• Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide
    Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide
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    Oxfam Italia – Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide


    Catalys was commissioned to undertake final evaluation of the EC DEAR project, Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide.

    We produced two reports of the evaluation; a full report which encapsulates the key achievements of the project; and a summary report of the conclusions drawn from the findings for a wider audience.

    Oxfam Italia required an external final evaluation, firstly to fulfil its obligations to the EC and secondly because the client and partners were keen to learn the lessons in key areas of the results achieved from March 2014 to February 2017. Our final evaluation identified how partners can improve their collaboration and effectiveness in delivering project results.

    We had a defined methodology in place to allow us to execute a transferable and transparent evaluation. We established the baseline which constituted a process review, performance review and stakeholder analysis. This was then used to inform the creation of an evaluation framework which set out core questions. Fieldwork was then conducted which was composed of workshops, interviews and surveys with partners and stakeholders. Data collected through the fieldwork were then compiled and the qualitative and quantitative results were evaluated. From this information we then delivered our report.


    Overall the evaluation found that the Table for Nine Billion project has has been successful in achieving its expected results. The project was achieved its main communications targets, which is central to its role as an education and awareness raising project, particularly with its principal target group, European citizens.  It was also able to identify positive policy impacts, for example and campaigns such as advocacy for food security in Burkino Faso and the international campaign for land rights.  One unanticipated benefit was that less experienced partners found the experience of participating in a transnational partnership project particularly valuable, as they were able to learn from partner organisations with similar goals and many decades experience.


    More info: https://www.slowfood.com/sloweurope/en/progetti/table-for-nine-billions-promoting-europes-role-in-growing-food-and-climate-justice-worldwide-2/


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  • Evaluation of The Gwynedd and Anglesey Fisheries Local Action Group
    Evaluation of The Gwynedd and Anglesey Fisheries Local Action Group
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    The Gwynedd and Anglesey Fisheries Local Action Group


    We produced an evaluation for the Gwynedd and Anglesey Fisheries Local Action Group (GAFLAG), an innovative project that has successfully engaged with and united a diverse and eclectic group of individuals in the fishing sector in pursuit of improving the industry and its presence in the region. This project was implemented in conjunction with rural development agency, Menter Mȏn. The FLAG ran through from 2013 to 2015, followed by the conduction of our evaluation in 2016.

    The project was undertaken with an emphasis on completing four overarching objectives: Adding value to fishery products, encouraging diversification of economic activity, preserving and enhancing the environmental, cultural and social welfare and empowering the local fishing communities.


    With regard to a number of impedances throughout the process, namely a six month hiatus at the beginning of the project’s proposed implementation date, inspiring frustration from potential beneficiaries and members, as well as the lack of a consistently present project officer, the project wasn’t without its challenges. With this said, the project catalysed strong common networks and new ways of working, all of which will be valuable in its future development.



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  • Slow Food LIFE Operating Grant 2016 -2017
    Slow Food LIFE Operating Grant 2016 -2017
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    Slow Food


    Catalys were commissioned to oversee the employment of evaluation framework for the Slow Food Operating Grant – LIFE-NGO-SGA-EASME-2016. The evaluation took place throughout 2017 and was composed of workshops, surveys, monitoring and analysis. From this, we observed the findings and consolidated them into a comprehensive report.

    The purpose of this was to:

    • Produce an evaluation framework that bases the Intervention Logic on a clear shared Theory of Change which will identify key measurable long-term success indicators.
    • Embed data collection in the monitoring framework for each initiative; ensure that the right questions are being asked from the outset.
    • Use real time monitoring data to identify lessons from delivery during implementation, so that a culture of continuous improvement is established.


    All the target outputs of the Operating Grant have been achieved and the intervention has proved beneficial for the organisation. The grant has been used effectively in pursuit of the LIFE / 7th Environmental Action Plan and in terms of supporting Slow Food in its own development.

    The evaluation found:

    • Stakeholders recognise that significant improvements have been evident in organisational focus and effectiveness over the period of the OG.
    • The OG has been timely, in that it has been implemented at a time and in a way that it has delivered effective development support for the organisation
    • The Slow Food mission in relation to food culture appears to be well understood. The connections to its wider impacts are less well understood, but do appear to be increasing.
    • A framework has been established for long term monitoring. The surveys commenced at Slow Fish and Cheese form the foundation for a long-term monitoring of the organisation’s effectiveness in advocacy and awareness raising.
    • This is only the start of the process in embedding a culture of continuous improvement within the organisation.





