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PEACE IV Overview

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PEACE IV Programme (2014 -2020)


The €270 million PEACE IV Programme is a unique initiative of the European Union (EU) which has been designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo). It was introduced as a distinctive programme part-funded by the EU through European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)[1]. It represents the EU’s continued commitment to supporting the peace process across the eligible area.

In total 85% of the Programme (€229 million) is provided through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The remaining 15% (€41 million), is provided as match-funding by the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

In line with the Europe 2020 strategy, PEACE IV is more ‘concentrated and focused’ to ensure that funding can bring about significant change. Other notable changes to the 2014-2020 programming period was the move towards outcomes-based approach and the introduction of simplification measures.


Aim & Objectives

The strategic aim of the Programme: 'To reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society through the promotion of reconciliation amongst all communities across Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland’. This reflects the core objective of all the PEACE Programmes.

  • Strategic Objective 1: Promoting social and economic stability in the region, notably by actions to promote cohesion between communities involved in the conflict in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland.
  • Strategic Objective 2: Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination.


Logic Model

Programme Structure


Specific Objectives

The Programme is structured to include four ‘Specific Objectives’ and related actions to reflect the desired positive change that the Programme wishes to promote and also relates to the identified needs of the PEACE IV Programme eligible area.

Specific Objective



1. Shared Education

Action 1: Children participating in Shared Education.

The provision of direct, sustained, curriculum-based contact between pupils and teachers from all backgrounds through collaboration between schools from different sectors in order to promote good relations and enhance children's skills and attitudes to contribute to a cohesive society.

2. Children and Young People

Action 2.1 Children and Young People - Regional (14-24).


Enhancing the capacity of children and young people to form positive and effective relationships with others of a different background and make a positive contribution to building a cohesive society. In particular, young people who are most disadvantaged and hardest to reach will benefit from the investment.

This objective invested in peer mentoring actions and local community youth initiatives to increase the interaction between children and young people from all backgrounds and promote respect for diversity.

Action 2.2 Children and Young People - Local Authority led (0-24).


3. Shared Spaces and Services

Action 3.1 Shared Spaces & Services - Regional (Capital).

The creation of a more cohesive society through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

This objective provides support for interventions for victims and survivors of the conflict, to address trauma, assess physical and mental health needs and assist families to engage in historical processes.

Action 3.2 Shared Spaces & Services – Local Authority led.

Action 3.3 Shared Spaces & Services - Victims and Survivors.

4. Building Positive Relations

Action 4.1 Building Positive Relations – Local Authority led.

The promotion of positive relations at a local and a regional level, characterised by respect, and where cultural diversity is celebrated and people can live, learn and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.

Funding is used to support local projects that will build mutual trust and understanding, involving sports, arts and culture as ways of facilitating interaction and mobility between residents from divided neighbourhoods.

Action 4.2 Building Positive Relations – Regional.

5. Technical Assistance

Action 5.1 Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance is used for the publicity, financial control, monitoring, evaluation and overall management of the Programme.


PEACE IV actions aim to develop and deepen reconciliation between divided communities; increase tolerance and respect, promote increased community cohesion and contact, enhance cross border co-operation and address the legacy of the past.

As was the case in the previous Programme, PEACE IV embeds the concept of reconciliation into the objectives and desired results of the Programme.

The target groups of the PEACE IV are those closely related to each of the themes. To receive funding, projects had to demonstrate how they will contribute towards the results and outputs of the Programme to create a shared understanding of the past and a fundamental change in attitudes and behaviour.

There is an emphasis on sustained and meaningful contact on a cross community basis i.e.

  • Sustained and meaningful contact: Duration of an intervention should typically be a minimum of 6 months or equivalent (26 hours). Of a sufficient intensity to ensure the experience is transformative.
  • Cross community: Variation between the two main communities not normally more than 20%. For example, Catholic (Protestant) participation within a range 40% to 60%.

Projects must also demonstrate how they meet the Horizontal Principles of Sustainable Development and Equal Opportunities.



PEACE IV covers the period 2014 to 2020. The end date for spend is 2023 (N+3).

Specific Objective / Actions

ERDF Budget Allocation

Central Government Match Funding


% of total

1.1 Shared Education

€ 30,000,000

€ 5,294,118

€ 35,294,118


2.1 Children and Young People - Regional (14-24)

€ 32,000,000

€ 5,647,059

€ 37,647,059


2.2 Children and Young People - Local (0-24)

€ 14,500,000

€ 2,558,824

€ 17,058,824


3.1 Shared Spaces & Services - Regional (Capital)

€ 45,000,000

€ 7,941,176

€ 52,941,176


3.2 Shared Spaces & Services - Local

€ 24,500,000

€ 4,323,529

€ 28,823,529


3.3 Shared Spaces & Services - Victims and Survivors

€ 15,000,000

€ 2,647,059

€ 17,647,059


4.1 Building Positive Relations - Local

€ 30,000,000

€ 5,294,118

€ 35,294,118


4.2 Building Positive Relations - Regional

€ 24,419,162

€ 4,309,264

€ 28,728,426


Project Budget

€ 215,419,162

€ 38,015,146

€ 253,434,308


5.1 Technical Assistance

€ 13,750,158

€ 2,426,498

€ 16,176,656



€ 229,169,320

€ 40,441,645

€ 269,610,965



Delivery Mechanisms & Processes

Programme Management

The Programme management structure is summarised below:


Member States & Accountable/Policy Departments

The Member States are Northern Ireland and Ireland, which are represented by the following Government Departments: Department of Finance (DOF); and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).

