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Introduction Thematic focus Conference outline and venues Key topics Registration & grants Proceedings

Sustainable Development Evaluations in Europe: From a Decade of Practices, Politics and Science to Emerging Demands


EASY-ECO Brussels Conference
17-19 November 2010

This EASY-ECO Series Event is sponsored by:
EU FP6 Marie Curie

PDFEASY-ECO Brussels Conference - complete programme booklet (PDF, 2.1 MB)

This EASY-ECO conference will be organised by the organized by the Centre d’Etudes du Développement Durable (CEDD - Center for Studies on Sustainable Development) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB - Free University of Brussels) and will take place in Brussels (Belgium) on 17-19 November 2010. The conference will be held at the following venues: European Parliament; Palais des Sciences; Université Libre de Bruxelles, Campus Solbosch.

Continue and inform yourself about:

Thematic focus of the conference

The forthcoming 2010 EASY-ECO conference in Brussels will focus on the European perspective of evaluation of sustainable development, taking stock of almost a decade of integrated evaluation practice at EU and national levels in order to identify the challenges ahead.

Practitioners, the academia and institutional actors have devoted considerable efforts to the development of methods and capacities for SD evaluations. The decision of the EU Commission to implement a systematic integrated assessment procedure could mean that SD evaluation has reached a position at the heart of decision-making processes. The European Union, as an array of institutional actors and as a space for diffusion and homogenisation of principles and practices across EU member states, appears as an adequate focus to explore the challenges ahead, among which we identify issues such as methods and tools, integration into policy agendas and processes, institutionalisation and governance processes, issues of power, participation and collaboration of various actors (from evaluation practitioners and institutional actors to civil society and academia) in evaluation studies and systems.

Conference outline and venues

This three-day conference will be the final event in the EASY-ECO series. Given the European focus of this 2010 conference, it will be starting in the European Quarter. The next day’s sessions will take place in two other prestigious academic venues of Brussels.

During the 1st afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to discover the European Parliament through a plenary session and a round table. Andrew Jordan will discuss the challenges of SD in Europe. Participants will hear critical insights of EU policy actors on SD evaluation and have the opportunity to debate these issues.

The 2nd day will be held at the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences (just next to the European Quarter). The discussions in plenary, semi-plenary and parallel sessions will focus on the politics and science of SD evaluation in Europe (SD evaluation and environment improvement, administration reform, governance process, etc.).

The last day will be characterised by an academic focus with plenary and parallel discussions on the challenges of research and sustainability evaluation. These sessions will be held at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Solbosch Campus).

Networking and informal discussions with experts and peers will be supported by an attractive social programme. This call for paper and the preliminary programme can be found on the EASY-ECO website: please keep visiting this website for news on keynote speakers, conference venue, transportation, accommodation and social programme.

Invitation for contributions

We encourage

  • researchers from all disciplines (including young researchers),
  • professionals from related fields of work,
  • commissioning agents, and
  • evaluation users and other stakeholders

to submit abstracts for presentations at the EASY-ECO Brussels Conference 2010 that touch on the themes of European SD evaluation experience and upcoming challenges as outlined above until 15 May 15 June 2010. Submissions can address one or more of the indicative key topics outlined below in general terms or in the context of a case study. European perspectives are particularly welcome, including local or national perspectives which shed light on the problems and practices of the European level. Please indicate in your abstract which topic you want to address with your contribution.

Key topics

The primary aim of the conference is to highlight critical insights gained through the development and implementation of almost a decade of sustainability evaluation: How is SD integrated into various EU-level evaluation procedures (e.g. EU Structural Funds, IA of trade measures and agreements, work of the European Court of Auditors)? What are the remaining methodological and policy challenges related to the EU and national sustainability evaluation procedures? What is the role of the different actors in these procedures (e.g. EU Parliament, European Court of Auditors, stakeholders)? Being the last of the EASY-ECO 2002-2010 series of events, the Brussels conference also aims to explore the future of SD evaluation, and in particular the current challenges and forthcoming demands, the expectations, uses and effects related to SD evaluation: Who are the effective and potential users of SD evaluations? What types of uses have been made of sustainability evaluations? What effects of SD evaluations are expected and which are achieved? How does SD evaluation support actors in managing competing agendas? Will reorienting SD evaluation towards integrated evaluation make a difference?

