The continent of Europe, with its wide geopolitical span, is made up of a diverse group of over 50 sovereign nations, with the European Union now encompassing 27 of these. With an impressive historical and cultural heritage and housing over 700 million people, Europe is known the world over for its landmark cities and attractions. While the region is home to some of the most economically advanced countries, there are still development challenges to be addressed. These include higher rates of poverty in the countries outside of the EU, high unemployment (especially for youth), growing challenges with access to affordable housing and energy, difficulties addressing migrant and refugee challenges, and the recent outbreak of conflict in Ukraine.


Regional Consultations: Towards Real Diversity and Gender Equality in Artificial Intelligence – Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence Project

This project aims to provide the AI ecosystem, in particular the member States of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), with a framework including concrete tools and recommendations to ensure diversity and gender equality throughout the AI cycle based on existing guidelines, good local practices from around the world, international human rights and gender equality standards.

Measuring the Unmeasured: Innovative Approaches to Measuring SDG Tier III Indicators

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), DPA provided support to the Europe and Central Asia Regional Hub in Istanbul for the project “Measuring the Unmeasured” to contribute to SDG measurement and achievement. The effective use of data for public policy was of critical importance to the UN in its efforts to strengthen evidence-based programming and policy development. In particular, generating, analyzing, presenting, and using data was vital to global and regional efforts to monitor and promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our project aimed to scope, develop, and test different methods for measuring Tier III indicators of high SDG priorities for 11 countries in the Arab States, Europe & Central Asia, and Asia Pacific, with the main goal of utilizing this information in policy responses.

Strategic Assessment of the European Commission’s Work in Digitalization in Sub-Saharan Africa

This study, produced in collaboration with ADE, assessed the European Union’s external cooperation for development in the cross-cutting field of digitalization in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a view to issuing a series of lessons learned and recommendations to inform current and future cooperation work. In particular, this evaluation focuses on understanding and analyzing DEVCO’s investments and projects in the region, the extent to which these projects are strategically promoting the pillars, objectives and values of the EU frameworks, and to identify complementarities or lack thereof with other relevant national, regional, and international stakeholders.

The Racial Justice Data Project

The current debate on the collection and use of race-related data is shaped by country-specific cultural practices and historical backgrounds. Nevertheless, there is a pressing need for more and better racial data in all societies, as a prerequisite for addressing related inequalities. The Racial Justice Data Project contributed to this movement of greater visibility for racial data while focusing on regions that have not been sufficiently explored (Europe and Latin America) and will eventually cover multiple racial-related themes within the platform.

The project provided valuable inputs that can be used by a wide range of actors, from civil society, journalists, researchers, and individuals to advance advocacy causes through data-driven strategies, to public or private stakeholders as a fundamental tool for evidence-based decision-making. To achieve these goals, the project leveraged data from a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional sources, including existing datasets, reports from civil society organizations, legal documents, and social media to present a fuller picture of the effects of racism in an accessible and actionable manner.

Event Paper: “Big Data and Privacy: Understanding the Possibilities and Pitfalls of the Data Revolution in Germany”

How can we make full use of data analytics in a responsible and human-centered manner? Which forms of data use should be excluded, and who should set the rules? As the first event paper in the “Digitising Europe” series (published with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications), this publication captured the major key themes that emerged from the initiative’s events in Berlin in November 2015. These events explored the possibilities and pitfalls of the data revolution and served to identify key insights and practical solutions for facilitating the use of data while protecting the privacy of citizens.

Policy Paper “Sharing is Caring: Four Key Requirements for Sustainable Private Data Sharing and Use for Public Good”

How data are shared and used will determine, to a large extent, the future of democracy and human progress. In this context, the authors of the paper “Sharing is Caring” described four key requirements that had to inform European efforts to ensure that private data were shared and used for the public good in a safe, ethical, and sustainable manner. This paper, co-published with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, is part of the “Digitising Europe” initiative and a series of discussion papers focused on the challenges of European digital policy.

Position Paper “How to Use Big Data? Leading Experts’ Roadmap to Data-Driven Innovation Projects. Key Results from the Digitasing Europe Initiative”

This paper, developed in cooperation with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, highlighted overall takeaways and recommendations in the areas of privacy protection, responsible data governance, transparency, and accountability for unleashing big data-driven innovation. These included: (1) putting ‘privacy by design’ into action through privacy-preserving technical procedures and standards for data sharing and use; (2) focusing on responsibility in data use by establishing internal responsible data governance standards; and (3) keeping transparency, trust, and user control at the center by engaging all data stakeholders.

