Study supporting the evaluation of the Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency (EACEA) (2015 – 2017)
The Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency (EACEA) is one of the six EU executive agencies in the European Commission. The EACEA is one of the EU’s oldest Executive Agencies, having operated since 2006. Other distinctive features of the EACEA include its responsibility for the implementation of several programmes/actions with, on average, fairly small grant sizes, and the fact that it deals with a wide variety of project applicants and beneficiaries. At the end of 2017, the EACEA managed Creative Europe, Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens, EU Aid Volunteers and the Pan-Africa programme, as well as some projects of legacy programmes dating from the programming period 2007-2013.
According to the Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003, an external evaluation of an executive agency must be carried out every three years. This study supported this triennial evaluation of the operation of the EACEA, which was launched by DG EAC of the European Commission. The study covered the period of the EACEA’s operation from 2015 to 2017, and evaluated the effectiveness, efficiency and coherence of the implementation of the parts of European Union programmes that are managed by the Agency. The evaluation did not focus on the operational achievements of these programmes. In line with the Terms of Reference, the study was divided into four tasks:
- Task 1: Assessment of the regulatory framework, the mission and governance of the EACEA
- Task 2: Assessment of the EACEA’s performance in 2015-2017
- Task 3: Retrospective cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
- Task 4: Synthesis, conclusions and policy recommendations
The study was informed by evidence gathered and analysed using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This included extensive desk research and statistical analysis of administrative data and monitoring data from the EACEA; semi-structured interviews with officials from the EC and the Agency (44 persons interviewed), as well as with beneficiaries of the Agency and with unsuccessful applicants (37 persons interviewed); surveys of Agency beneficiaries, unsuccessful applicants (4879 responses included in the analysis) and external experts contracted by the EACEA (700 responses included in the analysis); and retrospective cost-benefit analysis. In addition, five case studies/focus areas were explored based on the data gathered, a SWOT analysis was undertaken, and comparative analysis and benchmarking was carried out during the evaluation process to compare the EACEA with other executive agencies.