YiA EVS Quality Assessment Guidance Notes - Draft

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					                                      2012 v1




 Youth in Action
  European Voluntary Service
(Action 2 – Eastern Partnership
        Youth Window)


  Application Assessment Guidelines

                 for

              Experts




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CONTENTS



Application and Selection process

The Quality Assessment form

How to complete the form

EVS specific information for experts

EVS involving young people with fewer opportunities

EVS involving Neighbouring Partner Countries



ANNEX I : EVS - background information

   1. The basics

   2. Accreditation

   3. EVS Charter

ANNEX II : YiA Objectives and Priorities

ANNEX III: l Sample - EVS Quality Assessment




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Application and Selection process

The life cycle for all Youth in Action applications involves the following assessment and evaluation
stages. More information can be found online at: http://www.britishcouncil.org/youthinAction-after-
applying.htm

 1. Eligibility checks
    All applications submitted on time to an official YiA deadline will go through an eligibility check,
    through which basic programme criteria are confirmed. These checks are carried out by the
    UK National Agency.

 2. Quality assessments
    Those applications that successfully pass the initial eligibility check must undergo a further
    quality assessment. This is carried out on the basis of award criteria published in the YiA
    programme guide and on the UK National Agency website.

    Official quality assessment forms (with a predefined points-based system) are used by all
    Youth in Action National Agencies and minimum programme requirements specify that at least
    one quality assessment must be completed for each application. In the UK each application
    will undergo at least two quality assessments.

 3. Budgetary and financial capacity checks
    The grant requested for each application is assessed to check the eligibility and justification of
    costs. This assessment is carried out by the UK NA and takes into account proposed
    activities, application quality and Action-specific funding rules.

    In addition, financial capacity checks may be carried out by the UK NA on first time applicants,
    and any grant requests exceeding €25,000 (excluding public bodies).

 4. Evaluation Committee
    Following the quality assessments, the UK NA prepares a ranking list where the results are
    sorted in order of average scores. These are derived from the average total score of the two
    assessments per application. Third assessments (either internal or external) are carried out
    when a project is separately assessed as ‘approved’ and ‘rejected’ by the first two Experts.

    An Evaluation Committee will convene within 3 months of the official application deadline. The
    Committee will consist of at least three members representing at least two organisational
    entities with no hierarchical link between them. The UK Youth in Action Evaluation Committee
    will include key stakeholders and representatives from the following:
        The Devolved Administration Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
        The statutory and non-governmental youth sector in the UK.
        Other British Council-managed youth programmes.
        The British Council’s UK Region.
        The UK National Agency(ies) for the Lifelong Learning Programme.

    In addition to the above, National Agency staff who have been involved in the assessment
    process will attend in an advisory capacity (but will not participate in any decision-making
    processes).

 5. Final Decision
    Members of the Evaluation Committee sign a final grant award proposal which is considered
    by the Director of the National Agency, who makes the final grant award decision.

    .

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The Quality Assessment form
The official quality assessment form consists of 5 parts, of which 3 refer directly to the assessment
of application quality based on predefined Award Criteria. For each of these three parts a score
and accompanying narrative justification is required. It is important that each narrative clearly
demonstrates and justifies the points awarded for each section.

The key quality related sections and their respective weighting (as a percentage) can be seen
below:

                Relevance to the objectives of the programme             30%
                Quality of the project and methods applied               50%
                Profile of participants                                  20%


   The majority of the assessment requires that you score on a scale, according to the quality of
   the application, for example:

                   Points      Descriptor
                  20 or 10     Excellent
                  16 or 8      Very Good
                  12 or 6      Good
                   8 or 4      Adequate
                   4 or 2      Poor


   In addition, yes/no score categories exist to prioritise certain types of projects, through the
   objectives, specific sub Action aims and the profile of participant categories, for example:

                  10 or 5      YES
                     0         NO




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How to complete the form
The quality assessment form consists of 5 separate parts, all of which need to be completed by the
appointed Quality Expert. It is important to be as clear as possible throughout the assessment as
this will form the basis of the feedback to unsuccessful applicants who may wish to reapply. Any
criticism must therefore be constructive and polite.