Government Departments provide the funding mechanism for the EU Programme and have a dual role of policy and funding. Each Specific Objective is managed by one Accountable Department in Northern Ireland and one Accountable Department in Ireland, as per the table below:


Specific Objective /Actions

Accountable Departments (NI)

Accountable Departments (Ire)

1.1 Shared Education

Department of Education (DE)

Department of Education & Skills (DES)

2.1 Children and Young People – Regional (14-24 yrs)

Department for the Economy (DfE)

Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA)

2.2 Children and Young People – Local (0-24 yrs)

The Executive Office (TEO)

(Good Relations Unit)

Department of Rural & Community Development (DRCD)

3.1 Shared Spaces & Services – Regional (Capital)

Department for Communities (DfC)


3.2 Shared Spaces & Services – Local

TEO (Good Relations Unit)


3.3 Shared Spaces & Services – Victims and Survivors

TEO (Victims & Survivors Unit)


4.1 Building Positive Relations – Local

TEO (Good Relations Unit)


4.2 Building Positive Relations – Regional

TEO (Good Relations)


The SEUPB is the Managing Authority for the cross border EU Structural Funds Programmes. In managing the Programmes, the SEUPB’s work is divided into the following four areas: Managing Authority; Joint Secretariat; Certifying Authority; and Corporate Services. The SEUPB operate an integrated staff team across offices in Belfast, Omagh and Monaghan. The SEUPB is responsible to the European Commission, the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC), DOF and DPER.

The Joint Secretariat (JS) is an independent and centralised unit under the aegis of the Managing Authority. Specific responsibilities include issuing calls for applications; project assessment in advance of Steering Committee; issuing of letters of offer to operations; project monitoring and case management; project closure. The Certifying Authority is responsible for the certification of all expenditure claims submitted to the EC, ensuring eligibility with EU and national rules. The Audit Authority is independent of the Managing Authority and is located within an independent unit within the DOF, responsible for working on a cross border basis to carry out audit and control functions

The Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC), chaired by the SEUPB, has been established to review the implementation of PEACE IV and to monitor progress made towards achieving the objectives of the Programmes. The PMC delegated its responsibility for project selection to a Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is constituted on a cross border basis. As per the PMC, the composition of the Steering Committee includes a balanced representation from across the eligible region.


Project Delivery

Lead Partners have full responsibility for the delivery of project outputs; ensure eligibility of expenditure; and ensure compliance with Programme rules and regulations. The Lead Partner must ensure all Project Partners adhere to standard conditions of the grant and must play an active role to educate Project Partners on their respective responsibilities. Lead Partners and Project Partners represent a wide range of organisations, for PEACE IV this includes: Local Authorities*; Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations, Public Bodies.

*Local Authorities (LAs) across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland are the visible presence of the EU programme on the ground/grass roots levels. LAs were invited to develop an Action Plan for their areas which addresses three of the four core objectives of the PEACE IV Programme, specifically Children and Young People aged 0-24; Local Authority Shared Spaces; and Building Positive Relations at the Local Level.

Participants in the PEACE IV-funded Dialogues About Race & Ethnicity (DARE) to Lead Change project.


Administrative simplification was introduced in the PEACE IV programming period to assist beneficiaries in the implementation of their projects and to help reduce the level of bureaucracy associated with previous Programmes, for example:

  • Introduction of Simplified Costs Options (SCOs).
  • Risk-based sampling methodology adopted for verification / claims process.
  • Adoption of e-cohesion principles.

A study, commissioned by the European Commission, on the 'Use of new provisions on simplification during the early implementation phase of ESIF (2017)’[2] indicated that overall, the efforts to reduce administrative costs and burden are paying off. For ERDF, the simplification measures imply a reduction of administrative costs of 4% to 8% and a reduction of administrative burden of 9% to 14%. The most important simplification measures are simplified cost options (SCOs) and e-cohesion.

For the PEACE IV Programme, these simplification measures have largely been successful, but there have been some issues with implementation reflected within the PEACE IV Implementation Evaluation reports[3].


Monitoring and Evaluation

The European Commission published guidance on monitoring and evaluation of ERDF programming period 2014-2020. Available here: Guidance Document on Monitoring and Evaluation, ECF, ERDF Concepts and Recommendations

For PEACE IV a ‘results and output orientation’ approach was adopted with defined indicators for the years 2018 and 2023. The Programme’s impact is monitored using output and result indicators i.e.

