Assessing the quality of design of EU financed development and cooperation projects and programmes
The EU aims to ensure quality of development programmes and projects through a quality assurance system, which consists of a set of quality assurance mechanisms and tools for the design phase of the project or programme cycle.
As the design of an intervention is key to successful implementation of projects and programmes and to the efficient use of EU funds, the Commission operates an ex ante peer review process during the identification and formulation of a project or programme, the Quality Support Groups (QSGs) .
The purpose of the QSGs is to help improve the design of the proposed project or programme, building on in-house expertise, as well as on the best practice from previous and on-going actions.
Structure of QSGs
There is a QSG for each thematic and geographic directorate of EuropeAid (with the exception of the two directorates for Africa who operate a combined QSG). The core members of each QSG are EuropeAid staff based in Brussels in charge of the geographical coordination, sector and thematic perspectives and contractual and financial aspects. Colleagues from other Commission Directorates-General and from the European External Action Service are also invited to participate in QSG meetings. When possible, QSG meetings are organized in the form of videoconferences with the colleagues from the EU Delegation in charge of preparing the project or programme. Meetings are, as a rule, chaired by the Director of the geographical or thematic directorate concerned.
The QSGs intervene at two points in the process:
The overall functioning of the QSGs is managed by EuropeAid Unit 06 - Quality and Results - responsible for the methodological and administrative instructions and tools and for support to the convocation of meetings and the structured dissemination of the meetings agenda's and conclusions.
How quality is assessed
In both steps, quality is assessed by thematic and other experts. They do it by replying to a series of standard questions, assessing the relevance and efficiency of the proposed action, as well as the prospects for sustainability and impact. These questions take into account the two main aid delivery methods (budget support or project modality) and aim to assess quality of a project or programme design in a structured and systematic way.
The person chairing the QSG meeting takes a decision on each project and programme reviewed, based on the issues raised and advice provided in the written assessment and taking into account views expressed by other QSG members and participants.
With project and programme management responsibilities having been devolved to the EU Delegations in partner countries, the QSGs offer the opportunity to have an efficient exchange of information and views between Brussels and the EU Delegation at this stage of the project and programme preparation with a view to provide useful backup for the EU Delegations.
Launched at a summit of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2010, the EU’s Millennium Development Goal initiative is helping African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
€1 billion of funds from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) were channelled to the initiative in 2010. The pledge was divided in two windows:
EU-Africa cooperation on infrastructure, which aims to increase European and African investment in infrastructure and related services, is a cornerstone of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. To support its implementation, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund was launched in 2007 by the EU together with its member states and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was launched at the Africa–EU Summit in Lisbon in 2007 and sets out the intention of both continents to move beyond a donor/recipient relationship towards long-term cooperation on jointly identified, mutual and complementary interests. It is based on principles of ownership, partnership and solidarity and its adoption marks a new phase in Africa-EU relations.
Cooperation at a continental level between Africa and the European Union is guided by the Strategic Partnership, which is based on shared values and common interests. In 2007 the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was adopted by both partners to forge stronger links between the two continents in key areas of cooperation, to deepen the political dialogue, and to provide a concrete road map for future joint work.
The Strategic Africa-EU Partnership
In response to a request by African leaders, the African Peace Facility (APF) was created in 2004 as an innovative instrument, which constitutes the main source of funding to support the African Peace and Security Architecture. Since its initiation the APF has been effective in backing African efforts in the area of peace and security on the continent by providing predictable aid.
A new Pan-African Programme will provide dedicated support to the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership.
The Programme is funded under the EU's Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) with a budget of €845 million for the period 2014-2020. It constitutes one of the main financial instruments for the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.
Culture is an important sector of social and human development. It contributes to identity-building and self-esteem, fosters economic growth and social cohesion, and helps to promote political participation and ownership. It is shaped by specific values, traditions and behavioural patterns that need to be considered in all sectors of development when working with partner countries.
Culture has an important place in the EU’s development cooperation. The EU seeks to:
EU development aid supports a wide range of activities promoting culture and traditional heritage. The EU’s objectives in this area are to encourage cultural diversity, stimulate intercultural dialogue, facilitate people's access to culture and widen the scope to place cultural artefacts on markets abroad.
For the period 2007-13, the EU’s development action in this field is mainly financed through two types of instruments: