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Daphne Programme
Daphne Experience
Less measurable output

The results of the Daphne Experience. Less measurable output

The Daphne Programme and Initiative were not intended to be production lines, however. They were meant to initiate change, on behalf of children, young people and women in Europe, in the levels of violence and people’s vulnerability to it. Although the concrete ‘product’ was therefore an important by-product of Daphne projects, it was the less tangible, more difficult-to-measure impact of Daphne that was likely to bring about this change. These outputs include:


From the outset, the Commission called for public campaigns across Europe to ‘raise awareness’ about violence and to promote zero tolerance of it.

It is questionable, in fact, in the light of more recent research on awareness-raising activity, whether campaigns to raise awareness do, in fact, affect the behaviour of perpetrators or whether they may conversely raise tolerance levels by ‘normalizing’ the issue. The jury is still out on this but in any case, as the Daphne Programme developed, applicants were guided more towards targeted information campaigns aimed at directly reaching specific identified groups and promoting behaviour or attitude change among them. For example, information campaigns aimed at women in prostitution were specifically designed to help them to be aware of services available to them if they were faced with a potentially violent situation, thus encouraging self-protection behavioural change; information campaigns in schools aimed to direct young people to reporting mechanisms if they learned that a school friend was a victim of abuse; shopfloor information campaigns focused on helping workers to recognize signs of abuse in co-workers (or to be on the lookout for abusive behaviour from work colleagues) and to know what to do in such cases.

This sort of targeted ‘awareness raising’ was much more prevalent in the Daphne Programme than it had been in the Daphne Initiative, where mass public information campaigns were still the norm. This may also reflect a greater sophistication in public awareness of topics such as domestic violence, child sexual abuse, social exclusion and trafficking in Europe, and less need to ‘introduce’ these issues to the general public.

Whether ‘awareness raising’, however targeted, has positively affected attitudes and behaviour, however, is not easy to assess. The ultimate indicator of success would be a reduction in the levels of violence in Europe, lower levels of tolerance of violence among all groups, and increased reporting and apprehension of perpetrators of violence. The cause and effect of these outcomes, however, would be complex and it would not be easy to distinguish what the contribution of Daphne projects – as opposed to greater media coverage, increased law enforcement, stricter laws, other actions etc – was. It would also need to be carried out over time in order for trends to emerge. Nevertheless, it would undoubtedly be interesting to repeat the Eurobarometer exercise, exactly as it was carried out in 1999, to see if there has been a shift in Europeans’ understanding and perceptions of violence over the life of the Daphne Programme.

“A Daphne project that set up a European Information Centre on violence against women, to build on a previous project funded by the Daphne Initiative, received ten times the number of requests for information from women’s refuges and counselling centres from all over the EU. The project has also been asked by the Danish government to train the police force using the products developed by the Daphne project.” [Ex-post evaluation of an Austrian project in 2000]



Knowledge is easier to measure, not least through the level of knowledge demonstrated in applications to the Daphne Programme itself, as well as in the quality of debate in Europe and the circulation of acquired knowledge, for example in bibliographies where quoting a source indicates the transmission of information that represents knowledge growth.

There is no doubt that both the Daphne Initiative and the Daphne Programme have expanded the knowledge base in Europe (and indeed worldwide) on issues relating to violence against children, young people and women.

It was acknowledged at the very beginning of the Daphne process that a serious lack of reliable data and body of analysis was hampering efforts to combat violence and protect people from it. This was particularly true in the NGO world, where organizations in many cases did not have specialized staff ‘tuned in’ to academic literature in areas such as child psychology, legal reform or psychosocial rehabilitation. Daphne has substantially filled this gap in a number of important areas, including through comparative analysis of legal frameworks in the Member States; understanding of the causes of violence, ranging from the role of alcohol in family violence to the impact of regular downloading of pornography on young Internet users. In general these studies are written for the lay person and are thus an important resource not only to policy makers, opinion formers and technical personnel, but also to those who seek a broad understanding of the issues affecting the field in which they work.

Two major challenges remain, however:

The first is to map out the areas where knowledge is needed with a view to identifying remaining gaps, as well as the intervals at which knowledge needs to be updated in order to maintain its usefulness.

