External consultants have evaluated the Foundation’s actions in support of defenders and associations in the region on three occasions. The main results are presented below.
2005 – 2008
The main donors of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) commissioned an external evaluation of its actions in support of human rights defenders in the South-Mediterranean region for the period 2005-2008.
The main aim of this evaluation was to provide information on the work accomplished by the EMHRF and thereby facilitate accountability to the donors, addressing in particular the relevance, the effectiveness, the efficiency, the impact and the sustainability of the work embarked on by the Foundation.
Two external consultants carried out the evaluation during the period August-November 2009, in which they reviewed documents, held interviews and met with partners.
In 2010, the European Commission conducted an evaluation of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) in its support for human rights defenders.
The overall goal of the study was to measure the quality of the actions intended to benefit defenders that were funded under the EIDHR between October 2008 and February 2010, and to recommend measures aimed at improving this support in order more effectively to meet the protection needs of defenders in third countries and to strengthen their situation and their capabilities*.
The results of the evaluation were particularly positive for – among others – the EMHRF, as the final report consider it as: “A well-designed and balanced project, in a high-risk and complex region, with a strong emphasis placed on direct assistance to defenders, and practical assistance aimed at ensuring organizational survival and capacity. The project provides a vital and unique regional presence, and is able to act where other donors are more limited. The strategic relevance of this project [the activities of the EMHRF] for the EU, and its practical relevance to defenders and CSOs [civil society organisations] are without question. Most of the activities and funding grants are oriented directly towards protecting and supporting defenders, with a strong emphasis on qualitative follow-up of cases which makes the Project among the most effective and best targeted”.
* The EMHRF – together with eleven recipients – received the support from the European Commission within the framework of the EIDHR for its project aimed at supporting and reinforcing the capacities of human rights defenders in the Euromed region for 2009-2011.
2009 – 2012
Commissioned by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA), an external consultant, Ms. Hilde Hey, has been hired to perform an evaluation of the performances and the relevance of the actions and orientations of the Foundation during the period 2009-2012. In particular, the evaluation aimed at providing an overview of the EMHRF work within its main headings, assessing the relevance and effectiveness of the work, providing feedback about results, process, strengths and weaknesses and to the new orientations decided at the beginning of 2011 as well as assessing progress against agreed goals and objectives.
Overall, this external evaluation confirmed the relevance and effectiveness of the support actions undertaken by the Foundation.
In particular, it noted that “the Foundation has expanded its work in terms of the number of human rights defenders supported and the overall funding allocated. The political changes that occurred in the Southern Mediterranean countries has shown that a very small Foundation, such as EMHRF is very capable of responding quickly to changing political situation. The Foundation is able to respond rapidly to financial needs which may arise for human rights defenders and it is able to accompany emerging human rights defenders and their organizations in their aim to mobilize international support, seek funding from mainstream donors and make alliances with local NGOs who have similar goals and aims. EMHRF has become an eminent player in the region because of its trustworthiness and extensive human rights knowledge about the region.”
The executive summary of the evaluation can be found here.