Please note: before you begin to complete the assessment form, it is very important that you read
the entire application first.

For minimum standards in terms of length and quality of justifying narrative, please see Annex III:
Sample – EVS Quality Assessment.

The table below provides an overview of the quality assessment form:

            Part I       Identification of the application
            Part II      Assessment Conclusions
            Part III     Brief description of the project
            Part IV      Assessment of Award Criteria
            Part V       Summary of Quality Assessment


    Part I – Identification of the Application

    This section contains basic data which identifies the applicant with a unique reference number
    (located on the first page of the application starting with ‘GB’ followed by the relevant Action, a
    unique identifying number, the year and finally the relevant selection round – e.g. GB-11-36-
    2012-R1).



    Part II – Assessment Conclusions

    This section names the relevant Quality Expert and is verified by a signature. It also provides
    the overall final scoring once all relevant sections have been completed and scored. The UK
    National Agency requires an electronic version and a hard copy in the post.



    Part III – Brief Description of the Project

    This section provides a brief summary of the entire project, including basic information about
    the applicant, relevant partners, length and nature of the project – aims and activities.

    This information can usually be copied directly from the original application form although at
    times, experts might have to add additional information in order to portray an accurate project
    summary.




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      Part IV – Assessment of Award Criteria



1. Relevance to the Objectives and Priorities of the Programme

     In this section, experts should list the key objectives, specific Action aims and priorities of the
     project as indicated by the applicant and comment on how well these are reflected throughout
     the project. Applicants are likely to have ticked more than one box on the application form; but
     please note: it is not the quantity of priorities or objectives that is important but how well they are
     reflected throughout the project.

     Questions to ask: How well does the entire application meet the aims and objectives that they
     have selected/ticked on the application form? And are they clearly described?

     It is important that the applicant does not treat themes, priorities and objectives in isolation.
     They should form an integral part of the whole project.

     Questions to ask: Is the link clear between themes, priorities and objectives and is it
     demonstrated in the activities? Does this also follow through to things such as dissemination of
     results and visibility?

     This section can be awarded a total of 30 points (out of 100) which are broken down as follows:

        1. General objectives of the programme 1– 5 points

        2. Specific aims of the sub-Action2 – 5 points

        3. Demonstrated relevance to the specific priorities of the Eastern Partnership Youth
           Window – 20 points




1
    See Annexe II for programme objectives, permanent and annual priorities
2
    See Annexe I for specific aims of Action 2


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  Specific Priorities of the Eastern Partnership Youth Window:

  The Eastern Partnership Youth Window funds for 2012 are in addition to the normal Youth in
  Action funding and for projects between the UK and the Eastern Partnership countries
  (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), are prioritised following types of
  projects:

      Projects demonstrating a clear commitment to provide support to young people with fewer
       opportunities living in rural or deprived urban areas

       Projects raising awareness about the nature of youth work

       Projects promoting the sharing of best practice in the sphere of youth work

  The table below should act as an aide when deciding which scoring level to choose for point 3 -
  specific priorities:

      Points             Descriptor
      20 – Excellent     A clear and very strong demonstration of how the project meets more
                         than two of the specific priorities in the application, with detailed evidence
                         throughout the application, from support and community impact to tasks,
                         learning outcomes and visibility .The quality of the applicant response is
                         very high and detailed.
      16 – Very Good     A clear and good demonstration of how the project meets more than one
                         priority in the application, from support and community impact to tasks,
                         learning outcomes and visibility. The quality of the applicant response is
                         very good but could be enhanced by more details.
      12 – Good          The applicant has identified specific priorities, and they are present in
                         most application sections but not all. The applicant response is relatively
                         clear but could be more detailed
      8 – Adequate       The applicant has identified specific priorities and there is some
                         mention/link made in one or two other sections of the application form.
                         However, the applicant response is not very clear or detailed.
      4 – Poor           Priorities have been identified but are not reflected or indeed referred to
                         in any other part of the application.
      0 – Not Relevant   No reasonable link can be made between the identified priorities and the
                         written content of the application


2. Quality of the Project and Methods applied

  This section is the most important part of the award criteria assessment as it covers everything
  from support, partnerships, tasks and training, to development, European dimension and
  visibility. And as such, it carries 50% of the overall score awarded to any EVS application.

