Evaluation Helpdesk

The Evaluation Helpdesk is the operational structure that provides support to the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development in running the Evaluation Expert Network. The Evaluation Helpdesk is contracted externally, and started operations in April 2008. It operates on the basis of Annual Work Programmes that are drawn up and agreed with DG Agriculture and Rural Development.

The tasks
Role and responsibilities
The Team

The tasks

The tasks of the Evaluation Helpdesk are closely related to the implementation of the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF), and comprise specifically

  • to provide know-how to rural development evaluation stakeholders in relation to programme evaluation;
  • to deliver expertise on evaluation methods and tools and related aspects, develop guidance and explanatory texts and papers, and;
  • to provide support to DG Agriculture and Rural Development and to the Member States in dealing with technical questions and evaluation reports.

Role and responsibilities


The team

The Evaluation Helpdesk team is composed of three categories of individuals:

The permanent team
The non-permanent team (core team and geographic experts)
Associated experts

View the Evaluation Helpdesk Structure [JPEG]

The Permanent Team

The permanent team of staff based in Brussels is tasked with the day-to-day running of the Evaluation Helpdesk and of the activities outlined in the Annual Work Programme. The activities include:

  • organise and develop methodological content by setting up and coordinating Thematic Working Groups;
  • carry out the needs assessments and SWOT analysis on the evaluation system;
  • collect good practice examples from the Member States;
  • answer technical questions;
  • deliver evaluation-related training to EC Desk Officers;
  • provide technical support to the European Commission;
  • network with evaluation stakeholders both at Member State and EU-level;
  • disseminate relevant information through its electronic newsletter and a trilingual website (English, French and German).

The permanent team is composed as follows:


Hannes Wimmer Team Leader
Jela Tvrdonova Evaluation Manager
Andreas Resch Evaluation Adviser
Margot Van Soetendael Development Officer
Enrique Javier Nieto Evaluation Officer
Valérie Dumont Communication Manager
Thomas Chullikal Web & IT Officer
Anita Cortes Graphic Designer



The Non-Permanent Team

The permanent team is supported by external experts from across the 27 EU Member States. These ’non-permanent team’ experts have knowledge and experience in the field of evaluation of Rural Development Programmes (RDPs), including their specific geographic areas, to complement the experience of the permanent team. They are made up of a core team of experts and a pool of geographic experts.

Core Team

The core team of experts acts as the ‘think tank’ of the Evaluation Helpdesk and supports the permanent team with all content development activities. These experts perform their tasks under the management of the Evaluation Helpdesk’s Team Leader and Evaluation Manager. The core team is comprised of the following individuals:

- John Grieve
- Robert Lukesch
- Carlo Ricci
- Paul Soto
- Bill Slee

Geographic experts

The geographic experts of the Evaluation Helpdesk are located in the Member States. Their tasks include:

  • the collection of information at Member State level;
  • the assessment of needs – e.g. with a view to identifying themes to be included in the Annual Work Programme – and other specific subjects
  • the identification of good practice examples;
  • summarising information made available at Member State level, including the Annual Progress Reports’ sections on ongoing evaluation;
  • the organisation of missions by the Evaluation Helpdesk to the Member States;
  • informing about and following evaluation related events carried out at regional and/or national level.

Associated experts

Associated experts are comprised of research and evaluation specialists who contribute to the thematic work and other support services (for example, expert advice on technical questions) of the Evaluation Helpdesk.

Further reading

  Contact details for the Evaluation Helpdesk
Presentation leaflet "Building a vibrant evaluation community for the future of rural areas" – Evaluation Expert Network –  June 2008 [PDF]