The second is to make the knowledge accessible to those who need it. This is perhaps the greatest challenge for all those working to combat violence. Knowledge is only really knowledge if it is in the hands of those who can use it to effect change. The Commission recognized this early in the Daphne Experience by creating the Daphne database, which contains the final reports of all projects and which gives details for acquiring other outputs of the projects. But this is a passive ‘archive’ of knowledge and not an active process. In theory, the projects themselves are tasked with ensuring that the outputs of their work are disseminated and shared with those who need them, but in practice this has been limited by budget, project duration and weaknesses in understanding of the importance of effective dissemination and how to achieve it.

“The research produced long country reports that appear to be of high quality, but the integration of these reports is only found in the brief final report to Daphne; even the book produced does not have the general conclusions and proposals. The website has links to the partners and the presentations they made at the final meeting, but somehow the general conclusions of the project are not obvious or clear enough. Similarly, much of the material produced showing interactions among the partners is not clear to an outsider; I conclude that communication to the outside world is not the strong point of the association.” [Ex-post report of a Spanish project funded in 1999].

Additionally, there is a need for ‘value’ to be added to many of the project outputs before they become fully usable. It may be that they do not cover all Member States but give only a partial picture of an issue (in which case, follow-up project activity could be commissioned/promoted to complete the coverage). The output might be fairly raw data with insufficient analysis, so that a further round of work on the output may be necessary before it can be transformed into a usable tool. It may be that several different projects achieve results that, when brought together, constitute a much greater body of knowledge than the individual parts, so that some process that surveys all project outputs and aims to ‘add value’ to them would greatly grow the knowledge derived. All of these areas presume a level of ‘management’ of the project outputs that hitherto has been beyond the limited capacity of the small team in the Daphne office.

Dissemination of knowledge also needs to be targeted so that the right people receive the materials, and even more have access to it. As Daphne developed, project leaders grew increasingly sophisticated in their use of technology both as a means of communicating within the project and also as a means of sharing knowledge. E-mail newsletters began to replace paper bulletins; websites became both tools of sharing and repositories of reports. Links to project websites from the Daphne database encouraged on-line readers to look more closely at project outputs and to contact project leaders for more information.

Nevertheless targeted dissemination, through the careful construction of lists of target recipients, remained outside the capacity of many organizations, either because of the workload this entails or because it was not included in the budget or because they were unsure of how to achieve it. The drawing-up (or acquisition) of a set of mailing lists in the areas with which Daphne is concerned would be another way to add value to the projects’ achievements.

“A website set up in Germany with Daphne funding providing information for organizations on the law and legal situations of trafficked and migrant sex workers has had more than 1,000 hits per month and was discussed at the OSCE Conference Europe against Trafficking in Persons in October 2001.” [Ex-post evaluation of a German project in 2000]



These mailing lists could also be used for improved dissemination of the many tools of empowerment that have been produced in Daphne projects. These include guidelines – for example relating to appropriate media approaches to vulnerable children; protocols – for example on issues relating to privacy and confidentiality of data collection and storage relating to abuse victims; methodologies – including sample questionnaires, interview questions, classroom techniques and other practical guides; and good practice examples in protection, prevention, accompaniment and reintegration and all the other areas of work relating to violence.

A large body of such tools has been generated by Daphne projects but, again, they are rarely seen as ‘outputs’ and as a result are not always shared with the Commission through the final report nor, indeed, with all participants in the project. In some instances, questionnaires, for example, have developed over several stages of project activity and represent a real learning experience for the project leader and partners. A project in Belgium, for example, which sought to document information relating to how reports of a missing child are treated in different European countries, developed a questionnaire that changed over time to take into account the responses coming in and different understanding of concepts which at first had seemed simple.

One particular area where tools have been important is where they have been linked to advocacy for change. This is the case, for example, of an early review of child protection frameworks in Europe, which was used as an advocacy platform during the debate on the Amsterdam Treaty. It is the case of a project that established a European network and collected data for a report and recommendations to MEPs and European institutions on the harmonization of laws relating to trafficking and migration.

