Evaluating the European Environment Agency and EIONET

17th October 2019

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union (EU) which provides independent information on the environment to policy makers and the public.

As part of a consortium, we were asked to contribute to a project evaluating the EEA and its network of supporting organisations, including the European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET).

The independent evaluation covered the period mid-2012 to 2016. Our findings were used to assess how well the EEA was performing for that period, including whether the core missions of the EEA and EIONET matched the current needs.

As part of the evaluation we carried out:

  • a comprehensive review of internal EEA documentation, such an annual plans, to assess the organisation’s progress against key deliverables and outcomes;
  • the design, delivery, and analysis of four targeted surveys aimed at different groups of stakeholders regarding the EEA’s and EIONET’s performance;
  • interviews with EEA staff; and,
  • stakeholder workshops with EIONET members.

The evaluation followed the European Commission’s Better Regulation Guidelines, including analysis of the five main themes of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and European added value.

The final report was the outcome of a far-reaching exercise of internal and external consultation. It provided a comprehensive, evidence-based analysis of all evaluation questions, with case studies on key topics of interest.

Our project lead, Sam Taylor, said:

“It was great to be part of the team evaluating this high profile and cross-disciplinary organisation. I hope that our work has contributed to the effective running of the EEA and EIONET, and the continuation of the important role they play in informing the development of policy both on the EU stage and at national level.”