2007 – 2010 External Evaluation of ECDPM: Striking the Balance
External evaluation and internal assessment
In order to provide accountability for its activities and to further its internal learning and institutional development, ECDPM has requested the external evaluation team to review the context and performance of the ECDPM during the period 2007–2010, to assess how t he Centre is evolving as an institution and to formulate recommendations for improvement.
For this evaluation, the team, consisting of two evaluation experts from Africa and two from Europe, analysed documentation, undertook several ‘site visits’, interviewed about 100 stakeholders (mainly in Africa and Europe) and had discussions with ECDPM staff. In preparation of the evaluation, ECDPM undertook a major internal assessment, which not only served well as a good starting point for the evaluation team, but also provided a peak learning event for all ECDPM staff and a good first step for preparing for its next multi‐annual strategy cycle.
- ECDPM’s strategy 2007–2011 forms a comprehensive, solid and well‐balanced framework, and contains relevant choices and well‐founded approaches. The Centre has been successful in elaborating and implementing this strategy.
- Its three programmes, Development Policy and International Relations (DPIR), Governance and Economic and Trade Cooperation (ETC), were well designed along relevant policy processes and have resulted in substantial outcomes and impact in EU‐ACP policies, cooperation and related capacities. The Centre has provided ‘high value for money’.
- The challenge now is to remain relevant and effective in a complex and dynamic policy arena where institutional uncertainties, intrinsic, bottom‐up processes and major external factors, such as the role of China and various global crises, put the EU‐ACP relationship under pressure.
- Another challenge is to reinforce ECDPM’s presence in Africa—for reasons of legitimacy and, among other things, more intensive and direct interactions with key actors.
- ECDPM is a centre of excellence in terms of facilitation of policy processes and knowledge management. It has made progress with its partnerships, but the successes a e mixed and transaction costs substantial.
- The Centre’s current funding structure can optimally support its typical process‐oriented approach, but there re amain considerable challenges regarding funding in the future.