  This section can be awarded a total of 50 points (out of 100) which are broken down as follows:

          a) The quality of project design – 20 points

          b) The quality of project content and methodology – 20 points


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      c) The quality of project reach – 10 points



a) The quality of project design

This is an extensive section which asks Experts to reflect on the quality of partnerships;
volunteers selection process; the preparation phase; volunteer tasks; support and training;
project evaluation, risk prevention and crisis management measures

Questions to ask:

Tasks: Are volunteer tasks clearly defined and appropriate for an EVS volunteer? Is the context
of the project – client group and environment – clearly defined? And is there evidence of
community involvement and benefit?

Partnerships: Is the relationship between host and sender clearly described throughout the
project?

Selection: Is there an open selection process? (i.e. no qualification requirements)

Training and support: Is there adequate training and is it relevant to the tasks, environment
and client groups of the project? Is the training and support tailored to the individual volunteer or
the target volunteer profile?

Risk prevention and Crisis Management: Have potential risks been identified – relating to
tasks, the host location and the individual profile of the volunteer? If yes – have they been
adequately addressed? Are there set procedure in place to handle a crisis situation?

The table below should act as an aide when deciding which scoring level to choose:

 Points              Descriptor
 20 – Excellent       Clear evidence of an efficient partnership showing that partners have
                        worked together to plan the project with regular communication
                        between organisations. The responsibilities of all the partners are
                        clearly outlined to successfully implement all elements of the project
                        cycle including how problems will be resolved.
                      All elements of the recruitment process – from identifying a volunteer
                        profile to selection process and avoiding job substitution – are well
                        described. Evidence that volunteers are carefully matched to the
                        placement, based on motivation and experience, not qualifications.
                      Detailed preparation for the volunteer prior to departure with meetings
                        with the sending organisation to provide advice and support relevant
                        to nature of project. Dialogue with host organisation and ex- or
                        current volunteers and local information given.
                      A clear role for the volunteer with a variety of tasks that are strongly
                        linked to achieving the aims, objectives and themes of the project.
                        They are well structured over the activity duration and are tailored to
                        the ability of the volunteer.
                      Volunteers receive a comprehensive induction including orientation.
                        Task related training is provided to allow them to carry out tasks
                        safely and access staff support. Training and support needs are
                        reviewed periodically by the project with the volunteer.


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                    Evaluation has been planned with clear aims to evaluate the
                     volunteer’s experience and to influence future projects. Evaluation
                     linked to DEOR.
                    Specific risks have been highlighted and control measures are
                     identified with respect to the project environment, tasks and client
                     group (either the volunteers taking part or the people the volunteer
                     works with). Control measures are linked to training and support for
                     the volunteer. There is a coherent approach to managing risk and
                     crisis management by linking preparation, communication between
                     senders and hosts and the role of the mentor.


16 – Very Good      An efficient partnership has been established with communication
                     between organisations. The responsibilities of all the partners are
                     clearly outlined. Evidence that partners have worked together to plan
                     the project
                    All elements of the recruitment process – from identifying a volunteer
                     profile to selection process and avoiding job substitution – are well
                     described. Evidence that volunteers are carefully matched to the
                     placement, based on motivation and experience, not qualifications.
                    Preparation for the volunteer prior to departure with meetings with the
                     sending organisation, advice and support provided, (could include
                     contact with ex-volunteers). Information provided by the host project.
                    A clear role for the volunteer with a variety of tasks. They are well
                     structured over the activity duration and are tailored to the level of the
                     volunteer.
                    Volunteers receive an induction including integration. Task related
                     training to allow them to carry out tasks safely and have clear staff
                     support. Training and support needs are reviewed periodically by the
                     project with the volunteer.
                    Evaluation has been planned with clear aims to evaluate the
                     volunteer’s experience and to influence future projects.
                    Specific risks have been identified and addressed in light of the
                     project environment, tasks and client group (either the volunteers
                     taking part or the people the volunteer works with).
12 – Good           Partnership has been established with communication between
                     organisations. Roles and responsibilities of each partner are defined.
                    The recruitment process is clearly defined with the method of
                     application and selection explained.
                    Clear preparation for the volunteer by the sending organisation and
                     information from the host organisation about the project.
                    A variety of tasks over the duration of the project (minimal routine
                     tasks) with a benefit to the local community.
                    Volunteers receive an induction, task related training to allow them to
                     carry out tasks safely and have clear staff support.
                    Evaluation measures have been planned
                    Risks have been identified and addressed in light of the project
                     environment, tasks and client group (either the volunteers taking part
                     or the people the volunteer works with).
8 – Adequate        Partnership has been established, outlining key roles.
                    Open and clear recruitment process.
                    Some preparation measures are in place, provided by the sending
                     and hosting organisations.

