Twinning concept strongly emphasises the ownership principle. Therefore, the initiative of Twinning project identification usually belongs to a BC, and particularly the administration to benefit directly from the support.
Demand for assistance derives from responsibilities and obligations of a BA. The simple example can be that the newly adopted legislation requires an institution to perform new functions or apply different methods.
At this initial stage, the overall project design is determined. It comprises of the following key steps:
PAO invitation to submit project ideas: The Twinning cycle is usually initiated by the PAO. First, in consultation with the EUD, it sets out indicative priorities for Twinning in a given annual programme. Then, ME releases an invitation to line ministries/institutions/agencies and administrative bodies inviting them to submit Twinning project ideas.
Need assessment: Following the PAO request, the BA interested in Twinning makes an analysis of its institutional building needs, i.e. what improvements need to be achieved in order to build capacities to deliver public services in the scope of its mandate and/or to implement related reform agenda.
Setting a priority and submitting the project idea to the PAO: The BA itself sets its priorities, i.e. what project idea to put forward. The institution is requested to indicate purpose of the project, expected results and provide short background information. For submitting the project idea, the Project Synopsis Form is to be used. By submitting the project synopsis in both English and Azerbaijani languages, institution demonstrates its commitment to achieve the results.
Assessment of the project idea by the PAO: After the project ideas from Azerbaijani BAs have been submitted, the PAO makes an initial screening of them. It is performed against key assessment criteria. In the meantime, the BA may be requested to provide additional information in order to support the arguments for the Twinning project in the field identified. The aim of the assessment is to select the best project ideas for a limited annual budget allocated for Twinning projects.
Decision on proposed project ideas for Twinning: Eligible Twinning projects ideas selected by PAO and agreed with Cabinet of Ministers are submitted to EUD. Then, PAO together with the EUD holds a series of consultations about the project ideas submitted. As the result of the consultation, the PAO and the EUD agree on next steps: (a) include a project idea into annual Twinning envelope and precede further preparation; (b) exclude a proposal and possibly seek for other financing opportunities. BA is informed accordingly.
More detailed information is provided in the "Twinning Guidelines for Azerbaijani Beneficiary Administrations" on the digital library of the website.