Quality, availability and use of strategic evaluations

Quality, availability and use of strategic evaluations

Ensuring the quality of the evaluation

The European Commission is committed to quality standards for development evaluation set by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee and follows the European Commission Evaluations standards.

The Evaluation Unit ensures the quality of the evaluation throughout the process, firstly by selecting the best possible external expertise in the evaluation team and then by ensuring that the expectations and needs formulated in the terms of reference are fulfilled. In this context, the Unit, together with the steering group, provide comments and feedback throughout the different phases of the evaluation (inception, desk, field, synthesis).

The external evaluators know from the start on which basis their report will be assessed, as main quality criteria are set out in the terms of reference in the form of a quality grid. It is the responsibility of the evaluation manager to assess the work of evaluators during the process and fill in this grid. Every quality grid is then published on the evaluation website, next to the report.

Dissemination of the results of the evaluation


Enhancing transparency and accountability by communicating on the added value of the European Union to the European citizens is part of the Evaluation Unit's mission. It is therefore the Unit's responsibility to increase awareness of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of each evaluation through the organisation of public seminars as well as through a wide circulation of the reports.

Full reports of all evaluations together with the "response of the services" are available on EuropeAid - Evaluation website. Summaries of the most recent evaluation are also available in hard copies at the External cooperation "InfoPoint".


Follow-up of the evaluation

Three systems feed evaluation lessons and recommendations into the operational work:
  1. The “fiche contradictoire” is a public statement of the response to the evaluation recommendations and what will be, or has been, done to respond to them.
  2. The Interservice Country Team Meeting (CTM) is a peer group which reviews proposed geographic strategies and is responsible for ensuring coherence between EU strategy and its implementation. It is an important channel for feeding back evaluation lessons, recommendations and best practices in new programmes.
  3. The bi-annual evaluation report is prepared every 6 months by the Evaluation Unit for the external relations Commissioners and provides an overview of the main conclusions and recommendations drawn from the strategic evaluations. This exercise serves as a useful basis to assist decision makers in deciding on the follow up and improve EU strategies and interventions.