The need for the EASY-ECO project arises from two principal facts:
1) Since the signing of the Amsterdam Treaty the principle of sustainable development has become one of the basic objectives of policy making in the EU. The evaluations of all policies and programmes hence have to consider this aspect.
2) A scientific, generally acknowledged basis for these evaluations is presently still lacking, but research efforts are under way in many relevant disciplines to overcome this deficit.
Nevertheless, the work within these disciplines is poorly related to each other. The growing body of practical evaluation projects provides ample evidence of the claimed shortcomings.
EASY-ECO aims at making a contribution to the amelioration of this situation. It will consist of a Euro workshop to determine the "state of science", a working period for young researchers to determine the "state of practice" and a Euro Conference to disseminate the findings.
Easy-ECOOs main objectives are hence:
1) An assessment of the state of knowledge in the various scientific disciplines dealing with the subject;
2) A meta analysis of the practice of evaluation of sustainable development programmes and projects;
3) An analysis of the different versions of the underlying models and assumptions;
4) An analysis of the methods used in practice and in methodological research (analysis and valuation methods);
5) A contribution to the dissemination of scientific progress made in the field, both to the research community as well as to practitioners.
The added value for the community is the speeding up of the practical implementation of evaluations to implement the envisaged sustainability strategy. EASY-ECO will create sound foundations for the evaluation of sustainable development in order to provide better tools for decision-making.