Other advocacy efforts have taken place at local and national level. In the UK, a Daphne research and advocacy project was instrumental in promoting a review of migration and resident procedures for migrant domestic workers:

“The seminar can be assessed as a big success in political terms. Mike O’Brien, the Under-Secretary of State, received a European delegation attending the seminar and confirmed his intention to revise migration and residence procedures for migrant women. In the aftermath of the seminar, the British Government confirmed the amendment of the immigration procedure. Additionally, representatives of the seminar visited the British Home Office and presented a formal letter to the British Prime Minister and the President of the European Council, urging for support for their European campaign. Activities were covered by BBC News, satellite as well as national and local radio stations.” [Ex-post report on project 97/017/W]



Given all the knowledge and practical tools produced, it is not surprising that Daphne projects also resulted in significant mobilization of some important intermediary groups. These included law enforcement personnel, health-care providers, counselling service staff, social workers and authorities, teachers and education managers, student bodies, media professionals, cultural organizations, trade unions and employers’ organizations, business people, church groups, law-makers and judiciary, research institutions, prison personnel, military staff, immigration and customs officials, policy-makers at local, national and regional levels, grassroots organizations, and NGOs and beneficiaries themselves.

Although many of these groups already work on behalf of children, young people and women in one way or another, their targeting and participation in Daphne projects allowed them to learn more about specific issues related to violence, and to integrate these into their ongoing activities or, indeed, begin new activities. A multi-annual, multi-country project with a coordinating office in Belgium, for example, aimed to prompt discussion of issues relating to violence among children and young people in the partner countries, with a view to mobilizing these children and also learning more about meaningful participation of children and young people in actions for them. In each partner country, hundreds of youth groups have been involved in the project, and the project found that the young people created and maintained their own e-mail discussion group even after the project activity was completed.

“Through collective discussions on the methods for and aims of the participation of children and young people, this pilot project aims to draw up a set of ‘quality indicators for participation’ on the basis of the relevant analysis of practices, incorporating the perspectives of children, young people and adults. An active area for discussion has been launched. Its goal is to determine an adaptable and flexible ‘reference model’ that can be used by all those who wish to develop practices involving the participation of children and young people in the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The group running this project consists of professionals representing around 15 institutions in various child-related fields. Six associations working on the ground (community centres and schools), in direct contact with children’s groups, consult their various groups in order to determine their perspectives and their opinions in relation to participation with a view to suggesting ways of drawing up quality indicators. Following these consultations with adults and young people, a meeting is organized to pool the results achieved by the various groups of adults and young people.” [Interim report of project 00/051/C]

Mobilization of intermediary groups has had both transnational and multi-disciplinary aspects. In some cases, networks have been established or reinforced that cross borders and include representatives from the Member States and beyond. In some very interesting projects, functioning multi-disciplinary networks have been set up and have been successful in developing and implementing cross-sectoral approaches to protection and support for victims of violence.

“The project aims to develop and transfer the experience of multi-agency working to support women and families affected by domestic abuse. The [project leader] has gained valuable insight into multi-agency working and has developed from this a strategic approach. The project set out to explore the transferability of this approach to two EU countries: Sweden and Italy, and to identify issues that arise in multi-agency working in different countries. This was facilitated through a project worker and an advisory board made up of the members of the multi-agency team from [the project leader’s locality in Scotland], who worked with the Italian and Swedish partners. The partners were to explore and facilitate communications among the agencies with a particular role to play in response to domestic abuse – police, judiciary, social services, volunteer agencies, NGOs, public authorities, health and family services, church etc as appropriate – and develop their own strategies for multi-agency response.” [Monitoring report from project 00/012/WC]


Capacity building

There is no doubt that Daphne projects have contributed, either directly or indirectly, to improving the capacity of project leaders and partners themselves to understand and respond to violence, and to plan, run and benefit from project activity. Project leaders and partners have found new ways of working, often as a direct result of learning from each other. They have benefited from exchange of ideas and methodologies, from visits to each others’ work environments, and to sharing contacts that have expanded networks and increased the potential for learning.

