What is a “peer review”?

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The SMART EUROPE Peer Review Methodology enables an objective and high-quality assessment of regional policies targeting the employment growth in the sector of their “innovation anchor”.

Relevant local stakeholders are involved since the beginning with the aim to collect the needs and demands from the territory and to find specific focus of action.

Each partner organises a one-week a peer review, hosting a team of 10 to 15 experts – so called “peers” –  from the partner regions. 11 peer reviews will take place during the project, 1 in each of the SMART partner regions. These events are considered to be “mutual learning processes”,  where the peers are experts and practitioners dealing with employment strategies in different European countries, and are selected by the partners. The peer review methodology is based on the AER peer reviews, however adapted to the project.

  1. Relevant background information is provided to the review team prior to the peer review.
  2. The host region sets the agenda with interviews, study trips and workshops to allow the experts identifying strengths and weaknesses in its innovation and employment policies.
  3. A checklist is the common tool used by the peers to assess the host region’s policy regarding its innovation anchor.
  4. After the visit, the review team prepares a report with a series of recommendations on how to improve the region’s policy design and delivery.
  5. Based on the feedbacks of the experts, the host region prepares its Action Plan setting out the concrete steps to follow up to the recommendations.
  6. An Implementation Plan defines a longer-term strategy and explains how the recommendations will be included in future regional policies.