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                        Volunteer role and tasks are clear, offering some variety, with a
                         benefit to the local community.
                        Support and training for the volunteer is stated allowing them to
                         safely carry out their tasks (no welfare concerns).
                        Some measures in place to evaluate the project
                        Some consideration to managing risk but no specific risks identified.
                         Risk prevention methods are in place (no welfare concerns).
  4 – Poor              Little or no partnership evident, with partner roles unclear.
                        Not clear what criteria are used to select volunteers or who does this.
                        Preparation is poorly defined and does not inform volunteer of host
                         country, local environment or volunteering role.
                        Volunteer tasks are unclear.
                        Training and support is unclear or does not meet the needs of the
                         individual volunteer or reflect the nature of the project, leaving
                         concerns regarding volunteer welfare.
                        No measures in place to evaluate the project.
                        No risks identified. No control measures and no clear approach to
                         managing crises, either in or outside the workplace. This therefore
                         leaves us with major concerns regarding volunteer welfare.


b) The quality of project content and methodology

This is another extensive section which asks Experts to reflect on compliance with the EVS
Charter; active involvement and social/personal development of the volunteer; role of the
Mentor, as well as intercultural and European dimension of the project

Questions to ask:

EVS Charter: Is the project compliant with the EVS charter?

Involvement and social/personal development: How actively involved is the volunteer in the
project? What level of learning and development does the project offer the volunteer over the
duration of the placement?

Mentor: Is the role of the mentor clear?

Intercultural/European dimension:

The table below should act as an aide when deciding which scoring level to choose:

 Points              Descriptor
 20 – Excellent       Application complies with the EVS charter
                      The volunteer is actively involved in every stage of the project.
                        Applicant has identified the potential impact of the volunteer’s project.
                        Linked to visibility and DEOR.
                      A learning plan will be devised with the volunteer to structure
                        learning. Volunteer’s activities have been designed to allow a
                        progression of learning and development throughout the project.
                        Volunteers may have the opportunity to do additional training which
                        will contribute to their future career development.
                      In addition to the section below: The mentor has relevant experience
                        and knowledge of the host project. Specific scenarios where the


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                     volunteer can approach the mentor are stated (include workplace and
                     personal issues).
                    The intercultural dimension and European Dimension: cultural
                     learning and dialogue/ debate on wider EU issues involve not only the
                     volunteer and community but include a forum for the organisations,
                     local networks and high-level bodies to learn from the project.
16 – Very Good      Application complies with the EVS charter
                    The volunteer is actively involved in the planning of the project as well
                     as the evaluation with project partners. They can bring their own
                     interests and ideas into their work.
                    The structure of the project engineers a continuous development and
                     learning, becoming gradually more challenging or adapting to
                     volunteer’s skills. An example of a personal project is given.
                    The mentor’s role is well defined with planned meetings at
                     appropriate levels to provide advice and support. Such meetings are
                     incorporated into the volunteer’s induction. Mentors have knowledge
                     of the host project and their role as mediator is clear. It is clear how
                     confidentiality will be maintained.
                    The intercultural dimension and European Dimension fully addresses
                     a number of issues within the project exploring culture and common
                     issues not only include the volunteer but also the wider community.

