The EUNIC Cluster Fund was established in 2012 to support the operation of EUNIC clusters with additional financial resources. Funded with the voluntary contributions of EUNIC members, it was guided by the following five objectives: to design and implement EUNIC strategic topics (culture in external relations, multilingualism); to stimulate cluster action; to enhance inter-cluster collaboration; to present EUNIC as a global multilateral player; and to make the case of the importance of culture in external relations.
The Cluster Fund has operated in three editions so far. Its three calls for projects (one per year) resulted into 123 project proposals submitted, out of which 39 were (co-)funded with an overall amount of EUR 313,707. The successful proposals represent 31,71 % of the total number of applications received.
The current report presents the findings of the evaluation conducted by EUNIC Global in order to assess the performance of the Cluster Fund 2012-2015 as well as to inform the drafting of new guidelines for its operation from 2016 onwards. This was the decision of the General Assembly held in December 2015, when EUNIC Heads adopted the first ever EUNIC Strategic Framework and agreed on such an evaluation in view of adapting the upcoming editions of the Cluster Fund to the new Strategic Framework. In June 2016, the conclusions of this evaluation were presented to the General Assembly which approved the recommendations accompanying them. This report also documents the main aspects of the operation of the Cluster Fund 2012-2015 in order to preserve its institutional memory for the future.
The evaluation of the Cluster Fund was conducted between February and July 2016, covering the three main areas that structure this report: awarded projects, response to calls and management procedure. The methodology included three phases: a first phase to map and collect the documentation available; a second phase to extract and organise the relevant data in a comparable way; and a third phase of further analysis and conclusions to elaborate the present report with recommendations for the new Cluster Fund guidelines.