Developing a Protocol for the Evaluation of ECDC Disease Programmes


Established in 2004, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is mandated to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases in Europe. Over the past decade, through partnerships with Member States’ health protection bodies, the ECDC has been working towards strengthening disease surveillance networks and early warning systems, as well as ensuring that evidence-based scientific opinions are issued on risks posed by infectious diseases. ECDC seeks to achieve this partly through seven Disease Programmes.

RAND Europe has been commissioned by ECDC to establish a common protocol for the future evaluation of the seven ECDC Disease Programmes. Understanding the impact of the seven Disease Programmes is crucial in terms of the extent to which they meet their aims, align with other international initiatives, represent efficient use of resources and demonstrate EU added value.


The project aims to assess the seven Disease Programmes in design and in practice by evaluating the data availability. Based on these findings, an evaluation protocol will be developed that can be used for the future evaluation of the seven ECDC Disease Programmes.

The specific objectives of the project include:

  • To map out an agreed Theory of Change for the ECDC’s Disease Programmes;
  • To explore what relevant data already exists to support an evaluation; and
  • To develop a common evaluation protocol, including evaluation questions (mapped to key evaluation criteria), required data, data source(s), research methodologies and anticipated reporting.


The study will use a theory-of-change–based approach. This will enable the development of an evaluation protocol that specifies indicators according to key evaluation criteria, data sources and methods of data collection, while drawing on the perspectives of key stakeholders.

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