Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme

To evaluate the results of the Community's research and development programmes using external experts, developing previous evaluation experiments on a broader and more systematic basis and further refining the methodologies and procedures previously applied with a view to improving decision-making on priorities, the choice of research areas and the allocation of resources.


The plan of action, which was preceded by an experimental phase, was considered an integral part of the continuing process of R&D policy and programme formulation, execution and revision, and as such played a key role in the first Framework Programme (1984-1987).


Four activities:

- Continued strengthening of existing internal evaluation methods carried out during the implementation of R&D programmes in order to control work progress effectively and to adapt to change;

- Retrospective assessment of the results of Community R&D programmes carried out by external groups of experts;

- Studies to be contracted out by the Commission on certain aspects of evaluation;

- Organization of workshops and seminars and the progressive establishment of an informal Community evaluation network in order to encourage the exchange of information.


In accordance with the Council Resolution governing this plan of action, the Commission set up an evaluation unit independent of the R&D programmes to carry out approximately seven or eight evaluations a year and to organize two seminars and a conference.

The peer-evaluation method was applied to cost-sharing programmes. This method was also applied in the case of combined evaluations where it was felt that Community activities in a particular research area covered by different methods of implementation required simultaneous evaluation.

In the case of programmes executed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Commission applied a two-level evaluation method, the first encompassing the relevance and impact of research results on a programme-by-programme basis, the second dealing with the problems of proper management practices.

In the case of concerted actions, including COST actions, the lighter "Hearing" method was applied to take into account the more limited size (in terms of Community output) and scope of this type of research action.

The results of these evaluations were published.

At the end of the three-year period covered by the plan of action, the Commission reviewed the results of its activities in the field and, on the basis of this review, had the option of submitting a further communication to the Council on the implementation of a subsequent, fully operational, evaluation system.


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