Evaluation of the capacity development initiatives in support of Civil Society in the Neighbourhood South (2012 – 2016)

Friday 02 jun 2017

In the last quarter of 2016, DG NEAR B2 commissioned an independent evaluation of the capacity development support provided by both regional and bilateral programmes to civil society from the Neighbourhood South following the Arab Spring of 2011. The purpose was threefold. First, to assess the relevance, effectiveness and impact of the various capacity development initiatives that sought to empower civil society –while taking into account the major contextualchallenges that occurred over the period 2012-2016. Second, to draw core lessons from the way in which EU support strategies were implemented. Third, to formulate recommendations that could help the EU to rethink, where needed, its overall response strategy towards civil society in a volatile region confronted with major challenges that also directly concern Europe’s geopolitical, economic and security interests. Particular attention should be given to improving the relevance, complementarity and impact of ‘regional’ support activities.

This note provides a summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation that was carried out between November 2016 and February 2017 (based on a set of methodological tools and a participatory approach, including several field visits) To facilitate reading and debate, the summary report is structured through a set of questions -which should ideally allow the stakeholders involved to understand what the EU actually did, how effective it was, which constraints were encountered and what should come next.

Download Synthesis of the final report here