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  • Evaluation of South East Europe Sustainable Energy Project (SEESEP) 2012-2016
    Evaluation of South East Europe Sustainable Energy Project (SEESEP) 2012-2016
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    SEE Change Net (SEECN)


    Catalys produced a comprehensive evaluation for the South East Europe Sustainable Energy Project (SEESPEP), an association composed of 17 CSOs working to move energy legislation and policy of South East Europe towards EU 2020 targets, with adherence to the Energy Community legal framework.

    The aim of our evaluation was to assess the results of the project and offer strategies that would seek to shape future activities.

    The evaluation documents and analyses the implementation and development of the project in the period of 2012-2016, with emphasis on the latter half of this timeframe.

    The project commenced in the December of 2012, operating in: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

    The project’s first term ended in the later months of 2013 before SEESPEP was successful in a bid for a further 2 years funding.


    The Ministerial Council of Energy Community in October 2016 in Sarajevo, adopted a decision expanding the current scope of environmental acquis.

    Also, two new directives were introduced by decision to the extent they relate to energy: Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive.

    As a first step towards its full application in the Energy Community, the Ministerial Council adopted a non-binding recommendation on the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a Mechanism for Monitoring and Reporting GHG Emissions and for reporting other information at national and Union level relevant to climate change.

    The project effectively delivered the intended outcomes with regards to building capacity and influencing policy. CSOs as well as all other stakeholders involved recognised the growth in capacity. Energy Community impacts, regional investments and national achievements are also clear.




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  • Final evaluation of the project Development of the ENV.net in West Balkan and Turkey: giving citizens a voice to influence the environmental process reforms for closer EU integration
    Final evaluation of the project Development of the ENV.net in West Balkan and Turkey: giving citizens a voice to influence the environmental process reforms for closer EU integration
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    ENV.net & punto.sud


    Catalys was commissioned by ENV.net to provide an objective and evidenced assessment and evaluation of the network’s outputs, impact and the process of delivery.

    The ENV.net network was established to provide an open and constructive dialogue between environmental NGOs and national authorities in The Western Balkans and Turkey. This involved seeking to offer citizens the platform to influence environmental reforms in the prospective EU integration process.

    Working within the framework set by The Civil Society Facility (CSF), ENV.net developed a strategy to help strengthen the role of civil society in the EU enlargement process.

    The evaluation project was composed of a preliminary analysis of relevant documentation and literature. After preparing the research tools and analysis for the evaluation, we conducted field work with all network members and many wider stakeholders across The Western Balkans and Turkey.


    In meeting the needs of the client, the evaluation provided the following outputs. It has:

    • Used the learning from the evaluation to inform development of the next stage of the ENV.net, i.e., a successful application for follow-on support was made based on the findings of the evaluation and the new network commenced operation in 2017;
    • Built capacity of ENV.net participants and partners in relation to project effectiveness and impact and in evaluation in general; and
    • Reviewed the effectiveness of punto.sud in its administration / management role.

    ENV.net has been successful in establishing a platform for capacity building and knowledge sharing which is relevant and effective for those involved in environmental advocacy and engagement of CSOs in the environmental elements of the accession process. Some activities have been targeted directly on Chapter 27 negotiations and where the CSO representatives are already engaged with this process, such as in Serbia, this connection is apparent.



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  • Happy Birthday to….us
    Happy Birthday to….us
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    Today we passed a significant milestone – it is our 5th birthday.

    That means 5 years of some of the most fascinating local development projects across Europe and most recently in the Caribbean too.

    Although we have majored on evaluation, from equality impact assessment to fisheries programme evaluation, that is far from our “sole” focus. Some of our biggest projects have been in innovation strategy for the University sector and for regions and Rural Development programme development.

    We have met some great people along the way, many of whom we continue to work with today. Indeed amongst our 44 projects undertaken to date, the majority are repeat business. When a client gets to know us they like us!

    Which causes us to reflect – what has been the secret of our success? Well firstly, we know, although the work we do requires specialist technical expertise; it is first and foremost a people business. This means having the right people in the Catalys teams to face the client. It also means understanding the client and what they need and what they can do. We work hard on this, and think it is part of the reason that people like us.