“The project sponsor is very satisfied with the functioning of the partnerships and with the level of commitment of the partners. There are some language difficulties with the Spanish partner and communications have to pass through an English language intermediary; this is burdensome on the Spanish partner, which is a small organization. The sponsor explained that it is precisely because the organization is small that it is encouraged to work within the network, which can support it. Conversely, the project sponsor explained that the partner in the Netherlands has grown in strength and is poised to take on more responsibility in the follow-up project. A potential new partner has been identified in Paris after a two-year search and its ability to function within the network is being explored.” [Monitoring report on project 00/247/W]

It is interesting to note that, over time, projects began to learn to take account of each other’s strengths and weaknesses in different elements of project activity and to build this into workplans. Some NGOs, for example, and in particular smaller organizations, may not have the resources to undertake the close financial management that is necessary in a Commission project. They may, on the other hand, be able to motivate local professionals and to involve them in project activity. In this case, it will make sense for a partner with good financial management skills to handle budgeting and for the small NGO to organize a seminar, for example. As Daphne project partners have come to know each other better, they have both built these factors into their planning and also taken them into account as they have sought new partners.

“Including partners from candidate countries has proved to be very productive in developing truly transnational prevention strategies for women and children against violence and ensuring better support systems for victims of violence. Projects involving partners from candidate countries have focused on forms of violence that have a transnational and global aspect (for example issues dealing with migration, trafficking, violence against children and child pornography) and so can be addressed from both within the EU and outside the EU Member States simultaneously. Many of these projects have successfully transferred training, information and methodologies to assist NGOs and public institutions active in this field in candidate countries thereby furthering integration and international collaboration…[At the same time,] EU organizations have much to gain by exchanging experiences with NGOs in candidate countries. However, it is also very challenging to develop working relationships with organisations that tend to have very limited financial resources and experience of transnational working. Projects have therefore also attempted to transfer vital skills and build the capacity of NGOs and organisations rather than simply passing over training modules.” [External evaluators’ report of the 2000 Daphne Programme]


Mobilization of resources

Daphne-funded projects were obliged to find 20 per cent of the required budget of their project from non-Commission sources, since the Daphne allocation could not exceed 80 per cent of anticipated expenditure. Although some organizations were able to contribute the required 20 per cent of the budget themselves, most projects generally had to identify at least one other source of funding.

This meant mobilizing other resources. In some instances, other sources of funding were readily available to the project – for example through an annual grant from the municipality, or from a regular donor. More often than not, however, new sources had to be identified and tapped, and this led to considerable mobilization of new sources of funding for actions against violence in Europe. These ranged from local municipality contributions to national authority grants, through lump-sum contributions from the private sector to small grants from other donors. In most cases, the responsibility for mobilization of resources was shared among partners, so that several organizations working in the project went out and identified co-funders, often in several different EU countries.

It is difficult to trace how many of these resources continued to be available after project activity was completed, although there are documented instances of ongoing support as a result of the relationship established for the project. A Swedish project, for example, managed to mobilize 53 per cent of the funds needed for its project from private enterprises, the National Board of Health and Welfare, the Trade Union Confederation, the Committee of Gender Equality and various community associations. [1]

“(The project) received active support from the regional government in its area as well as from the municipal authorities of the city where the project established an office. These two institutions will assume the future financing of the project’s activities once EU funding is over.” [Ex-post evaluation of project 97/043/W]

Follow-up funding through other sources is often also a result of the value that these sources put on the results of the Daphne project experience. A project that looked at the marginalization of Roma children, for example, proved to be of such interest to local actors in Spain that follow-up funding was made available to ensure sustainability and further use of the results:

“The project uncovered a significant lack of knowledge and data about the lives of Roma people in Spain… The work aroused widespread interest as well as media coverage, and the Catholic Church in Spain offered to print 2,000 copies of the report. After the project was completed, the Spanish Ministry of Social Affairs set aside funds for working with the Roma population in prisons, and some judges expressed interest in examining bias in the criminal justice system. The co-ordinators are taking part in two follow-up studies: one of them, funded by the European Commission, is on Good practices in combating discrimination against the Roma population.” [Report on project 98/197/WC]



There has been ongoing discussion among the organizations working with the Daphne Initiative and Programme, as well as among members of the selection panel and Daphne team, about what being a ‘European project’ really means.

