IMPACT Europe wins ‘Best Paper’ award at the European Evaluation Society Conference

The bi-annual European Evaluation Society Conference attracts a wide variety of evaluation practitioners, commissioners and policy makers from Europe and further afield, providing the opportunity to share and learn current practices and trends in evaluation, as well as exploring future directions of travel. This year, IMPACT Europe featured prominently in an agenda which emphasised the importance of building cross-boundary and cross-border partnerships and capacity, and looked to forge new ways of working for enhanced use and uptake of evaluation findings.

A notable achievement for the IMPACT Europe team was the award of Best Paper for Developing knowledge on counter-violent-extremism: a measurement framework for evaluations. The award is the most prestigious in the European evaluation research community and recognises originality, rigour, innovation, practical/policy relevance, and contribution to international evaluation debates. The IMPACT Europe paper received very positive feedback and scores across all these criteria, and particularly for its practical policy relevance.

Over the course of the conference, which took place in Maastricht on 28, 29 and 30 September, IMPACT Europe team members from RAND Europe and Studio CEVAS were invited to chair and present findings from the IMPACT Europe project as part of the following sessions:


  • Evaluating Violence Prevention and Mitigation. In this session, the IMPACT Europe team presented the paper which went on to receive the conference’s Best Paper Award. The paper, authored by Ben Baruch, Tom Ling, Joanna Hofman and Richard Warnes of RAND Europe, introduces the Violent Extremism Evaluation Measurement (VEEM) Framework, a tool designed to build evaluation capacity within the CVE field. This framework is based on a mapping exercise of behaviours associated with violent extremism and radicalisation. These behaviours provide a set of indicators which may be measured by evaluators in order to determine the levels and changes in the levels of these behaviours that a CVE intervention may influence. It is hoped by the IMPACT Europe team that this paper will open up discussions within the evaluation field about the different potential measures and metrics used when evaluating CVE work, in order to advance knowledge on what works in CVE.


  • Use of Technology in Insecure/Conflict-prone Contexts. This session was chaired by Ben Baruch of the IMPACT Europe team, and included a presentation by Joanna Hofman on IMPACT Europe – a prototype of evaluation toolkit to examine what works in tackling violent radicalisation. This presentation introduced conference attendees to the IMPACT Europe project and demonstrated the use of the evaluation Toolkit that has been developed for CVE practitioners.


  • Improving Theories of Change. In this session, the IMPACT Europe team presented two papers that build on the findings of the project. The first, presented by Liliana Leone, was Evaluation needs in the counter-violent-extremism policy field, which identifies the evaluation competencies and needs of individuals and organisations involved in CVE policy. The second, Exploring the transferability and applicability of gang evaluation methodologies to counter-violent radicalisation, was presented by Matthew Davies and offers a comparative analysis of evaluations of gang interventions, examining the transferable lessons that can be applied to evaluations of CVE interventions.


The IMPACT Europe team members were delighted to have the opportunity to share their learning from the IMPACT Europe project with members of the evaluation community and to engage in the lively debates and discussions that were sparked as part of the conference’s rich and stimulating agenda.


[Image shared by Jorge Franganillo via Flickr; CC BY 2.0]