Our projects

Capacity building for European Capitals of Culture

The ‘Capacity Building for European Capitals of Culture’ project was initiated by the European Commission to support capacity building and peer-learning activities for ECOCs.

It aims at supporting ECOCs through a wide range of activities, which include:

- Mapping of the capacity building needs of the delivery bodies of present and future ECOCs,

- Building a pool of multi-disciplinary EU wide expertise to cover the identified capacity needs,

- Organisation of ECOCs Academy Camps, and

- Delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and webinars, with the development of further toolkits and training material.

These activities aim to provide ECOCs with practical support where skill gaps have been identified, with a robust technical assistance structure, a set of tools, materials, practical and theoretical expertise and knowledge while enhancing networking opportunities for the ECOC delivery teams.

Led by AEIDL, the consortium brings together key European organisations representing the cultural sectors across the European Union.

  • Contracting body: European Commission
  • Duration: 30 months starting in October 2019

Carrefour des innovations sociales

AEIDL will participate in the ‘Carrefour des innovations sociales’, a new French collaborative platform for social innovation.

Following the initiative of CGET (the French government’s office for land planning, and territorial and urban policy), La Fonda (a well-established think tank working with associations) and around 50 more partners, France is launching the ‘Carrefour des innovations sociales’ (Social Innovation Hub).

This digital platform aims at unleashing the potential of social innovation, providing spaces for co-construction.

AEIDL has joined the project, hoping to bring a European dimension to it by rallying other Member States to the approach.

  • Partners: Commissariat général à l'égalité des territoires (CGET), La Fonda and 50 other organisations
  • Duration: April 2018 - ...

Visit the website

ESF-TCI: Transnational and innovative actions under the European Social Fund 2007-2013

AEIDL provides support for transnational and innovative projects in the four priority areas of the European Social Fund (ESF).

AEIDL has been involved in the ESF since 2001, through its participation in managing the EQUAL programme, which ended in 2008.

In 2009, AEIDL won the call for tender to provide support for transnational and innovative projects in the four priority areas of the ESF: increasing adaptability of workers and enterprises; enhancing access to employment and sustainable inclusion in the labour market; reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people; and enhancing the governance and functioning of vocational training and employment systems.

AEIDL is contributing to a number of key tasks, including the monitoring of 10 transnational cooperation networks launched by the European Commission, and the preparation of a series of seven common methodologies for the networks.

AEIDL is also providing technical support to the European Commission for meetings of the ESF Committee's working groups on transnationality and innovation - compiling working documents, chairing discussions in small groups -, as well as for events requiring the expertise of the ESF, such as preparing the Budapest Conference (February 2010) on vocational training in prisons.

This work continues from 2015 until 2019 in the form of the ESF Transnational Platform.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
  • Duration: 2009-2013

Employment: Linking Local Actors

The "Linking Local Actors" project involved the setting up of a European database in order to facilitate cooperation between local employment practioners in the EU's 27 Member States, and between local employment practioners and the European Commission.

The project website provided useful information on best practices, events, sources of funding, partner searches, etc. The methodology proposed by the AEIDL/ European Dynamics team revolved around three main ideas:

  • cooperation with a panel of experts selected on the basis of their expertise in various thematic areas;
  • a flexible approach based on matching the supply with the demand for information;
  • creating synergies between thematic experts and journalists.

Linking Local Actors identified 58 good practices in local employment development across Europe.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
  • Partner: European Dynamics (Greece)
  • Duration: 2005-2008

EQUAL and AEIDL: promoting entrepreneurship

Between 2001 and 2008, AEIDL assisted the European Commission in the coordination of European networks promoting the exchange of experiences and the diffusion of innovative practices in the area of entrepreneurship.

A true "ideas lab" for employment and social inclusion, the objective of the EU's EQUAL initiative was to promote a greater inclusion in the business sector and to combat discrimination and exclusion on the grounds of gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation. Funded by the ESF, EQUAL was implemented between 2001 and 2008.

AEIDL’s task within EQUAL focused on:

  • opening up the process of business creation to everyone, by providing the necessary tools to start-up a business;
  • identifying and making use of new job creation possibilities, in both urban and rural areas;
  • promoting the social economy (the third sector), particularly services of public interest, focusing on improving the quality of employment.

By bringing together stakeholders, project promoters, experts and decision makers, the thematic networks concerned were meant to identify new methods of combating all forms of discrimination and inequality in the labour market, disseminate best practices, and contribute to the development of the European Employment Strategy (EES).

The technical assistance provided to the European Commission's EQUAL Unit involved the compilation of reports, drafting articles, coordinating workshops, collecting and analysing data on projects, etc.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
  • Duration: 2001-2008

European Citizens' Panel

The European Citizens’ Panel was a pilot bottom-up initiative which engaged citizens from ten different regions in Europe in a reflection on policies affecting rural areas.

