, Antalya, Turkey: Muratpasa district (Turkey) is called the heart of Antalya. It is the region with the highest population density. When the pandemic broke out, the Muratpasa Municipality became a pioneer in the protection of public health. Seeing the increasing demand for personal protection measures, the municipality decided to focus its efforts upon the distribution of protective masks and the production of 3D masks. The municipality reacted in a very short time and at the earliest possible stage of the pandemic outbreak. A group of 250 people, constituting a mask distribution team, was quickly formed which distributed protective masks to 209 thousand households with a population of 510 thousand in just 11 days. The masks were hung on the door handle in packs of three and then the doorbell was ringed to inform the residents that the masks were left. The Muratpasa example, with free masks distribution, was later followed by other cities in Turkey.

  3. Ramallah Municipality, Palestine: The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for local government. It is estimated that as a result of the pandemic, Palestine's GDP decreased by 14%, and the budget of the Ramallah commune itself decreased by as much as 50%. This forced the authorities to allocate funds mainly to services critical to the city's functioning, at the same time trying to support activities that counteract the effects of the pandemic in an innovative way and responded to the current needs of citizens. For the city of Ramallah to thrive in the face of these challenges, an urban crisis management system has been implemented, dividing the city into 19 zones using the GIS spatial data system. In this way, the city allocated resources in accordance with the analyzed data, in order to ensure equal access to the provided public services for all residents. Dividing the city into 19 zones included setting emergency indicators to track each zone in the city and to assign a team for each designated zone to follow-up on the incoming inquiries, track any changes in behavior, and track urban services delivery to each zone. Nevertheless, when cities entered a lockdown, the Ramallah Municipality had not only provided the critical public services, it became the first-line responder to citizens’ social needs as well. The city organized cultural and social activities depending on online platforms and applications to keep citizens engaged in the process and informed to ensure their mental health and wellbeing in critical times.
  1. Kamianets-Podilskyi Municipality, Ukraine: The online tourist season 2020 "Kamianets Digital" is a concept aimed at popularizing the city as a powerful tourist destination, through the maximum use of resources and online accounts.
    As part of the concept, the following activities were carried out from April 2020:
    - the project "Mandruy Ukrainoju" (Travel around Ukraine), the aim of which was the exchange of tourist information with other Ukrainian cities on dedicated platforms;
    - running an online travel forum "Digitization of the tourism sector as a development tool in the times of crisis";
    - launching the information portal www.kamianets.travel;
    - video project "we recommend a guide" (11 unique presentations from qualified guides);
    - a marathon of virtual tours in museums, historical places and architectural monuments of the city;
    - an online workshop during which local artisans and online viewers made their own souvenirs.
    Thanks to the above-mentioned activities, tens of thousands of potential tourists received information about the city, and the employees of the municipal tourism sector had the opportunity to smoothly work in their area of expertise.

  2. Gdansk Tourism Organization, Poland: The Gdańsk Tourism Organization launched a nationwide campaign under the name #CityWillWait. The aim of the action was to maintain the interest in travels among tourists during the quarantine and support the local tourist industry of Polish cities (by promoting the offer of local museums, cultural institutions, amusement parks, etc., as well as encouraging online tours or organizing virtual tours). The action promoted the offer of 12 cities. The #CityWillWait campaign gained wide coverage both in Poland and in the world, and it was promoted by Foreign Centers of the Polish Tourism Organization.
  3. La Escocesa – Open Factory for Analogic Creation, Barcelona, Spain: CO- Project @ La Escocesa
    The creative community is one the most vurnelable group to the economic effects of the Covid-19 crisis. Started through an extraordinary grant program funded by La Escocesa, the social research project aims to create tools and solutions to counteract the effects of closure and strengthen both local artists and the socio-cultural sector in general. In response to the urgent need to jointly tackle the pandemic situation, CO-Project has organized 6 research groups created by the artist community of the La Escocesa who are struggling with economic difficulties. These groups are developing strategies and programs to counter the effects of this crisis through activities such as:
    - creating an advisory office, collecting information on subsidies, loans, etc., has an online database and a physical space - an asylum for artists;
    - creating, with advice of health professionals, procedures to restore body’s presence in cultural activities, while maintaining safety rules and at the same time taking into account the diversity and needs of recipients;
    - organization of a cultural program in the public space, so the artists can perform and be paid for. The activities are free, so citizens can physically reconnect with culture;
    - disseminating knowledge about the project's activities through the website and social networks;
    - public relations that enables cooperation with other local, national and international institutions, creates alliances and contacts to promote activities aimed at mutual support;
    - fundraising to ensure continuity and sustainability of the Co - Project.

  1. Dmytrii Lavrinenko, Youth agglomeration of Kyiv, Ukraine: With schools and universities closed, the Youth Agglomeration of Kiev encouraged pupils and students to broaden their knowledge on civic education. The aim of the project was to complete the compulsory classes of "Civic education" in Ukrainian high schools, colleges and technical schools by creating attractive and interesting tools for the young people that are available in the Internet. For this purpose, on April 1, 2020, the "Online Simulator" House of Integrity" was launched - an interactive online game addressed to high school students and students aged 14 to 20 from all regions of Ukraine. From the project implementation:
    - the online simulator has been tested in educational institutions in two communes in the Zhytomyr region;
    - the project has been attended by over 1,250 young people from the Zhytomyr Oblast, who had the opportunity to broaden their knowledge on civic education;
    - 78% of players have completed the game with positive result.