    We would like to sign off our birthday message with a big thank you to all those who have shown faith in us and our message building capacity for local development through building the capacity of people.

    Those repeat clients – Slow Food, UNDP, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, University of Wolverhampton, Belgrade Open School and Cornwall, Ceredigion and Dumfries and Galloway Councils.

    We have worked with some great associates whose skills and capabilities have added immeasurably to the Catalys family, particularly, Arwel, Dylan, Alex, Jo, Stephen, Carol, Blanca, Sanela, Jasmina, Amela, Nikola, Ivana and Tajana.

    Special mention also to Good2Great, NRM Interface and Alpha Design and Marketing who have all assisted us in our development.

    Looking forward, this is no time to rest on our laurels. The future of local development is uncertain, particularly in the UK in the light of Brexit. What is certain is that innovation for local development will continue to be needed by communities across the territories where we work, what is less certain is how this will work in future. We will continue to be available to our clients and engaged in the policy debates that matter, so that we stay relevant and accessible and help to develop approaches to local development that work.

    Thank you to you all.

    Nuala, Ian, Alex, Mary and Callum.

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  • CSO focus in diverse 2017 Summer school in Croatia
    CSO focus in diverse 2017 Summer school in Croatia
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    This year we will again be collaborating with EPIC to deliver the summer school.  Catalys’ contribution will be to lead a session on the challenges and lessons regarding the development of CSOs in South East Europe. We will be using our experience from evaluating DG Enlargement’s Civil Society Facility (CSF) programmes in the region, together with programmes run by EC DEAR and DG ENV.

    Course Agenda – June 7th – 10th

    The summer school pays reference to the seismic changes that have rocked the political and financial establishment in Europe and the United States in recent months. In an emerging age of populism, resurgent nationalism, and ever-growing Euroscepticism, what challenges lie ahead for the future of the European project. The final agenda of the course might be subject to change in order to take on board any latest EU developments. However, we can anticipate that the following topics will be addressed.

    • Brexit and New Models of European Integration
    • Civil Society and the Move towards a West European Model
    • Economic and Monatary Union and the Persistent Debt Crises in Southern Europe
    • Enlargement in the Age of Euroscepticism
    • Migration
    • Energy and EU’s relationship with Russia
    • The Future of Global Trade after TTIP and TTP

    The course in not targeted toward one specific sector, and is therefore open to representatives from public administrations, business, law, finance, the media, or non-governmental organisations at national, regional and local level. The course is also suitable for students. The course will take place at the four star Senses Resort (www.senses.hr).

    To register your interest, or if you would like more information, please get in touch by sending an email to Andreas Staab at staab@epicseminars.com.
    You can also contact us on (+44) 208 444 7970.

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  • Sustainable Agriculture – Innovation v tradition
    Sustainable Agriculture – Innovation v tradition
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    Sustainable Agriculture – Innovation versus tradition – artisanal foods continue to surge, but should not distract from the need for the farmer to “feed us all”.

    In the wake of the European Parliament Vote this week, it seems timely to examine one of the dilemmas at the heart of the European Agriculture debate and one that weighs heavily on its future. Is the most appropriate path for European agriculture one that favours the small scale, artisanal, locally source product and supply chains, or one that is increasingly focused on the search for technological sliver bullets to every problem.

    The growth in consumer demand for food products with authenticity, where the story is part of that appeal appears to be a sustainable long term trend. All grocers’ response to this shows that this is a market trend that farmers should take seriously, even if some such as TESCO, by inventing fake farms risk undermining the market, as well as their own credibility.

    Coming from a farming family (although my parents left farming before my second birthday), I remember the plates, plaques and tankards in my wider family homes proudly declaiming “The Farmer Feeds us all”. This growth in demand for “real food” still remains a minority market and the farmers’ mission to feed us all means that serious choices are necessary to ensure that markets and supermarkets remain able to provide for the whole population.

    However, the challenges facing “mainstream” agriculture, such as a declining number of disease control agents, increasing disease and pesticide resistance alongside falling prices, mean that innovation is not just a nice to have, but it is essential for retaining our ability to ensure food is on the table for our growing population.