The scheme's remit stated the following: "The global objective of the European Citizens’ Panel is to encourage a bottom-up contribution from citizens to the discussion on the future of European policies affecting rural areas. The initiative aims to create a mechanism that will enable European citizens to draw up and disseminate proposals on the future of rural areas in Europe, based on comprehensive and unbiased information provided by decision-makers, experts and stakeholders. This document will be presented to institutions and key stakeholders at the European level.  The institutions having supported the panel’s work at regional level (regional authorities, foundations, etc.) will also be the formal targets of these recommendations addressed to them by their own citizens. These will also be widely disseminated to the general public."

The initiative operated at two levels:

  • At the regional level, citizens, selected to represent the diversity of the population, participated in panels to debate rural issues and make recommendations to their respective policy-makers. This work drew on information provided by key stakeholders and experts with an interest in rural affairs.
  • At the European level, a number of citizens from each regional panel met in Belgium for three days of discussions focused on a wide range of European challenges relating to the future roles of rural areas.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
  • Duration: 2005-2007

Social Innovation Europe

To animate the Social Innovation Europe initiative, the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) has contracted a consortium associating AEIDL and SIX (Social Innovation eXchange, UK), with Euclid Network, Young Foundation, EMES, Nesta, Groupe SOS, Partners Albania and the Danish Technological Institute.

According to Wikipedia, social innovations are new strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that meet social needs of all kinds — from working conditions and education to community development and health — that extend and strengthen civil society. Social innovation includes the social processes of innovation, such as open source methods and techniques and also the innovations which have a social purpose — like microcredit or distance learning.

Since SIE begun in 2011, the social innovation field has expanded, dramatically. There are more projects, funding, competitions, research and awareness of this field. 2014-2016 is a significant time in Europe to continue to be active in building and bringing this field together.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry
  • Partners: AEIDL and SIX with the Danish Technological Institute (Denmark), EMES (international), Euclid Network (Europe), Groupe SOS (France), Nesta (UK), Partners Albania (Albania) and Young Foundation (UK)
  • Duration: August 2014-July 2016

Visit the website

European Social Fund Actions to Promote Local Employment Initiatives

Within its technical assistance to the European Social Fund’s strands on Transnational Cooperation and Innovation, DG EMPL assigned AEIDL to examine how Local Employment Initiatives have been supported by ESF over the last ten years.

A synthesis report was the final step in this mission, intended to enable the European Commission to make a sound input into the political discussions, at EU level and between the Member States, on the achievements of the ESF in promoting social innovations and mobilising for change at local level.

The first task was to review 10 Member States (Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Sweden) to determine how their ESF Operational Programmes had supported Local Employment Initiatives (LEIs) over the last 10 years, which bridge the last and current programming periods. Another set of 4 Member States (France, Germany, Spain and the UK) was subject to a further comprehensive analysis of the institutional context in which LEIs are implemented and delivered, and the related funding arrangements. The idea was to identify major trends and innovative elements in the development of LEIs that have received ESF support. Five case studies were identified to illustrate such trends.

All these background elements, including the working paper submitted for discussion during the two peer learning exchanges in November 2010 and February 2011, constitute an appendix to the synthesis report, available upon request.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
  • Duration: November 2010-February 2011

Evaluation of the social affairs aspect of the European Social Fund

To evaluate the social inclusion aspects of the Open Method of Coordination ("social OMC"), the European Commission's DG Employment and Social Affairs selected a consortium led by the Public Policy and Management Institute (PPMI, Vilnius, Lithuania), which also included AEIDL as a partner.

This project helped to strengthen AEIDL’s expertise in the area of evaluating social policies, building on work already done by the association in the area of ESF transnational cooperation. The evaluation approach included a "bottom-up" dimension, allowing for an examination of the role played by local initiatives in public policies.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
  • Partners: PPMI (Lithuania), TARKI (Hungary) and others
  • Duration: 2009

Final evaluation of the "One-Stop-Mobility-Shops" project

Co-funded through the PROGRESS programme and piloted by ECAS (European Citizen Action Service), this project involved the networking the support services available to vulnerable immigrants. It focused on four pilot areas: South Tyrone, Ireland; Paris, France; Wiekopolska, Poland; and London, the United Kingdom.

The objective was to identify the potential added value and benefits of "One-Stop-Mobility-Shops".

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
  • Partners: ECAS and others
  • Duration: January-March 2009

Study on "The interaction between local employment development and corporate social responsibility"

AEIDL, in partnership with a network of researchers led by KMU Forschung Austria, the Austrian Institute for SME research, was selected by the European Commission to carry out a study on the links between local development and corporate social responsibility.

The success of local employment initiatives largely depends on the level of involvement of businesses in local communities. The study covered the 27 EU Member States as well as Australia and Canada.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
  • Partners: KMU Forschung Austria and others
  • Duration: 2008

Read the report

Evaluation of "Défis Sud", a magazine on north/south solidarity

In November 2005, AEIDL was commissioned to carry out an evaluation of the "Défis Sud" magazine.

