Peer-to-peer learning is an excellent instrument for improving the implementation of cities’ climate change and energy policies. It is based on the idea that people who work on similar issues and have similar roles and working backgrounds in their cities could share experiences and learn from each other. These people are usually called ‘peers’ and could be city experts, decision makers or local stakeholders.
‘Peers’ have a common understanding and interest for implementing sustainable energy and climate change projects and policies in their cities. In many ways they face similar challenges and need to find solutions to similar problems. Hence, sharing experiences and solutions with each other could help them to improve their projects, organisational structures and ways of thinking and working.
CASCADE has tested four peer-to-peer learning methods:
Peers from different cities are brought together to jointly evaluate, against the CASCADE benchmark, the climate and energy policy performance of another city and give recommendations for improvements.
Peers not only assess the performance of the host city, but also share their experience and know-how while they bring back to their cities new knowledge and skills.
A city receives advice on specific project(s)/initiative(s), during a visit, by one or more other cities. The visitors (mentors) and host (mentee) together build an understanding of the local situation and the local challenges. The mentors provide specific recommendations to the mentee and then explore together new ideas and solutions.
The mentors can also directly benefit from the visit by taking advantage of other mentors' knowledge and experience.
Work shadowing involves one or two people from one city spending a period of time with one or more people from another city who work in the same field or on similar projects. The aim is to facilitate an exchange of expertise by observing first-hand how things are done elsewhere, thus providing inspiration and new ideas for working methods.
The study visit offers peers from several cities the opportunity to visit another city and see first-hand how that city has successfully implemented its energy and climate change policies, projects and/or initiatives.
It also allows the host city to showcase its projects, gain external insight and get recommendations for improvements.
This toolkit explains what each of these methods is and why host or join a peer review, mentoring, work shadowing or study visit. Furthermore, it contains useful information and material for organising successful peer review, mentoring, work shadowing and study visits, such as manuals, guidelines, examples of peer-to-peer visits feedback reports and templates for agendas.