In some ways, just like violence itself, this concept was never defined in detail by the Commission but left to be explored by the projects and to grow out of them. It is sometimes easier to define what is not ‘European’ than what is:

  • A project, for example, that undertakes research in France and Germany and then publishes these two research reports side by side may be useful and may indeed be ‘transnational’, but it is not ‘European’ – it is just the sum of two national exercises undertaken together. On the other hand, if these two research reports are brought together, analysed in a comparative exercise, used as a basis for discussion with other European partners in order for wider experience to be brought in, and then used to generate recommendations that are likely to be usable in the majority of Member States or by a European institution, then the project is clearly European.
  • In the same way, partnerships between several Member States may remain just ‘transnational’ and may never become truly ‘European’ if the results of the partnerships do not add up to more than the sum of the individual parts. Networking, exchange of information and experience, staff visits and shared contacts may just enrich the work of national organizations. On the other hand, they may be used to create something that has real European added value. For example, a 2003 project synthesizing work done across Europe to increase understanding of FGM and to mobilize people, governments and regional bodies against it, may gather data and mobilize in each Member State individually, but as a means of achieving European impact through EU-level information, recommendations and lobbying for change.

In short, for a project to move beyond transnationality to ‘European-ness’, there is a need for its actions and results to grow out of Europe-wide concerns and analysis, and to feed into EU-level debate and policies.

There are many instances of these occurring in projects throughout the life of the Daphne Initiative and Programme, although they are not always clearly documented in reports to the Commission. It seems that sometimes organizations are surprised by the ‘European-ness’ of their project experience; the project quoted below, for example, gradually began to see how its first Daphne-funded project in northern Europe was a basis for pan-European work and an increasingly ‘European project’:

“The project aims to define and test strategies to prevent Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) among immigrant families/communities in the partner countries (Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Denmark), and builds on earlier Daphne projects which resulted in a body of material produced in northern Europe. The project is strong in outreach both across sectors and across countries. The initiative to adapt and transfer earlier Daphne experiences into other Member States is welcome – clearly a ‘third stage’ project could see this experience also being used in France, for example.” [Monitoring report of project 01/247/C]

And yet the potential for ‘European-ness’ is already evident in project proposals and, indeed, is an important criterion for selection. It is the basis on which regional funds are made available rather than national funds.

The extent of the links between Daphne projects and EU policy and action, however, also depend on how the project leader and/or partners are ‘positioned’ in relation to being able to influence MEPs, Commission representatives or other opinion formers or decision makers in Brussels (or Strasbourg) or at national level. This is the reality of the NGO world; some organizations specialise in lobbying and advocacy and place themselves to do this, both in terms of location and the staff and resources devoted to it. Others do not see this as their major role (although many would like to think that their work did make a difference at this level) and so do not devote resources to it. Some are learning, including through Daphne, how they can have an impact beyond their national borders.

To date, though, few project reports contain indications of the level of impact of project output on the EU institutions or even, sometimes, on national bodies. Similarly, few projects are articulated in the context of EU policy even though the Daphne Programme itself is clearly an implementation mechanism for such policy. An example of this is the Council Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings of 19 July 2002 (2002/629/JHA) which specifically mentions Daphne as a complementary instrument to the Framework Decision. While the Decision largely concentrates on legal and law enforcement approaches to trafficking, it also specifically (Article 7) calls for protection and assistance to victims and tasks Member States to take appropriate measures to ensure assistance to the child and family. Lessons from divers Daphne projects on legal accompaniment, social support, counselling and cross-border cooperation are clearly important resources to Member States in implementing this provision.

More explicitly, a year 2002 Daphne project directly implemented the Council Resolution of October 2001 on the contribution of civil society in finding missing or sexually exploited children (2001/C 283/01). This Brussels-coordinated project extended coverage of a Directory of Organizations working in the field of missing or sexually exploited children as a follow-up to an earlier Daphne project in which the Directory had been developed. Several of the modalities nominated in the Resolution – for example cooperation among authorities and civil society, sharing of information, networking to allow sharing of protected data etc form part of the Daphne-funded work.

“The aim is to seek out, identify and record in all partner and associate partner countries organizations that provide prevention, information, operational and victim support activities connected with the disappearance and/or sexual exploitation of children. The particulars collected will be used to expand the directory created under Daphne Project 00/064/C for other countries in 2000, and will serve as a practical field work tool both nationally and internationally to facilitate and leverage to the maximum mutual contacts and operational action between those involved”. [Project description of project 02/037/YC]

[1] Source: Ex-post evaluation of project 97/008/W.