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EASY-ECO Training for Sustainability Evaluations

Current Deadlines & Open Applications
Apply now!
  • There are no open applications - the EASY-ECO series of conferences and trainings has ended!
31 October 2010 Deadline for registration for the EASY-ECO Conference "Sustainable Development Evaluations in Europe: From a Decade of Practices, Politics and Science to Emerging Demands" which will be held on 17-19 November 2010 in Brussels, Belgium.
30 June 2010
12 July 2010
Extended deadline for application for the EASY-ECO Training on Evaluation of Sustainability of Development Assistance Projects and Programs in Prague, Czech Republic (27 Sept - 1 Oct 2010). For further details on the application procedure, please click here!

Target Group

The EASY-ECO Trainings are designed for young researchers already working on – or with a strong interest in – the areas of evaluation and/or sustainable development. EU-Grants to cover all costs are available for participants of this target group. Young researchers are highly encouraged to first visit a conference, then attend one of the EASY-ECO Trainings and finally submit a paper for one of the conferences following their training.

In addition to young researchers, EASY-ECO Trainings also target the staff working in the area of sustainable development/evaluation from

  • governments,
  • public administration,
  • international organisations, and
  • NGOs.

Aim

The EASY-ECO Trainings explore key elements in sustainability evaluations. After attending one of the trainings, participants will be able to conduct actual evaluation projects as a part of a team. The training will teach you knowledge applicable in practice and embed you in a thematic network of leading scientists and practitioners. All trainings address the urgent need for high-quality evaluations in the context of sustainable development and support institutional capacity building.

Organisation of the trainings

During 2008-2010 six trainings are going to be held. Each EASY-ECO training consist of three phases:

  1. e-learning
  2. on-site case trainings
  3. virtual follow-up

The content and structure of the e-learning phase of each training is identical. The structure of each on-site case training is also identical, however each training will offer three different evaluation case studies (and a trainee has the opportunity to apply for one of them). The e-learning phase on on-site trainings are linked together: the young researcher applies to a specific on-site case training (such as October 2008 in Saarland, Germany) and its immediately preceding e-course. Only under special circumstances (occurring either on the side of the trainee or on the side of an organiser) will the trainee take a different on-site training than the one for which he took the e-course.

A participant receives altogether more than 6 months of individual support:

  1. The e-learning phase will start three to four months in advance of every on-site case training, with the participation of ca. 40 young researchers. The flexible e-course takes 14 weeks to complete, with a time investment of approximately 60 to 80 hours of asynchronous course work. The ‘e-learning team’ will support the young researchers throughout the entire virtual phase, facilitate their discussions and interaction with experts and monitor learning progress. Based on their performance in the first half of the e-course approximately 80 to 90 per cent of trainees will be awarded with EU-grants to cover their participation in the subsequent on-site training.

  2. On-site case trainings last 5 days and are organised by local institutions, each of them a leader in sustainable development research and in the training of young researchers. Trainings provide hands-on experience with case studies of actual evaluation projects. Each of the eight on-site case trainings will consist of three parallel working groups of 10-15 young researchers and will focus on a specific topic. Three experienced evaluators as case trainers and scientific tutors will guide the participants through the different steps of an evaluation. In order to ensure high-quality and coherent didactics in all groups the case trainers will prepare their cases according to a common training blueprint. Participants reflect the variety of the EASY-ECO Network and join in from all over Europe.

  3. Each training is concluded by a 3-month virtual follow-up phase. During this time, the young researchers are able to work on their own projects (e.g. a paper, case study, country survey, theoretical paper) and have the chance to receive individual scientific support from the Advisory Board, as well as the trainers who were working with them in the on-site trainings. Abstracts of the projects can be submitted and the best papers presented at one of the conferences following your EASY-ECO Training.

Content of the trainings

The 14-week e-course aims to provide extensive theoretical background on sustainability evaluations. It has the following structure:

Part A: Understanding Evaluations and Sustainable Development (30 units)

  • Block 1: Evaluation Foundations
  • Block 2: Theory-Based Evaluations and Policy Analysis
  • Block 3: Understanding SD Evaluations
  • Block 4: Stakeholder Participation and Communication

Part B: Performing SD Evaluations (30 units)

  • Block 5: Evaluation design and data collection
  • Block 6: Data analysis, integration and valuation
  • Block 7: Delivery and dissemination of evaluation results
  • Block 8: Markets and cases

Trainees will have access to teaching materials such as lecture notes, papers, video clips, interactive exercises, and they will participate in discussion groups with leading researchers. The ‘e-learning team’ facilitates the e-course to ensure continuous learning progress.

In the 5-day on-site trainings trainees work in working groups of 10 to 15 people on actual evaluation case throughout all its stages, where they have the opportunity to apply and integrate the theoretical knowledge they acquired in the e-course. Each case study is a sustainability evaluation of a policy, programme or project (such as an infrastructural or nature conservation project, climate change or poverty elimination programme, transport or sustainable development policy), utilising methods and instruments of peer review, impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment and others.

On-site trainings are structured on the basis of the following blueprint:

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
9:00 – 10:30 Introductions Developing quality checklists Developing an evaluation design, choosing methods Performing data collection Formulating and delivering evaluation findings and recommendations
Coffee break
10:30 – 11:00
         
11:00 – 12:30 Introducing the background of the case study, analysing a call for an evaluation Stakeholder analysis and involvement strategy Developing an evaluation design, choosing methods Performing data collection Formulating and delivering evaluation findings and recommendations
Lunch
12:30 – 14:00
         
14:00 – 15:30 Introducing the background of the case study, analysing a call for an evaluation Stakeholder analysis and involvement strategy Writing an offer, including a budget, analysis of the actual offer Analysis of data, aggregation and weighting Official conclusion of the training, reflection
Coffee break
15:30 – 16:00
         
16:00 – 17:30 Choosing an evaluation approach Designing a communication strategy Writing an offer, including a budget, analysis of the actual offer Analysis of data, aggregation and weighting Departure

Altogether, the trainee should significantly strengthen his/her competences in the following areas:

  • Theoretical and methodological knowledge
  • Paradigmatic orientation
  • Market overview
  • Professional ethics
  • Political sensitivity in the context of an evaluation
  • Complementary skills of evaluation practice such as setting up a scientifically sound and attractive evaluation design, budgeting and managing an evaluation project, dealing with conflicting stakeholder interests, communicating the results of an evaluation and others.

Application and Fees

Admission requirements: Candidates are reqired to already hold a university degree. Proficiency in English is also required. Selection of applicants for the EASY-ECO Trainings will be performed on a competitive basis. To apply, click here.

Choice of training: You apply to a specific on-site case training (such as the coming training in October 2008 in Saarland, Germany) and its immediately preceding e-course (in this case, June-September 2008). Only under special circumstances (occurring either on the side of the trainee or on the side of an organiser) will you have the possibility to take part on a different on-site training than the one for which you took the e-course.

Enrollment fee: The enrolment fee for an EASY-ECO Training has been set at EUR 450 (consisting of EUR 200 for the e-course and EUR 250 for the on-site case training and virtual follow-up phase), covering tuition and course materials. The organiser of your chosen on-site EASY-ECO training will make arrangements for your accommodation for the duration of the training session. Accommodation prices will be published on the pages of the respective events as soon as available.

EU Grants: Grants from the European Commission‘s Sixth Framework Programme are available. The EU-Grants cover travel expenses, enrollment fees, and living expenses (accommodation and catering). For more information please consult the EU-Grant information on this website.

EASY-ECO | EvAluation of SustainabilitY - European COnferences & Training Courses

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