In line with a Commission-wide definition, FP evaluation is viewed as a “judgement of interventions according to their results, impacts and needs they aim to satisfy”. The key ideas expressed by this statement are that evaluation is a process that culminates in a judgement (or assessment) of an intervention. The focus of evaluation is first and foremost on the needs, results and impacts of an intervention.
There is a long history to FP evaluation and monitoring. The system has been progressively updated since its introduction in the early 1980s. In general terms the system is defined in line with the principles laid down in the Commission's Financial Regulation which require that evaluation be carried out directly to support management. This leads to a decentralised system of evaluation and monitoring where each Commission Directorate General and service which is involved with FP management is also responsible for its own evaluation and monitoring work.
For the Framework Programmes overall there is a system of evaluation and monitoring that is managed by the responsible Unit in the Directorate General RTD. From 1995 through to 2006 this system was based on two major exercises: an annual monitoring of FP implementation and, in advance of each new FP proposal from the Commission, a Five Year Assessment of the implementation and achievements of research carried out over the five preceding years. The archive of monitoring reports from this period and the archive of evaluation reports are both available on this site.
At the start of FP7 there were important changes to the exercises and the system overall for FP-level evaluation and monitoring. The key features of the current approach are as follows:
To provide coordination DG RTD organises two networks, linking those involved in FP evaluation activities. The European RTD Evaluation Network supports information exchange and the sharing of best practice between evaluation experts in Members States, Accession States and Associated States. The Interservices RTD network is an internal Commission network bringing together all those involved with FP evaluation.
Other Commission services involved in FP evaluation can be contacted: