The 18th FEAD Network Meeting Highlights

The 18th FEAD Network meeting took place on7 and 8th November 2019 in Brussels and discussed issues related to “Monitoring and evaluation in FEAD”.

In order to ensure optimal performance and quality improvement, as well as accountability and learning within the programme, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of FEAD is essential. Monitoring generates evidence on the activities and outputs of an intervention over time in a continuous and systematic way, whereas evaluation involves a summative or formative evidence-based judgement of the extent to which an intervention is effective, efficient, relevant and coherent. A monitoring system helps to identify whether an intervention is being applied on the ground as expected, addresses potential implementation problems, and identifies whether further action is required to ensure that it can achieve the intended objectives. Evaluation goes beyond an assessment of what has happened and considers why something has occurred and, if possible, how much has changed.

In the process of monitoring and evaluating FEAD, Member States and the Commission should take appropriate steps and involve relevant stakeholders in assessing the performance of the programme. According to the FEAD regulation, there are FEAD-proportionate mandatory M&E requirements at an EU and Operational Programme-level (OP). Furthermore, there are different practices in the field that benefit from more tailored M&E approaches at a programme and project-level. These tailored M&E practices depend on the way in which M&E can be useful, e.g., in managing operations, knowing the end-recipients and the target groups better, evaluating the leveraging effect of FEAD funding (e.g., in terms of raising additional resources and the mobilisation of volunteers) or assessing the impact of accompanying measures for food recipients.

According to the 2014 FEAD Regulation, in order to monitor the progress of implementation of the OP, Member States are required to submit annual and final implementation reports to the Commission, including essential and up-to-date information for the OP programmes. Article 13 of the regulation stipulates the main requirements related to these reports, including the procedure and period of submission (by 30 June of each year). In addition, the same Article mentions that the content of the annual and final implementation reports including the list of common indicators, is laid down in a Delegated Act, EU No 1255/ 2014.

The logic intervention of OP I and OP II, as specified in the ‘Guidance Fiche Monitoring under FEAD’ provides guidance for this monitoring process. The guidance further explains the requirements set in the above Delegated Regulation. Regarding OP I, the quantity of food and/or basic material assistance distributed describes the output of the intervention; the result of OP I is the estimated number of most deprived persons who are supported through the programme. Regarding FEAD OP II, the support delivered, i.e. the number of most deprived persons suffering from social exclusion participating in OP II activities, describes the output. The result of the logic intervention is that the most deprived persons are experiencing improved social inclusion,

 

Overall, the monitoring of OP II is more demanding than OP I, as it requires a system to record data on individual participants, and Member States are required to set up a monitoring committee in order to monitor OP II. Bookmark not defined. Representatives of the relevant regional and local public authorities, as well as other relevant stakeholders, partake within the committee where the Commission takes an advisory role. The monitoring committee reviews the implementation of the programme and monitors the progress made towards achieving its specific objectives, using financial data, common and programme-specific indicators, and, if deemed relevant, the results of qualitative analyses.

In order to ensure the quality and design of each operational programme, Member States should have carried out ex-ante evaluations. Regarding OP I, Member States are required to carry out a structured survey of end recipients twice during the programming period (in 2017 and 2022). This survey aims to gain insight into socio-economic backgrounds, current and past situations and their satisfaction with FEAD assistance4 in order to help Member States adapt the programme to the needs of end beneficiaries.

At the EU level, the Commission was required to present a mid-term evaluation of the Fund to the European Parliament and to the Council this year. The mid-term evaluation of FEAD was published in March 2019, covering the period of 2014–2015. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and added value of FEAD implementation.

The Meeting

As usual the meeting began with an overview of the day by the organization and the welcome by the European Commission which informed us that the negotiations had not progressed since our last meeting, the final allocation of funds has not been decided. Therefore, FEAD Network meetings are concluded. For the future new forms of intervention will be thought of. In the second half of 2020 all decisions will be made. So, this is the last FEAD Network meeting.

Introduction: The importance of monitoring and evaluation for FEAD accountability and learning

Jeannette Monier – Head of evaluation and impact assessment unit – DG Employment

Effectiveness – Efficiency – Relevance – Consistency – Added Value

Panel discussion: The challenges of monitoring and evaluating FEAD-funded actions

Jan Vranken – University of Antwerp- Belgium

The cycle of evaluation:

find it here                                                                                               

Elodie Charmat – Resto do Coeur – France

The Restos du Cœur have inscribed in their strategy the commitment to better understand the people welcomed to better meet their needs as well as to maintain a rigorous management at the service of social missions. Ambition is to do more, to go beyond the numbers, to be interested in people and their standard of living. Humanize the numbers.

900 000 people was welcomed during the Winter 2018-2019.

▪ 39% were children; 51% are under 26 years old.

▪ 50% were families with children, and a quarter were single-parent families.

▪ 42% were single people (often young people or elderly).

▪ 58% were women.

▪ 7% poor workers                                                   20% without any incomes

▪ 8% students                                                            90% live under the poverty line

▪ 30% without their own home

 

Case studies on monitoring and evaluating FEAD at Operational Programme level

Case study 1: Estonia – ESF Data collection

Data collection process:

The participant starts ESF activity, first data is collected

Implementing Agency controls and aggregates data using Excel

Data is sent to Statistics Estonia who validates data collected by IA-s, links collected data with registers

Minister of Finance receives aggregated and pseudonymised data.

Case study 2: Belgium – Evaluation of the Belgium FEAD

Evaluation dimensions: Quality; Efficiency; Coherence Relevance; Added value of the current FEAD OPI

Evaluation methodology: Interview with the managing authority; Document Analysis; Discussion groups

Main Challenges: Set up of indicators; recruitment of beneficiaries; discussion with beneficiaries

Case study 3: German – Challenges, Findings, Recommendations

Tasks of the evaluation:

  • Reviewing and assessing the implementation in general
  • Provide recommendations for adjusting the second phase
  • Recommendations for further action in the ESF+

 

Monitoring data -Programme documents

  • 2 surveys with stakeholders involved in all projects of the first phase
  • 3 rounds of case studies, each round included 17 projects

 

Monitoring and evaluation at partner organization level

Case study 1: Spain – Monitoring the performance of the OAR (“Organización Asociada de Reparto” Delivery Partner Organizations) in FEAD (2014-2020)

Minimum indicators for reporting:

1º Free provision of food

2º Development of accompanying measures

3º Justication of the number of disadvantage people assisted

4º Updated list

5º Supporting documents of food delivery

6º Expose FEAD wall chart to the public

7º Incident report

8º Storage conditions

9º Food corresponds to previous program phases?

10º Is there any food about to expire and may not allow time to be distributed as a whole?

Case study 2: Poland – LITTLE HELPER: The system of food record and reporting for our local partner organizations within FEAD 2014-2020

Little Helper was created with cooperation of Cracow Food Bank

The aim was to meet the needs of 1350 local NGOs distributing FEAD food [OPL], which have a lot of difficulties with admistrative part of the project, with:

  • current list of qualified persons;
  • records of parcels and meals;
  • monthly reports on the distribution of food to people in need (9 months);
  • periodic reports according to the rules

This tool is available in 3 versions: basic –in the file [no internet access]; basic on-line [the most popular version]; extended version –in the file

Results:

1) Reduction of some administrative obligations for local partner organizations.

2) Shortening the time needed for local partner organizations to prepare required documents and reports which are prepared automatically in the Little Helper

3) Avoiding mistakes in preparation the list of qualified, monthly and periodic reports by local partner organizations.

4) Shortening the time needed to prepare reports by regional partner organizations required by the Managing Authority.

Case study 3: France – Social utility of food aid: a gateway to global approach and involvement in action

Why evaluate?

Measuring social utility of food aid by:

  • Give an overview on what food aid is
  • Analyse effects of food aid provide
  • Enlighten the quality of accompanying measures provide beyond food aid
  • Analyse effects of «empowering approach » of Secours Populaire by involving helped people as volunteers

Method: a survey on the “deep field” created by 10 structures of Secour Populaire with two main selection criteria:

  • Urban and rural areas
  • Small and big structures (number of volunteers, budget, number of end recipients)

Evaluation results has been shared during specific meetings:

➢« Making decision » bodies of Secours Populaire

➢Operational teams at Secours Populaire headquarters

➢Training institute of Secours Populaire

Next steps

➢Strengthen local ownership of results

➢Build an action plan to face challenges

Practical workshop on how to design and implement a monitoring and evaluation system at project level

We were invited to create key project steps and implement an M&E system for a project. We received a theoretical example of a FEAD funded project and were asked to develop a monitoring and evaluation system as part of a team.

 

107 participants attended this meeting.

 

And so, the FEAD network meetings were over.

 

Brussels, November 7 and 8,2019

 

Hermínio Corrêa

Parents International

 

 

 

 


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