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Expression of Interest for the 2020 Evaluation of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED)




  1. Background to EED

The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) was established in November 2012, as a joint initiative of the Member States (MSs) and European Union institutions, to foster democracy and freedom. EED’s mandate is to “foster democratization by providing demand-driven, flexible and context-based support to un(der)supported pro-democracy actors and activities, whereby significant political and operational risks are accepted. The support is to add value and complement EU and other democracy support programmes”.

EED’s main activity is providing grant support to civic, human rights and political activists, pro-democratic movements, media and journalists. Its grant scheme commenced in August 2013, and by October 2019, over 900 grants had been provided to pro-democracy actors, totalling €60m.  Other activities include the provision of pre- and post-award assistance and facilitating external technical assistance, knowledge sharing and networking activities. A gender perspective has been mainstreamed into all decisions and EED-funded actions.

EED’s initial, although not exclusive, focus was on the European Neighbourhood (Article 2.1. of the EED Statutes). On 3 December 2014, the EED Board of Governors decided to extend EED’s support to democracy actors beyond the EU Neighbourhood and, more specifically, to focus on the area adjacent to the neighbourhood (e.g. Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey). The Board of Governors reasserted, however, that the EU Neighbourhood would continue to constitute EED’s main priority. In 2018, EED opened its grants process for applications from the Western Balkans. This decision was taken following a recognition of the specific challenges in these countries.

  1. Scope and focus of the 2020 Evaluation

EED’s Statutes require EED to undertake an external evaluation of the Endowment and its activities at least every five years. The overall objectives of the external evaluations are to:

  • account for the resources spent and progress realised to EED’s stakeholders (e.g. Members of the Board of Governors and donors); and
  • strengthen the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of the democracy support provided by EED, by informing its strategic decision-making processes and operational practice.

Three independent evaluations were carried out during the period 2014-17: an Inception Phase Review (2014), a Mid-Term Evaluation (2015), and a Full-Term Evaluation (2016/2017).

The 2020 Evaluation is to build upon the previous evaluations. The evaluation is, more specifically, to focus upon:

  • Assessing the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact (including unintended consequences), and sustainability of EED’s support (grant and other types of support). Since EED has provided significant support to media, specific attention is to be paid to assessing the extent to which EED’s support to media has been an effective instrument to foster democratisation.
  • Analysing the extent to which EED’s gap-filling role has evolved over time, taking into account a) changes in the democracy support provided by the EU and its Member States and b) the increase of earmarked funding to EED.
  • Analysing what lessons can be learned from expanding to new regions/ countries, including the Western Balkans and Turkey, with the objective to arrive at concrete recommendations and options EED could consider for future expansion.
  • Analysing the extent to which EED has become a learning organisation, generating and using knowledge (including monitoring and evaluation information) to inform its grant- and decision-making processes.
  • Analysing the extent to which EED has taken risks and whether this risk-taking has paid off.

The evaluation is to cover the period between August 2016 – December 2019. For the analysis of the effectiveness, impact, and sustainability of the grant support provided, the period to be covered is July 2013 - December 2019. This is in order to better be able to capture the medium term effects of EED’s grant support.

The methodology for the evaluation is likely to include a combination of document and literature review, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, online surveys, detailed grant research (including an analysis of rejected grants), case country and thematic studies. The use of smart technology/IT tools to collect and analyse the data is welcomed.

A minimum of three country and/or thematic case studies should be conducted, covering at least one country in the Eastern and one country in the Southern Neighbourhood of the EU.

  1. Timeline & budget

The evaluation is expected to commence on 1 May 2020. It will consist of an inception phase, a main research phase, and a reporting phase.

A summary of the key timings as regards the submission of key deliverables and meetings is provided below:

Key milestone and deliverables


Contract signature

01 May

Inception meeting with EED

Early  May

Inception report

By 18 May

Validation meeting with presentation of initial findings

Early  September

First draft report

By 25  September 

Revised draft report

By 9 October

Final draft report

By 6 November

Finalisation of final report

28 February 2021


The maximum budget allocation for the 2020 EED Evaluation is €150,000, inclusive of professional fees (including 21% VAT)[1] and all travel and subsistence expenses (if meetings in Brussels or any fieldwork trips are proposed) and any other miscellaneous expenses such as translation.

  1. Required Expertise

The consultant(s) shall have well established and proven experience in the evaluation of civil society, media, and democracy support activities, including grant-making, and experience and demonstrated understanding of the wider political context in which EED operates.

The language of the assignment and the Evaluation Report shall be English, although EED works in English, French, Arabic, Russian, Turkish and languages of the Western Balkans. Relevant language skills will be considered an advantage.

  1. Application procedure

Interested consultant(s) should electronically submit an Expression of Interest to: The   Subject   line   of   your   application   should   be “2020 Evaluation”.

The Expression of Interest should include:

  • A brief motivation letter – please highlight relevant expertise and experience and explain your interest in this evaluation
  • CV’s of the proposed members of the Evaluation Team
  • Overview of the organisation’s relevant track-record (if applicable)
  • Examples (executive summaries) of recent evaluations conducted
  • Daily rates of the proposed evaluation team members

The deadline for the submission of the expression of interest is 31 January 2020.

The Expression of Interests are reviewed by the EED Secretariat, which will identify around five candidates who will be invited to submit a full proposal (responding to detailed Terms of Reference), by 13 March 2020. Please note that only successful applicants will be contacted.

[1] For companies outside of Belgium, VAT will be paid by EED in Belgium in accordance with Article 44 of the Council directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax.

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