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PPMI to Support Crucial Evaluations for the European Commission's Volunteering and Solidarity Initiatives

20 Feb 2024

PPMI to Support Crucial Evaluations for the European Commission's Volunteering and Solidarity Initiatives

PPMI, in collaboration with sub-contractor BearingPoint, is gearing up to undertake a pivotal project aimed at assisting the European Commission in the evaluation of prominent European volunteering and solidarity initiatives. The assignment will encompass the final evaluation of EU Aid Volunteers Initiative, the final evaluation of the European Solidarity Corps programme 2018-2020, and an interim evaluation of the 2021-2027 European Solidarity Corps programme, covering the period between 2021 and 2023. These evaluations, built on key criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence, and European added value, will additionally cover aspects as dictated by the respective programme regulations, in line with the technical specifications. 

The insights and recommendations from these evaluations will serve as crucial inputs to the Commission, supporting enhancements to both current and future European Solidarity Corps programmes and shaping the Commission's policy in the sphere of youth volunteering and solidarity activities. Our evaluation will rely on a mixed methods approach, utilising quantitative and qualitative methods, such as large-scale interview, survey, case study programmes; cost-effectiveness assessment; social network analysis and other techniques. 

The EU Aid Volunteers Initiative was established in 2014. It aimed to strengthen the EU's ability to provide needs-based humanitarian aid and to improve the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in non-EU countries. It also provided EU citizens with the opportunity to show solidarity with people in need by taking part in humanitarian actions. By establishing partnerships between aid organisations, the initiative incentivised cooperation, knowledge sharing, and spread of best practices, thus promoting collaboration and skills development in the humanitarian aid field. 

The programme covers a timeframe from 2014 to 2020, and our evaluation will involve a thorough review, update, and supplementation of the initial ex post evaluation from this period. The EU Aid Volunteers Initiative was phased out at the end of 2020 and integrated into the new European Solidarity Corps programme in January 2021. The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programme was established in 2016 to replace the European Voluntary Service as part of Erasmus+. The primary difference between the two initiatives was that the ESC had a broader scope that included not only volunteering but also provided solidarity traineeships and jobs. The ESC aimed to serve as a single-entry point for solidarity activities throughout the EU, building on the strengths of Erasmus+ and Youth in Action and complementing the Youth Guarantee scheme. Its main objective was to create opportunities for young people to participate in solidarity activities that could benefit communities in need and help participants gain valuable experiences and competencies. 

The European Solidarity Corps programme is being continued during the period of 2021-2027, with the discontinuation of traineeships and jobs strand, but integration of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative into the European Solidarity Corps.