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EASY-ECO Bratislava Training

EASY-ECO Concept

EASY-ECO 2005-2007 is a training and conference programme on evaluations / impact assessment in the specific context of sustainable development. The topic is important because (i). evaluations support institutional reforms and good governance in knowledge-based societies, (ii). Europe is positioning itself as advocate of sustainable development and (iii). Sustainability evaluations are different from conventional evaluations and require specific training opportunities.

Theme of the Bratislava Training

The modern Slovak Republic is an interesting example of a country recently subject to the process of EU expansion. As the EU expands to embrace its ten new member states (NMS), these countries – including Slovakia – find themselves the focus of EU policy and economic interest. Slovakia, along with the other nine NMS, and incorporating initiatives in the new neighbour states and developments in countries to the east and south of the EU, plus economic partnerships with developing countries, is undergoing a process of significant new developments in public policy formulation and decision-making. These EU-supported developments include placing a greater emphasis on evidence-based decision-making, better governance and administrative reform, and the adoption of sustainable development as an overarching objective for public policy. Evaluation is playing an increasingly important role in all these areas; impact assessment is increasingly a more important tool. This applies to the European Commission itself, to the national governments, local government, NGOs and the private sector, in EU member states and beyond.

All new EC directives and major policy initiatives are now subject to the Commission’s recently introduced procedures for preliminary and extended impact assessments. The EU has commissioned sustainability impact assessments of trade policy, both for WTO agreements and for regional trade agreements in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Its directive on strategic environmental assessment is now in force, requiring SEAs of development plans in all member states, as well as the earlier directive for environmental impact assessment of development projects.

Most member state governments have introduced regulatory impact assessment procedures for their own policy-making processes, and candidate countries are being encouraged and assisted to do the same. The EC’s development assistance programmes and those of member states, as well as the EU’s internal structural funds, are also subject to impact assessment or evaluation procedures, including ex-post assessment of the effectiveness of the assistance given. Similar techniques are being used by local governments through Local Agenda 21 initiatives, and by private sector corporations in sustainability reporting and environmental management systems.

This increasing use of impact assessment as a tool for strengthening public policy-making and its integration with corporate responsibility presents many challenges. The need for better evidence in decision-making, for greater civil society involvement in governance, and for closer alignment of policy with the goal of sustainable development, is well understood in principle, but less readily applied in practice. Innovative techniques are required, the accumulating experience needs to be shared, and a greater degree of coherence needs to be developed. In many areas, policy-making processes themselves need to be adapted, to make more effective use of the evolving techniques.

What lessons can be learned from experience in each field of application that are relevant to others? What techniques developed in different areas can be applied successfully in others? In what ways do approaches need to be different in different areas, in order to meet specific needs, and to complement each other in their separate contributions to an overall goal? Can common principles be identified which help to achieve this? The training in Bratislava aims to focus on assisting young people working or studying in the sustainability and/or evaluation field particularly, but not exclusively, within the CEE region to develop their skills in answering these questions and building their own capacity in the evaluation of sustainability. The virtual pre-training and follow-up phases allow for solid preparation, continued personal development and extended networking opportunities, especially when combined with the participation at one of the conferences.

Introduction Training Theme Target Group & Course Structure Venue & Bookings Getting There Resources
EASY-ECO | EvAluation of SustainabilitY - European COnferences & Training Courses

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