Since 2010, the European Commission has intensified the use of Joint Evaluations carried out with other donors and particularly with evaluation services of EU Member States.
Joint Evaluations are used whenever possible to evaluate budget support and, to some extent, also for country-level evaluations. This is in line with the role of the EU as defined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which stipulates that "In order to promote the complementarity and efficiency of their action, the Union and the Member States shall coordinate their policies on development cooperation and shall consult each other on their aid programmes (…)" (Art. 210 TFEU). Joint Evaluations have become more relevant since the implementation of Joint Programming between the EU and the Member States.
Cooperation with Member States' Evaluation Services is useful to avoid duplication, maximise synergies, improve the EU's evaluation culture and practices and, ultimately, contribute to the results of development cooperation policies and programmes in third countries.
The Evaluation Unit of DG DEVCO chairs the Commission Expert Group ''Heads of EU Evaluation Services for External/Development Cooperation'', which as a rule convenes once a year. Its mission is to facilitate the exchange of information, experience and good practice in the area of evaluation and to establish closer cooperation between the Member States’ Evaluation Services and the Commission by:
- Exchanging, discussing and sharing experience on evaluation methodologies, evaluation programmes and evaluation results between the Commission and Member States;
- Fostering the use of Joint Evaluations carried out by the evaluation services of various Expert Group Members;
- Advising the Commission in its evaluation tasks in the areas of External Relations and Development Cooperation and its initiatives in this field.