12 – Good           Application complies with the EVS charter
                    The volunteer is actively involved in the project and has the
                     opportunity to share their interests.
                    Volunteers’ learning is planned through appropriate-level and varied
                     activities. This includes task-related skills as well as interpersonal
                     skills. There is opportunity for a personal project.
                    The mentor’s role is defined with planned meetings at regular and
                     appropriate intervals. They provide advice and support to the
                     volunteer.
                    Intercultural and European dimension: exchange is two-way;
                     volunteers can share their culture and gain awareness of the host
                     culture.
8 – Adequate        Application complies with the EVS charter.
                    The volunteer’s role offers some active involvement.
                    Some learning outcomes have been identified, either gaining task-
                     related skills or interpersonal skills. Little continuous learning and
                     development.
                    A mentor has been identified with ad hoc meetings planned.
                    Intercultural and European dimension: Addressed but undeveloped in
                     the application. Some planned activity to explore volunteer’s culture
                     within the project.
4 – Poor            The application is not compliant with the EVS charter.
                    The volunteer’s involvement in the activities is unclear or passive (as
                     a participant).
                    Learning has not been identified, or is minimal and bears no relation
                     to volunteer’s tasks.
                    The role of the identified mentor is unclear
                    Intercultural and European dimension: no planned activity or
                     approach to raise awareness of other cultures or intercultural
                     encounters.



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     c) The quality of project reach

     This section asks Experts to reflect on wider project implications related to impact and
     multiplying effect; visibility of the project and the YiA programme; as well as dissemination and
     exploitation of results (DEOR).

     Questions to ask: Does the project have an impact beyond the immediate host placement and
     will it continue after the project has ended? Is the project visible at a local /regional/national
     level? Is the visibility of the YiA programme increased? Is there a DEOR strategy?

     The table below should act as an aide when deciding which scoring level to choose:

       Points              Descriptor
       10 – Excellent      The application addresses impact, multiplying effect, visibility and DEOR
                           in great detail. There is a coherent and creative plan implemented
                           throughout the project and beyond, which reaches large and new
                           audiences and uses a variety of creative multimedia tools. Project results
                           continue long after the project has ended and young people’s
                           participation is at the core.
       8 – Very Good       The application addresses impact, multiplying effect, visibility and DEOR.
                           There is a long-term plan which permeates the project and beyond. It
                           reaches a wider audience than the immediate environment and uses
                           multimedia tools. Greater detail and more creativity would make this an
                           excellent project.
       6 – Good            The project details short term impact, benefits and visibility in the
                           immediate environment and project results are disseminated through e.g.
                           An already existing website, local newspaper or newsletter. Throughout
                           the project the YiA programme is promoted and clearly visible. Long-term
                           impact and DEOR activities could be further elaborated upon.
       4 – Adequate        There is some interAction with the local community but no evidence of
                           real impact, integration or indeed benefits. An isolated activity such as an
                           information booth at a seminar is briefly mentioned, but not part of a
                           wider plan or strategy.
       2 – Poor            There is very little impact in the local community and no visibility for the
                           YiA programme or the project. There is no evidence of DEOR activities.



3. Profile of Participants

     One of the permanent priorities of the YiA programme is the inclusion of young people with
     fewer opportunities3 and this is still a priority for the Eastern Partnership projects.

     Involvement of young people with fewer opportunities. In the case of young people from the
      Eastern Partnership region, involvement of young people with fewer opportunities living in rural
      or deprived urban areas


4
    Please see 2012 programme guide page 5 for a definition


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    For projects involving more than one volunteer, at least half of the volunteers in the project
    come from the countries of the Eastern Partnership.

    This section can be awarded a total of 20 points which are broken down as follows:

     Award criteria   Points Score      Descriptor
     Involvement of     10 points,      Award 10 points if the application involves young people
     young people                       with fewer opportunities as defined on page 5 of the 2012
     with fewer                         YiA programme guide AND those young people are from
     opportunities                      rural or deprived urban areas.

                          5 points      Award 5 points if the application involves young people with
                                        fewer opportunities as defined on page 5 of the 2012 YiA
                             or         programme guide.