    For this reason the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee report: “Technological solutions for sustainable agriculture in the EU” is an important step. Last week a further report from MEP Jan Huitema, was approved that promoted agri-innovations calling for a range of measures from soliciting European Investment Bank cash, to satellites and insect farming.

    Innovative agriculture is the theme for both reports, e.g., calling for the use robotics and big data to deliver bigger yields. The McIntyre report asks that approvals for low-risk pesticides be speeded up and more controversially calls on the Commission not to hamper new plant-breeding techniques such as genome editing. Whether genome-edited plants count as GMOs or not is fast becoming a flashpoint between industry and NGOs.

    These innovation initiatives from AGRI MEPs speaks to a growing divide between those wedded to traditional farming methods and those keen on technological solutions. For instance, it seems clear that the more specific recommendations in McIntyre’s report could make it more difficult to gain European Parliament support. “The McIntyre report pushes for further industrialisation of agriculture,” said Franziska Achterberg, a food policy adviser at Greenpeace’s EU office. “We need to move to agro-ecology instead, which is the only way to combine productivity and environmental protection.”

    In the meantime, consumers continue to exercise their increasingly diverse choices and farmers continue to need to exercise production choices. It is clear to the observer that the crowded space of European Agriculture needs cool heads and the ability to achieve considered compromise that allows for a multi-functional agriculture to produce the food we need, alongside the cultural and environmental services that the CAP is designed to provide. Product and production Innovation should continue to play an essential role in enabling European farming to satisfy all its markets.

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  • Are you involved in LEADER or FLAG in Croatia?
    Are you involved in LEADER or FLAG in Croatia?
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    Are you involved in LEADER or FLAG in Croatia?

    It is just 27 days to go until the Local Development School in Zadar which aims to bring together Local Action Groups in Croatia to discuss their work and look at solutions.

    If you are interested in:

    Writing Local Development Strategies – practical experience and workshops

    Fisheries Local Action Groups and LEADER groups working together

    Practical Local Development – lessons learnt in Croatia and beyond

    Transnational projects and learning

    Animation – Turning Community Energy into community development

    Local Energy Initiatives – practical experience

    This is the event for you.


    COST: The event fee is €160 Apply here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHS5ZW7

    In association with:

    Croatia Ministry for Agriculture

    Croatia Leader Network – LMH

    European Education Forum

    EDIC – Zadar

    Croatia Ministry for Foreign Affairs Centre of Excellence for Competent Open and Efficient Government


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  • Catalys Local Development School Croatia 29th & 30th Oct 2015
    Catalys Local Development School Croatia 29th & 30th Oct 2015
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    This year, Catalys Local Development School (CLDS) will take place in Zadar.  CLDS takes place on the mainland for the first time on 29-30th October 2015.

    A new partnership – CLDS will also be supported by new partners; including European Education Forum, Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Leader Network of Croatia and EDIC Zadar.

    Topics – Using highly participative approach, including case studies specially developed for the event.  CLDS will cover diverse topics, including:

    • Animation – Turning Community Energy into community development
    • Local Energy Initiatives – practical experience
    • Writing Local Development Strategies – practical experience and workshops
    • Fisheries Local Action Groups and LEADER groups working together
    • Practical Local Development – lessons learnt in Croatia and beyond
    • Transnational projects and learning

    Where – The IMPACT Center will host the summer school in first class facilities in the beautiful and historic town of Zadar.  Zadar is a perfect location, it is one of the best connected cities in all of the region, situated in easy reach of Zagreb, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Split and Dubrovnik, as well as an international destination by air and sea.

    Why now – This is a really important time for local and rural development, many things are changing and new opportunities are being opened up for rural development, community energy and fisheries development groups.  We will look at what has worked and what is available now for Local Development Groups.

    Who should attend – CLDS will be an opportunity for those involved in Local Development from W Balkans to come together with fellow professionals from Ministries, National Agencies, Local Action Groups, Regional Development Agencies, Rural Development Agencies, Farmer Support Bodies and NGOs.  It is also for those who manage Local Development Programmes at the national and regional levels.

    Cost – the event fee is €160

    Apply here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHS5ZW7


    LEADER-LOGO-bez-teksta LOGO Ministry-odabrani_vectorizedimage001Europa-direct-Zadar-logo-infologo eefflag_yellow_low

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