With a print-run of thousands of copies, the magazine is produced by “SOS Faim”, a Belgian NGO working in development cooperation. Défis Sud is an awareness-raising instrument, which also encourages debate. It contains in-depth and well researched articles relating to food issues in Africa and Latin America.

One of the questions which the evaluator had to answer was how the magazine could better merge its roles of encouraging debate and providing information on the activities of SOS Faim.

A further question was how SOS Faim could add value to the magazine, giving it an advantage over other publications dealing with similar themes?

AEIDL conducted a qualitative evaluation and the recommendations put forward informed decision-making and changes within SOS Faim.

  • Client: SOS Faim (Belgium)
  • Duration: 2005

Visit the website

Journalistic summary report for "Frères des Hommes"

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of "Frères des Hommes” in September 2005, AEIDL was given the task of writing a report on a conference organised in Paris by this French NGO.

The theme of the conference was: “From the south to the north, the poor and the excluded, actors and citizens in building a more caring world.”

The challenge was to avoid writing the report in an administrative style, instead adopting a journalistic approach that presented clearly the points of consensus and debate.

  • Client: Frères des Hommes (France)
  • Duration: 2005

Visit the website

Evaluation of the "Annoncer la Couleur" programme

The Belgian Federal Department for Development Cooperation awarded AEIDL the contract for evaluating its "Annoncer la Couleur" programme.

This programme, aimed at educating people in “global citizenship", was created in March 1997 with the objective of generating "awareness among young people" of the issues involved in north-south relations.

  • Client: Federal Department for Development Cooperation (Belgium)
  • Duration: 2005

Visit the website

Ex-post evaluation of ESF activities for the 1994-1999 period

In January 2003, the European Commission's DG Employment assigned a consortium led by GHK, and including AEIDL, to undertake an ex-post evaluation of ESF activities for the 1994-1999 period, covering Objectives 1, 3 and 4, as well as for the ADAPT and EMPLOYMENT EU initiatives.

AEIDL conducted the evaluation for Belgium.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
  • Partenaires: GHK and others
  • Duration: 2003

Read the report

Evaluation of the PACTE project

In the context of the measure to support innovative actions under Article 6 of the ESF, AEIDL conducted an evaluation of the PACTE project (Programme d'Appui Croisé et de Transfert Economiques / Programme for Economic Support and Transfer).

PACTE brought together three partners - Lourdes Développement (France) as project leader, ADIVA (Allariz, Spain) and Coop Consult (Kokkola, Finland) – all representing areas where employment is mainly provided by SMEs.

AEIDL’s evaluation work focused on providing an external perspective throughout the project and measuring the gaps between the objectives envisaged at the outset and the results achievements.

Taking into account the criteria defined by the European Commission (innovation, partnership, transnationality and dissemination), AEIDL took part in the identification of best practices and innovative actions and formulated observations which were then presented to the PACTE partners and the European Commission.

  • Clients: Lourdes Développement (France), ADIVA (Spain) and Coop Consult (Finland)
  • Duration: 2003

Territorial Employment Pacts

The Territorial Employment Pacts programme was launched by the European Commission in December 1996.

AIEDL was contracted to develop a methodology for selecting and examining best practices, as well as for developing and providing content for the programme's website.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
  • Duration: 1996-1999

Helpdesk for the relays and networks of the European Union

On behalf of DG X (Information, Communication, Culture, Audiovisual), AEIDL provided technical assistance to the relays and networks of the European Union during the period 1996 to 1999.

The networks involved were the EU Rural Information Carrefours, the Info-Points Europe, the Urban Forums and the European Documentation Centres.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Information, Communication, Culture and Audiovisual Policy
  • Duration: 1996-1999

Pilot projects - Article 10 of the ERDF

AEIDL played a key role in the coordination of this programme.

AEIDL was responsible for the selection and monitoring of pilot projects under Article 10 of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as for the production of network coordination and communication tools for the four themes of Article 10: new sources of employment, culture, innovation and the information society.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
  • Duration: 1996-1999

"EU-Reporters" - Tour of Europe by young people involved in local development

For its tenth anniversary in 1998, AEIDL enabled eight young Europeans from different origins and cultures to travel together through seven different European Union countries in 30 days.

Aged between 18 and 27, these young women - Grit, Nuria, Elia, Sîan, Gozia, Jo, Katell and Miriam - respectively came from Germany, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium, France and Ireland. Still studying or having already begun their working lives, they all had one thing in common: their involvement in the life of their local community.

Meeting other young people during their journey, they had the opportunity to exchange views on Europe and European integration. They also took part in local activities and picked up ideas, which they went on to present to the European Parliament in Brussels.

This adventure would not have been possible without the collaboration of “Rural Carrefours” and Meeting Places in Germany and France.

  • Client: AEIDL
  • Partners: EU Rural Carrefours
  • Duration: July 1998