Alcohol and health
Assessing the quality of the monitoring activities by members of the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Client; DG SANCO
One of the structures for implementing the EU Alcohol Strategy is the European Alcohol and Health Forum. The Forum provides a common platform for all interested stakeholders at EU level that pledge to step up actions (commitments) relevant to reducing alcohol-related harm.
The Forum members are obliged to submit the monitoring report for each commitment undertaken, using a Monitoring Report Template. These commitments were first subject to a quality assessment in 2009, with a view to ensuring objectivity and comparability, and thus strengthening the trust-building process and promoting the objectives of the Forum.
Since 2010, Milieu has been in charge of the quality assessment of the Forum members’ commitments (including individual feedback to commitment holders) as well as of drafting annual Progress Monitoring Reports. This quality assessment focused on the information provided by Members when reporting on their commitments. It notably included, for each commitment, a description of its main objectives, allocated resources, generated outputs and outcomes, and dissemination and evaluation thereof.
One of the main lessons learned from subsequent Progress Monitoring Reports as well as from the evaluation of the EU Alcohol Strategy (also carried out by Milieu) was how to assess and demonstrate impacts of the commitments in alcohol-related harm reduction by using a shared evaluation framework and specific indicators. This is essential for the credibility of the Forum as an implementation structure of the EU Alcohol Strategy.
Therefore, in 2013, the last edition to date, Milieu carried out two additional tasks: that of analysing and reporting on the Forum's membership and active commitments (Task 2), and providing an overview of the evaluation approaches used in final reports since 2010, with the purpose of identifying examples of good practices in evaluation (Task 3).
The findings from each of the tasks above served to develop recommendations for the improvement of the evaluation framework within the EAHF monitoring process, with special attention to the refinement of the commitments database relating to outcomes and impacts.
These recommendations are expected to help the Commission to find ways to strengthen and widen actions carried by the members in order to more effectively contribute to the overall aims of the Alcohol Strategy.