All submitted projects, which meet the eligibility criteria, are assessed against seven evaluation criteria:
Sufficient detail must also be provided in the applications to demonstrate the quality of the achievements and real outcomes of the case and the lessons learnt.
The assessment is carried out in an independent and impartial multi-step evaluation process.
In the first step, a set number of projects within a concrete award category is allocated to each evaluator based on their professional background and sector (a mix of academia, the practice field and the private sector), nationality (evaluators may not assess projects from their country of origin or employment) and gender. Each project is assessed online, independently and exclusively, by different experts. The evaluators do not know each other, or how the other evaluator assessed the respective project.
During the Consensus Meeting (Step 2), all evaluators come together to review and discuss the first available provisional ranking based on their individual scorings and possible discrepancies. Furthermore, they unanimously decide on the Best Practice Certificate Recipients and on the top short-listed projects in each award category for the onsite visits.
The third step are the on-site validation visits.This generally comprises on-site visits for verification of the results and recommendations of the previous two evaluation steps, i.e. to spot-check whether the content of the application form of the project corresponds to the “reality”; to find the answers to the un-answered questions raised by the evaluators, to detect possible inconsistencies and to gather additional or missing information and data. EIPA representatives do not (re)assess) the projects during the validation process.
The fourth and final step consists of the Jury Meeting, where several jurors (high-ranking stakeholders and/or political personalities, separate from the evaluators) decide on the nominees and the award winners in each category based on the short-listed projects of the on-site visits.