Evaluation and learning
Capturing and evaluating results is not only important for transparency and accountability but also to ensure continued success and to enable learning. To that end, several evaluations are conducted under the current funding period.
The evaluations and monitoring activities provide valuable information about what works and what does not work when implementing the Grants in the beneficiary states. This makes it possible for all involved parties to learn lessons along the way and make adjustments when needed.
The evaluations are an important part of the Grants’ result-based management framework that has been put in place for the current funding period. Central to result-based management is the creation of indicators, baselines and targets to monitor and track progress. Once this has been established, it should be linked to a plan and a system that can provides reliable information about what works and what doesn’t.
Beneficiary countries in the lead
In the previous period, the Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) was responsible for the evaluation activities. However, in the current period, this is being done by the beneficiary countries themselves.
The programme operators are responsible for evaluating their respective programme and projects. The national Focal Points are responsible for evaluations at the national level.
The evaluation guideline contains the core methodology for undertaking evaluations under the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014. The guideline has been created to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of programme and project evaluations and to strengthen the accountability of the grant schemes.
Evaluations and reviews by the Financial Mechanism Office
The Financial Mechanism Office, the donor countries' secretariat for the Grants, carries out evaluations that are supplementary to evaluations carried out by institutions in the beneficiary states. The Financial Mechanism Office's role in initiating and managing external evaluations of the EEA and Norway Grants support is described in an evaluation mandate.
For the current funding period, several evaluations are conducted and planned. Among these is a baseline study of bilateral relations. This study will be conducted in three stages – in the years 2013, 2014 and 2016 - and will be an important tool for assessing the progress made in strengthening the bilateral relations between the donor and the beneficiary countries.
Evaluation guideline and mandate
The evaluation mandate describes the Financial Mechanism Office's role in initiating and managing external evaluations of the EEA and Norway Grants support. These evaluations are supplementary to evaluations carried out by institutions in the beneficiary states.
An important evaluation activity within the current period will be a formative study project covering all programmes under the current period dealing with the inclusion of Roma. This research project will follow the various programmes and projects tackling Roma-related issues in real time. Issues related to Europe’s Roma-population can be difficult to tackle effectively because of the complexity of the issue. Therefore, the formative research evaluations will be very valuable, as they would make it possible to make adjustments along the way to make sure the various programmes and projects reach their targets.