The challenge

Client: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Directorate for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs

Project duration: 9 months

* European Maritime and Fisheries Fund


Every 6 years, the Directorate for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF) produces contents for the operational program for the implementation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in the Republic of Slovenia (OP EMFF). The project manager approached us to support them in designing and implementing the content preparation process (project goal). In the preceding years, the absorption of funds was not at a satisfactory level, so the project manager was looking for a way to prepare an operational program that would be more effectively used by end-user groups – fishermen, fish farmers, local communities and public institutions – in the coming period. The project tackled two main challenges: how to prepare an operational plan that will be enable the end-users (beneficiaries) to effectively access the EU funds , and how to motivate user groups for active participation.

What we did

The whole process was planned together with the project manager and a smaller working group (directorate employees and representatives of user groups). In the planning phase, we defined the necessary steps, activities and all the materials needed for the implementation of the process. This was followed by two sets of sessions, with an intermediate phase for preparing and upgrading the session contents.

The first set of sessions with end-user groups was aimed at presenting the purpose and objectives of the project, proposed co-creation process and discovering their needs. Based on the identified needs, the working group prepared a proposal for a set of measures, while we modified the design for the second set of sessions.

In the second set of sessions, we presented a proposal of measures and evaluated and adapted them together with the different user groups.

After each session, we produced a digital record of the session’s outcomes together with the working group and conducted a short reflection, which helped us in planning the activities that followed.

At the end of the project, we prepared a report in which we presented the entire process of content co-creation, project results (contents for the preparation of the operational plan), guidelines for further work with recommendations and all related materials (posters, summaries, proposals).


Outputs & Outcomes

Project outputs:

  • project report with a presentation of the process, contents for the preparation of the operational program, SWOT analyses for the target groups, identified needs of the target groups and guidelines for further work
  • two posters (visualization of the functioning of the operational program with the process of interaction between key stakeholders, concrete examples of the operation of the EMFF for individual target groups)
  • templates and worksheets (SWOT analysis, project definition, project evaluation)
  • summaries (visually organized information in simple language)


Project outcomes:

  • networking and improved mutual understanding of employees within the fisheries and maritime department
  • improved understanding and development of competencies of target group representatives for the preparation and implementation of SWOT analysis
  • improved relationships between end-user groups and the client, with emphasis on the newly established trust between fishermen and MAFF

(A visualization of the EMFF key stakeholders, activities and process)

We have prepared a short booklet* where you will find an overview of the design thinking mindset, process and a selection of methods and tools. *Only in Slovenian for now.