  • Output Indicators link to activities of operation. They are measured in physical or monetary units (for example, number of people trained, number of initiatives developed) and contribute to result indicators.
  • Result Indicators relate to specific objectives and capture the expected change.

The SEUPB’s Output Indicator Guidance (OIG) provides descriptions and definitions for the output indicators presented in the PEACE IV Programme. This guidance was updated in May 2018, available here: SEUPB Output Indicator Guidance (May 2018).


Outputs & Impacts

As of January 2020, a total of 149 applications were received for the PEACE IV Programme. 61 letters of offer have been issued[4] (41% success rate relative to the number of applications to deliver 96 projects.

The Programme supports projects that contribute towards the promotion of greater levels of peace and reconciliation. The Programme also placed a strong emphasis on promoting cross community relations and understanding, in order to create a more cohesive society. PEACE IV embeds the concept of reconciliation into the objectives and desired results of the Programme.

The PEACE Programme recognises that peace and community cohesion are essential prerequisites for building a competitive economy. In particular the Programme will impact on the most socially and economically excluded people through interventions in good relations, training, and education.

Once complete, PEACE IV will have supported 96 projects and involved 255 Project Partners.


Specific Objective / Actions

Number of Projects

1.1 Shared Education


2.1 Children and Young People - Regional (14-24)


2.2 Children and Young People - Local (0-24)


3.1 Shared Spaces & Services - Regional (Capital)


3.2 Shared Spaces & Services - Local


3.3 Shared Spaces & Services - Victims and Survivors


4.1 Building Positive Relations - Local


4.2 Building Positive Relations - Regional


5.1 Technical Assistance





The targets for 2023 include:

Shared Education:

  • 350 schools involved in shared education.
  • 2,100 teachers trained with the capacity to facilitate shared education.
  • 144,000 participants in shared education classrooms.

Children and Young People:

  • 21,000 participants aged 0-24 completing approved programmes that develop their soft skills and a respect for diversity.
  • 7,400 young people aged 14-24 years who are most marginalised and disadvantaged completing approved programmes that develop their soft skills and a respect for diversity.

Shared Spaces and Services:

  • 8 capital developments to create new shared spaces
  • 17 local initiatives that facilitate the sustained usage on a shared basis of public areas/buildings.
  • 6,300 individuals in receipt of advocacy support.
  • 11,350 individuals in receipt of assessment, case work support and resilience support.

Building Positive Relations:

  • 17 local action plans (LAPs).
  • 20 regional level projects.
  • LAPs and regional projects to result in meaningful, purposeful and sustained contact between persons from different communities.


Project Case Studies

Examples of projects supported by PEACE IV can be found by accessing the following ‘Case Study’ link


Key Programme Reports


Report Title

Programme Report

PEACE IV - Cooperation Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Goal

Programme Report

Summary of Consultation Responses on Preparing a new EU Programme for Cross border Co-operation (INTERREG V) and a new EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE IV) 2014-2020

Programme Report

PEACE IV - Citizens' Summary: Peace IV Programme (2014-2020)

Programme Report

PEACE IV Annual Implementation Report 2015 (Citizens' Summary)

Programme Report

PEACE IV Report 2016 (Citizens' Summary)

Programme Report

PEACE IV Annual Implementation Report 2017 (Citizens' Summary)

Programme Report

PEACE IV Annual Implementation Report 2018 (Citizens' Summary)


Ex Ante Evaluation Report – PEACE IV Cross Border Co-Operation Programme 2014-2020


Impact Evaluation of PEACE IV, Objective 2.1 Children and Young People 14-24 - Phase I Evaluation Report


PEACE IV - Implementation Evaluation of the PEACE IV Programme and INTERREG VA Programme – Year 1 (July 2017)


PEACE IV - Implementation Evaluation of the PEACE IV Programme and INTERREG VA Programme – Year 2 (Aug 2018)


PEACE IV - Implementation Evaluation of the PEACE IV Programme and INTERREG VA Programme – Year 3 (May 2020)


Further reports can be found by accessing the Digital Library. Please note that available Impact Evaluations will be added to once projects complete and evaluations become available.


[1] ESIF includes money from five funds: ERDF; European Social Fund (ESF); Cohesion Fund (CF); European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD); and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

[2] Sweco, t33 and Spatial Foresight (June 2017), Use of new provisions on simplification during the early implementation phase of ESIF

[3] SJC consultancy (2017, 2018, 2020), Year 1-Year 3 Implementation Evaluations

[4] Local Authorities are counted once in terms of Letters of Offer issued (note that LAs are responsible for delivering three separate projects/themes each (2.2, 3.2, 4.1), bringing the total number of PEACE IV projects to 96 projects (including Technical Assistance).