Evaluation and research

Building EU monitoring & reporting capacity

Our work with the European Union is an example of how we always aim to go one step further. In this case, it’s building a custom monitoring and reporting system for our work on the EU’s Partnership Instrument. In the latest of her blogs from Brussels, Anne-Claire Marangoni explains a little more. 

Coffey’s EU team has been working with the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) for the last three years. We carried out the mid-term review of the Partnership Instrument (PI) – its mechanism of EU foreign policy financing – which then fed into the Commission’s preparations for the budget for the next multiannual financial framework.

From that work, it became evident to us that everyone would benefit from a clear, tailored monitoring and reporting system. So since May 2017 we’ve been providing technical assistance in the setting up and implementation of the Partnership Instrument Monitoring and reporting System (PIMS). It’s a tailored system that monitors the performance of the PI and its work towards achieving the EU’s foreign policy objectives.

Our in-depth understanding of the Partnership Instrument is the driving force behind the PIMS, which is now enabling us to:

  • Capture the foreign policy results of the Instrument
  • Ensure monitoring data is systematically collected and of good quality
  • Facilitate reporting for contractors
  • Support Commission project managers in the design of the projects and the quality control of monitoring and reporting on the projects

The PIMS builds on a list of monitoring indicators developed by the Commission. We developed flexible implementation mechanisms, which are adaptable to any project on all the topics funded by the PI and also drafted a user-friendly manual and monitoring and reporting tools and templates. This guidance document outlines why monitoring and reporting is so important and highlights key dos and don’ts in monitoring and reporting, which provide illustrative examples of good practices and how the tools and templates should be used.

We have also developed an extensive capacity building programme to ensure that the PIMS can be used to the advantage of Commission project managers and contractors implementing PI projects around the world. We are conducting a series of tailored trainings at the headquarters of the European Commission and at 11 EU Delegations, including those in Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia and USA and the newly established regional teams in Brazil and Thailand.

The trainings introduce the system to Commission project managers and contractors and address the concerns and questions of a wide range of stakeholders with disparate levels of expertise in the field of monitoring and reporting. The trainings also provide the opportunity to deliver individual coaching on the design and monitoring of individual projects. We have delivered more than 100 individual trainings to date.

Personally, I love the fact that we have set up the system from scratch and that we are working on every project funded by the Partnership Instrument. With the call for stronger monitoring of the EU’s financing instruments in the Commission’s proposal for the next MFF, it’s an exciting and super interesting time to work in the field of foreign policy, and face the challenges of very prescient issues of cultural relations and public diplomacy, work with civil society, negotiation and implementation of trade and investment agreements, and environmental diplomacy.