Evaluation of the EU Cooperation with the United Nations in External Action

This evaluation, led by our partner ADE, provided an independent assessment and evidence on the EU-UN cooperation in external action-building through the analysis of five thematic areas: 1) Green Deal; 2) Sustainable economic, social, and human development; 3) Governance, security, and governance; 4) Migration and forced displacement; 5) Transition to a new digital era (led by DPA). The evaluation assessed the EU’s influence and visibility in the UN system in relation to achieving EU priorities and supporting multilateralism. It examined the mechanisms for actual implementation and delivery of support, as well as their effectiveness and efficiency, including mechanisms for policy dialogue, programming, and cooperation. Additionally, the evaluation provided inputs on how to further improve cooperation between the EU and the UN.

The African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Data Economies

In collaboration with the European Union and the African Union, and support from GIZ, DPA developed an overview of the Data Economy Framework between Europe and Africa in a concise report focused on the potential of the data economy in Africa, and its potential to boost the African-European data market exchange. The final report discussed the landscape of the African data economy and mapped the potential fields of common interest between the African and European Unions. The findings synthesized information from recent in-depth studies, as well as from indices on inclusive internet, affordability drivers and network readiness.

Evaluation of the EU Cooperation with the World Bank

This evaluation, led by our partner ADE, provided an overall independent assessment on the World Bank’s (WB) cooperation in external action building via an ex-post and prospective analysis of the partnership. Among other research objectives, the evaluation assessed the achievement of EU objectives and priorities in the field of international cooperation and development as a result of this partnership; the reinforcement of the role of the EU as an international actor; the promotion of multilateral dialogue, solutions, and cooperation; and the effective and efficient delivery of development support to countries and development partners. It also provided a roadmap to gauge the opportunities and constraints the EU faces in relation to its partnership with the WB.

Digital Maturity Assessment: Methodology Development and Implementation

DPA developed a Digital Maturity Assessment (DMA) framework to provide NRC Country Offices (COs) with a tool to self-assess their digital transformation journey based on the perceptions and experiences of its staff. The DMA framework is the analytical background guiding the calculation of a Digital Maturity Score that measures the level of digital transformation in the COs based on qualitative data on:

• Digital ecosystem, data, and tech management
• User-centricity and digital inclusion
• Digital mindset, literacy, and innovation
• Strategy, governance, policies, and frameworks
• Investment and partnerships

The DMA was tested in the COs in Bangladesh and Sudan. The results and outputs of these pilots were made available in an interactive dashboard created to facilitate the visualization and extraction of insights.

Evaluation of the Contribution to the Implementation of SDGs by the EU External Action Between 2016-2021

The main objective of this evaluation, led by our partner ADE, is to provide an independent, evidence-based assessment of the contribution of the EU’s external actions in support of the implementation of the SDGs – not only as a set of individual goals, but also in relation to their integration into the EU’s external policy framework. In line with EU policy, this evaluation seeks to be a stock-taking, lesson-learning, and forward-looking exercise, as well as an accurate assessment of achieved results.

Technical Assistance Facility for Africa-EU Relations in the Field of Economic Development

This series of three reports analyzed varying aspects of Africa-EU and provided technical policy insights to strengthen the European Commission Directorate
General for International Partnerships’ (INTPA) capacity in “knowledge-based” policymaking. Each report was conducted through a study and analysis of policy briefings, taking into account EU political interests towards Africa, as well as relevant existing legally-binding agreements, political declarations and strategic documents. The topics of each report included:

(1) Transport and Infrastructures;
(2) Digital Technologies and Services;
(3) Sustainable Energy and Climate Change; and
(4) Private Sector and Trade.

Workbook Series: Applying the FAIR Data Principles to Agricultural Development

Data-Pop Alliance (DPA), in partnership with CABI, launched a collaborative project to develop a comprehensive repository of resources highlighting the utility of the FAIR Data Principles for agricultural development. This initiative aims to assist project officers in effectively integrating the FAIR Principles into their work by providing practical resources and tools, including Workbooks and Factsheets for each step of the FAIR implementation process. DPA has developed a methodological approach centered on collecting qualitative data at different stages of the research process on FAIR frameworks.