                                        Award 0 points if the application does not involve young
                          0 points      people with fewer opportunities as defined on page 5 of the
                                        2012 YiA programme guide
     Projects with       10 points      Award 10 points if for the total number of participants there
     more than one                      is a variance between the numbers of males and females of
     volunteer–                         no more than five per group.
     more than               or
     50% from                           Award 0 points if for the total number of participants there is
     countries of                       a variance between the numbers of males and females of
     the Eastern          0 points      more than five per group or where the group is single sex.
     Partnership




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Part V - Summary of Quality Assessment

The final section to complete is an overall assessment of the project, summarising previous
sections, and highlighting the main strengths and weaknesses of the entire application. Experts
should avoid empty statements such as ‘good support’ and instead explain why it is good.

It is important to ensure that the assessment summary accurately justifies the overall score (the
total points score can be found in part II).

For example: A project with an overall scores of 95 (out of 100), should clearly reflect what makes
this project outstanding and near perfect. And similarly, a project with an overall score of 35 (out of
100) should provide a clear list of weaknesses which need to be addressed should the applicant
wish to reapply in the future.




     Important - welfare of young people: Support and welfare of young people is
     essential in any YiA project. Based on application information – an Expert should be
     confident that the applicant has addressed relevant welfare issues in order to
     ensure that all young people involved are safe. Any concerns that these have not
     been addressed adequately must be clearly communicated in the summary of the
     assessment. Welfare concerns will be raised in the Evaluation Committee and
     followed up by the UK NA.



Finally, it is important to remember that constructive feedback and suggestions for quality
improvements is welcome for all projects regardless of the final score. The UK National Agency
would also urge experts, if appropriate, to recommend projects for potential monitoring visits4.

In addition please bear in mind that the summary assessment will be made available to the
Evaluation Committee and as such should be clearly and well written.




4
  Monitoring visits (site visits during project implementation) are used to support the beneficiary, gather and
disseminate examples of best practice, and establish and maintain good relations between the beneficiary
and the NA. Projects may be chosen for a number of reasons such as being a first time applicant (may need
additional support) or being a very innovative/creative project (used as a best practice example). In addition,
the NA will ensure there is a balanced spread of the sample of projects to be monitored, by selecting
applicant organisations of varying size, type and geographical location.


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EVS Specific Information for Experts

1. What EVS is not:
        occasional, unstructured, part-time volunteering
        an internship in an enterprise
        a paid job; it must not replace paid jobs5
        a recreation or tourist activity
        a language course
        exploitation of a cheap workforce
        a period of study or vocational training abroad


2. Volunteer tasks
      As far as possible, routine tasks should be limited - approximately 10 % of routine project
        tasks is an acceptable level.
      Experts should take into account the length of service when assessing activities (for long
        term placements in particular) and learning outcomes. Does the activity described justify
        the number of months requested? Will the volunteer have enough to do? Has the activity
        been structured to allow the development of individual volunteers?
      The number of volunteers carrying out their service simultaneously in a given Host
       Organisation should be as low as possible, and be proportionate to the nature of the EVS
       project. It is important the applicant demonstrate that there is enough activity to justify more
       than one volunteer in any host placement (to avoid volunteers becoming bored and leaving
       early).

3.   Identification of volunteers

     Applicants are not required to identify volunteers at application level. This can make it difficult
     to ensure there is adequate tailor-made support for volunteers. In such cases, experts can
     provide reasonable assurance that based on application information, the support described
     appears adequate.

4.   Assessing Co-ordinated applications/ Group EVS:

     Some EVS organisations co-ordinate a number of separate host projects across the country
     and it is possible to submit individual EVS applications that involve a number of separate host
     projects, each with a separate activity description. These applications are called ‘Group EVS’.

     Please note: it is possible to reject one activity description out of several without the entire
     Group EVS application being rejected. Should this occur, the Expert must provide relevant
     details under the assessment summary (part V) and also potentially reduce the scoring level
     chosen on relevant sections on the quality assessment form.




5
 Volunteers should not carry out tasks of professional staff in order to avoid job substitution and/or
excessive responsibility for the volunteers. EVS volunteers may not carry out tasks which serve to support
another EVS project. This also includes fundraising activities.