Therefore, submissions can address the following topics:

Integrating sustainable development evaluation into policy-making processes?

  1. SD evaluation in the policy-making process: How is sustainability evaluation integrated at the EU level and in the various evaluation procedures (e.g. structural funds, IA trade, European Court of Auditors)?
  2. Tools and instruments for SD evaluation and the EU Impact Assessment procedures: What are the methodological challenges related to SD evaluation in general and to e.g. the European Commission’s Impact Assessment procedure (CEC-IA), the DG Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (Trade SIA)?
  3. The external dimension of EU SD evaluation: how to assess impacts beyond the European borders?
  4. Evaluation and multi-level governance: how to link national and the EU-level SD evaluations? And beyond, are SD evaluation standards diffusing across international institutions?

Sustainable development evaluation demands for the future: who and what for?

  1. Actor collaborations and evaluations: What is the role of inter-institutional processes and of the different actors (e.g. the EU Parliament, the European Court of Auditors, stakeholders) in SD evaluation?
  2. Evaluation practices at sub-national level in Europe: What is the role for municipalities and regions in advancing SD evaluation practice?
  3. Participatory and governance issues: Does SD evaluation strengthen transparency and participation?
  4. Evaluations and policy decisions: How assess sustainability evaluations? Has SD evaluation contributed to fundamental changes (in the areas of trade policy, structural and cohesion policy, common agriculture policy and others)?

Submission of abstracts and timeline

Participants who wish to present a paper, poster or case should send their abstract by 15 May 15 June 2010 to application@easy-eco.eu as well as to Tom Bauler (tbauler@ulb.ac.be).

Please indicate which of the key topics outlined above your contribution addresses. For easier file handling, please send your abstracts as a word-file with the file name „your last name_abstract_Brussels.doc“.

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words.

The organizers will inform you about the acceptance of your abstract by 30 August 2010. This is also the time when we will inform those who have applied for an EU grant about their acceptance.

Full papers (max. 6.000-8.000 words) should be submitted until 15 October 2010.

Types of contributions

Papers – Are you a researcher or practitioner and want to present interesting findings linked to the topics above? We look for contributions facilitating the exchange of research results, methodological trends, and practical experience. Presenters of papers will be expected to give a presentation of 20 minutes followed by a short discussion. Please send your abstract by 15 May 15 June 2010.

Abstracts and full papers will go into the online proceedings on the EASY-ECO website. Best papers from every previous EASY-ECO conference have been published in the Evaluating Sustainable Development book series by Edward Elgar.

Posters – Conference participants may submit a poster for display at a dedicated space at the conference venue. The posters will be introduced in a poster session. If you would like to submit a poster dealing with a topic relevant for the conference, please provide a poster abstract by 15 May 15 June 2010. The abstract will go into the online proceedings on the EASY-ECO website.

Case studies – Interesting examples of SD evaluations are welcome to be presented as a paper if the case has a strong link to the topics of interest outlined here (case studies without this linkage are welcome as poster presentations).

Registration & grants

To register for the conference please fill in the online form! We recommend an early registration as places are limited.

The conference registration fee will be announced in the coming weeks. However, you might be eligible for an EU grant:

EASY-ECO is organised under the EU‘s 6th Framework Programme Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses action. One of the aims of the programme is to enable leading researchers and practitioners share their experience with those who are new to the field. Therefore grants are available for researchers with less than ten years working experience to cover travel expenses, the conference registration fee, accommodation and living allowance. For further details on eligibility and application for EU grants, please see here.

If you want to apply for an EU grant, please send your CV and a letter of motivation as specified on the website to application@easy-eco.eu as well as to Tom Bauler (tbauler@ulb.ac.be) by 15 May 15 June 2010. The organizers will inform you about the acceptance of your application by 30 August 2010.

Registration becomes effective after payment of the registration fee or approval of the EU grant only. Bank details will be e-mailed to you after your registration.

Book your accommodation

We recommend all participants other than the confirmed EU grant holders to book their accommodation at www.resotel.be/easyeco. Confirmed grant holders are recommended to contact Valentine van Gameren of ULB (vvgamere@ulb.ac.be) about their travel plans.



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