  2. Stefan Dmitruk, Białystok, Poland: The author's website www.lekcjahistoriionline.wordpress.com was established on March 23, 2020 and is the main tool for conducting remote online history lessons in primary school (grades 5 - 8). Its free and generally accessible nature remove educational disparities between children and young people both in the city and in the countryside. A given practice can serve as an example for the use of digital tools in broadly understood education and in educational activities related to marketing and internet analytics. Moreover, it may promote an educational institution and create its own brand on the market.

  3. University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin (WSEI), Poland: In response to the introduction of a remote learning form, the university has provided lecturers with assistance and support in creating teaching materials obligatory for the distant learning process. It enabled 6,500 students to learn remotely. Currently, the university is adapting its study programmes to the current COVID_19 situation. Moreover, the University offered free, valuable psychological support to people experiencing difficulties due to the epidemic.
  1. Senior Activity Center, Gdynia, Poland: From March 2020, Gdynia Centre of Senior Activity has been working remotely, providing support to one of the most vulnerable social groups – seniors. The activities of the Centre have been carried out on several grounds:
    - The animators made phone calls to the seniors who were in the Centre's database, asking about their health and current needs. They also informed about the available help in grocery shopping, buying medicines or other matters;
    - The Centre prepared Easter packages with door -to- door delivery;
    - Joined the "Riviera's Helping Hand" campaign by providing food and hygiene products;
    - The Centre also conducted online lectures for seniors (Virtual CAS).
    Constant contact with the Centre provided seniors with a sense of security and helped them to solve everyday problems and difficulties. Employees mentally supported isolated seniors, reaching around 200 people by phone every day. Overall from March to July, 22,384 people were reached by phone and via the Internet.

  2. Podolian Agency for Regional Development, Vinnytsia, Ukraine: As part of the campaign "Saving doctor - you save life!" in March 2020, the non-governmental organisation "Podolian Agency for Regional Development" initiated social activities supporting the work of physicians. One of the key initiatives was to create a cluster of 3D printers that produced components for mechanical ventilation devices. The project also developed a model of an oxygen humidification device with a PET bottle. The organisation donated 90 such devices to the Municipal Clinical Hospitals in Vinnytsia. Moreover, Podolian Agency for Regional Development with the System Solution company provided hospitals not only with face shields and masks but also with protective screens. As part of the campaign, hospitals in the Vinnytsia Oblast received equipment valued approximately at UAH 180,000. Protective masks were also given to Vinnytsia Oblast residents who could not afford to buy them. The initiative "Saving doctor - you save life!" was possible owing to the good long-term cooperation of the "Podolska Regional Development Agency" with business and social organisations.
  3. Association „Paliec mājās” (#Stayathome), Riga, Latvia: #Paliecmājās (#Stayathome) is a nationwide campaign with about 800 volunteers offering help in delivering food and other supplies, walking dogs. Moreover, emotional support was shown to people at risk or in isolation. A general working group was set up to bring together NGOs, carers, social service providers and local government representatives. #Stayathome volunteers helped more than 1,000 people and responded to nearly 10,000 applications during the lockdown period (March 13 - June 9). The campaign received huge support from the public, media, the private and public sector and NGOs. Due to such tremendous assistance, the #stayathome movement has helped to stop the spread of Covid-19 infection in Latvia.
  1. NGO “Educationally-analytical center of community development”, Ternopil, Ukraine: “Open Market" is a free platform for direct selling home-grown products directly from farmers. It is an attempt to counter the situation faced by small farmers during the Covid-19 epidemic, for whom the sale of their own agricultural products is often their only livelihood. Hundreds of small and family farms are in despair and throw away tons of their products, which they could not sell due to quarantine and market closure. Launched in April 2020, has become an extremely convenient offline sales alternative and has attracted more than 420 farmers who can sell their products directly through it, residents of communities got the access to home-grown products without leaving home.

  2. Angers City Hall, France: Adopt a Market Gardener was aimed at mitigating the effects of the temporary closure, as a result of the Covid pandemic, of 15 open markets bringing together hundreds food traders vegetable sellers across Angers, as well as to allow market gardeners and ambulant traders to avoid having to destroy their seasonal fruit and vegetable production and other food products all while ensuring sustainability of their work. The initiative consist of putting ambulant food traders, subscribed to Angers markets, in contact with Angers businesses forced to remain closed (such as restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas, etc.) who wish to make their premises available free of charge for a several of hours per week to food sellers. This allows traders to sell their products and reduce both food and financial losses. As a result of the great interest, the initiative was soon extended to other small food producers and sellers such as milk farmers, butchers, pork and poultry farmers, fish mongers, egg farmers, oyster farmers, beekeepers, dried fruit retailers and florists.

  3. Gdańsk City Hall, Department of Economic Policy, Poland: The "Get to grips with the crisis" program was launched on April 1. It is targeted at micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and its aim is to counteract the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the basis of the research among the Tri-City companies (Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot), individual sessions with experienced mentors have been organized. A portal with information on activities, discounts, and facilities supporting entrepreneurs at local, national and European level has also been created. Entrepreneurs receive a newsletter with key information as well as expert articles that promote the Gdańsk startups. Thanks to the “Get to grip with the crisis” program, Gdańsk entrepreneurs could adapt their activities to the new reality and minimize the risk of suspending or closing their operations.
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