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EVS projects involving young people with fewer opportunities

Volunteers with fewer opportunities can to take part in shorter EVS activity periods (2 weeks – 2
months). As volunteers don’t have to be identified at the application stage, applicants will detail the
inclusion category the volunteers they work with typically fall within. Volunteers involved in short
term projects may be homeless, recovering addicts, ex-offenders or early school leavers.

Any EVS projects involving young people with fewer opportunities need to pay particular attention
to the following:

   Preparation: If the organisation is to complete an Advance Planning Visit, this should allow the
    volunteer to explore the project and partners to discuss meeting volunteer’s needs. The
    partnership should be strong enough to ensure information is shared about volunteer’s abilities
    and support needs to tailor their programme of activity.
   Support: A strong emphasis will need to be placed on the support provided to the volunteers.
    This could include accompaniment to the project (claimed and justified based on needs under
    Exceptional Costs). Personal support and support in the workplace should be defined; identify
    what that consists of (i.e. daily/weekly reviews), who carries it out (i.e. Youth worker,
    Psychologist), and identify why it is needed (i.e. based on a typical volunteer profile). This
    support is provided in addition to the EVS mentor and can be claimed as Reinforced
    Mentorship when it is deemed relevant and essential to the success of the project.
    If volunteers have specific needs to allow them to participate fully in their project costs for this
    can be considered on a case by case basis under Exceptional costs.
   Risk: The risk assessment should recognise the risks that the volunteer may present to the
    project (in the project environment with the client group and in their activity) as well as adapting
    training, support, working methods and crisis plans to mitigate risks. Projects should show an
    awareness of local context (including legal and cultural).
   Mentor: The role and support of the mentor must be clearly defined. Any request for
    Reinforced Mentorship should be above and beyond the normal duties of an EVS mentor.
   Tasks: These should be at a level appropriate to the volunteer’s abilities and offer a tangible
    result at the end of the activity. Often activities which are hands-on are best. These activities
    will develop soft-skills such as working in a team and confidence levels but may not offer a
    personal project. Tasks should be well structured in a programme of activity that covers the
    whole of the time that they are on the project.




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EVS Projects involving Neighbouring Partner Countries6
It is important to note that organisations interested in becoming EVS hosts or senders not based in
Programme Countries do now receive accreditation but not from any National Agency. In countries
in the South East Europe region, this is carried out by SALTO SEE and in Eastern Europe and
Caucasus this is carried out by SALTO EECA. The exception is the Mediterranean region
(Euromed) where organisations are not accredited.

In any case, it is important to recognise that concept of volunteering and the understanding of what
EVS is, or approach to Health and Safety or Risk Management may vary. Experts should review
the activity description to ensure project activities meet basic EVS requirements when assessing
any application and raise any welfare concerns in the summary of the assessment.

Consider:

        Partnerships: How well do the host and sender know each other? How long have they
         known each other? And how will they work together in order to ensure a successful project?
        Health and Safety / Risk: What emergency plans do the host and sending organisations
         have in place (for example: if a conflict occurs – is there an evacuation plan?) Are there
         adequate health and safety regulations in place – relevant to volunteer activities?




6
    South East Europe, Eastern Europe and Caucasus and Mediterranean Partner countries




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ANNEX I: EVS- Background Information



1. EVS: The Basics
   EVS volunteers are young people aged 18-30 who will undertake a period of voluntary service
   in a non-profit / charitable organisation (not in their home country) for a period of up to 12
   months. EVS is full- time volunteering covering 30-35 hours a week.

   The volunteer must be actively involved in their project with a variety of tasks. There should
   be some benefit to the local community. The EVS volunteer should learn through non-
   formal methods and gain skills over the duration of their project. It is good if they have the
   chance to carry out a personal project.

   A key aspect to EVS is support. An EVS volunteer must be supported at every stage of their
   project – prior to the project start by their sending organisation and during the placement by
   their host through direct supervision and training. Volunteers are also supported by a
   personal mentor.


2. Accreditation
   Any organisation, from a Programme Country, South East Europe or Eastern Europe and
   Caucasus, wishing to submit an EVS application to host or send volunteers, must be
   accredited by SALTO SEE, EECA or a National Agency. Accreditation involves an interview /
   visit to make sure the organisation and proposed activities meet EVS requirements.

   This process must take place before the application submission so in this respect; any projects
   undergoing quality assessments have already, to a certain extent, been vetted for their
   suitability to host or send volunteers.

   It also means that non-EVS projects should not get through the initial eligibility check and thus,
   not be forwarded to external quality experts.

   The accreditation process across different Programme countries may vary, but at the very
   least, the project should meet basic EVS requirements.




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3. European Voluntary Service Charter

The European Voluntary Service (EVS) Charter is part of the Youth in Action Programme Guide and highlights the roles
of EVS Sending, Host and Coordinating Organisations and the main principles and quality standards of EVS. Each EVS
Project promoter adheres to the provisions set out in this Charter.

EVS partnership

A solid partnership between EVS Sending, Host, Coordinating Organisations and the volunteer is the basis of every EVS
Activity. Adequate matching between the volunteer profile and the tasks has to be in place. An Activity Agreement is
signed by all the partners before the beginning of the Activity.
       The Sending Organisation is in charge of the preparation and support of the volunteers before, during and after
        the EVS activities.
       The Host Organisation has to ensure safe and decent living and working conditions for the volunteer throughout
        the entire Activity period. It has to provide adequate personal, linguistic and task-related support, including the
        identification of a mentor for the volunteer.
       The Coordinating Organisation (applicant) has the role of facilitating the implementation of the project by offering
        administrative and quality support to all project partners and enabling their networking.

EVS principles to be ensured

     The non-formal learning and intercultural dimension, through a clear definition of a learning plan for the
      volunteer.
     The service dimension through a clear definition of the non-profit-making character of the project and the
      volunteer tasks. Full-time service and active role of the volunteer in implementing the activities have to be
      ensured. EVS volunteer activities must not replace any employment.
     The benefit to and the contact with the local community.
     EVS is free of charge for the volunteers.
     Accessibility and Inclusion: when recruiting EVS volunteers, the organisations maintain the overall accessibility of
      EVS for all young people, without prejudice related to ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion,
      etc. If the project targets volunteers with fewer opportunities, facilities and capacity in providing tailor-made
      preparation, and support have to be in place.

EVS quality standards to be ensured

Support to the volunteer
     before, during and after the EVS activities, in particular in crisis prevention and management;
     for insurance, visa, residence permit, travel arrangements and all the EVS administrative procedures;
     by facilitating the volunteer’s participation in the EVS training cycle (pre-departure training, on-arrival training,
      mid-term evaluation and evaluation of the Activity);
     by foreseeing proper evaluation measures.

Information
     All EVS partners have the right to receive complete information on the Activity and agree on all aspects.
     Visibility, dissemination and publicity measures have to be in place.

Recognition
     Each EVS volunteer is entitled to receive a Youthpass.




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ANNEX II: YiA Objectives and Priorities

Youth in Action Objectives:
     promote young people’s active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in
      particular
     develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular in order to foster
      social cohesion in the European Union
     foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries
     contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities
      of civil society organisations in the youth field
     promote European cooperation in the youth field.


Youth in Action Permanent Priorities:
      European Citizenship
      Participation of Young People
      Cultural Diversity
      Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities


Eastern Partnership Youth Window Priorities:
      Projects demonstrating a clear commitment to provide support to young people with fewer
       opportunities living in rural or deprived urban areas
      Projects raising awareness about the nature of youth work
      Projects promoting the sharing of best practice in the sphere of youth work

For more details please see the 2012 Youth in Action Programme Guide page 6, available for
download at http://www.britishcouncil.org/youthinAction.




    Document Title   2012 Action 2 Guidance Notes for Experts
    Version          1.0
    Status           In use from R1
    Owner            Aneta Kubala
    Date             01/02/2012
    Electronic       G:\ETG\Shared\Youth\02 Youth in Action, 2007 - 2013\03 Application & Selection\2012 Programme
    Location         Year\Documents




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