Evaluation of EQUAL Development Partnerships

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EQUAL, a European Social Fund (ESF) Community Initiative, provides funds to projects which test and promote new ways of combating discrimination and inequalities in the labour market.
EQUAL gives financial support to activities which are implemented by strategic partnerships called "Development Partnerships" (DPs) [German: “Entwicklungspartnerschaften”].
The EQUAL Initiative operates in the following thematic fields defined in the context of the European Employment Strategy: Facilitating access, Ethnic minorities, Business creation, Social economy, Lifelong learning and inclusive working practises, Supporting adaptability, Gender equality and Asylum seekers. Each DP addresses one thematic field.
The first round of EQUAL Development Partnerships was launched in 2002 and ended in 2005. A second round, with a further 130 DPs across Germany began in 2005.


In this second round, Univation evaluates 13 Development Partnerships, focusing on formative consultation for the Development Partnerships and their projects. The evaluation includes the definition and operationalisation of objectives in central domains as well as the measurement of their achievement. Furthermore, Univation analyses characteristics of the DP-networks and evaluates transnational and mainstreaming activities.
The following Development Partnerships are currently under evaluation:

Aktiv für Arbeit (AFA) – Pathways to Employment: The major aim of the Development Partnership is to contribute to the reduction of unemployment in the Müritz Lake District in Eastern Germany and to promote existing opportunities for more jobs, more welfare and more equality. Another objective focuses on the integration of economic and structural instruments into active employment policy and the effective combination of labour market instruments.

ABC – Work – Child-Care – Equal Opportunities: The project operates in the field of reconciling familiy and professional life. Child care staff (mostly women) carries a strong risk of becoming unemployed due to demographic development Mothers need adequate child-care options in order to have equal chances on the labour market. Both problems can be solved by improving and extending child-care services.

BAF – Overcome Discrimination – Design Work – Develop Specialized Staff: In the project integral models for the empowerment of disadvantaged persons in and for small and medium-sized enterprises are developed and implemented. The implementation is funded in 7 sub-projects.

BIBER – Vocational Integration of Handicapped People in Saxony Anhalt: The unemployment of handicapped people currently reaches more than 30% in Saxony-Anhalt. In spite of considerable endeavours by job market- and social policy in Saxony-Anhalt this situation calls for enormous action relating to the professional integration of handicapped people into long-term employment in order to avoid a further social exclusion and discrimination.

EVENT – Berlin puts on work: The initiative builds on the co-operation between economy, employment, culture and youth and utilises “culture as an economic factor”. All activities link up in “Project Future”, instigated by the Department for Economy, Employment and Women.

FOBISYS – Research and Economic Oriented Education System: The development partnership FoBiSys uses the competencies and resources of the national and transnational project partners in order to test and to implement new strategies in vocational education & training in the region of Thuringia. The overall project approach of combining research, training and industry supports enterprises which are economically stable and possess a high innovation ability.

InCareNet – Integrated Care Networks: The guideline for the Development partnership is to develop future-oriented concepts, instruments and solutions for securing jobs in the health sector and to adapt the employees’ existing competences to the new demands. 

LINK-UP: The main aim of this DP is to improve the adaptability of businesses to integrate people with disadvantages, especially people living with HIV/AIDS and to improve the employability of this target group.

MIK – Modular Integration Concepts: The main objective of this project is to improve employability through structural networking and modular concepts. The objectives are geared in particular to disadvantaged young people, migrants, and handicapped people, and they are oriented towards the following identified fields of action: -Field 1: orientation for and the start of a career -Field 2: career integration into the general job market.

NOVA.PE: Nova.PE aims to promote the ability of employers and employees to adapt and transform. This ability is understood as the exploitation and promotion of available, but little used competence potential. This objective is to be achieved by implementing strategic Personnel Development in SMEs, including the introduction of PDP ‘caretakers’, and a lean PDP toolbox. The basic idea behind this PDP is to promote life-long learning in an intergenerative, integrative learning process in which a greater number of older employees will participate.

QUINTA – Network for Qualification, Integration and Employment: On the regional level, the DP aims at developing, testing and establishing new and alternative education and employment structures to promote integration of disadvantaged groups in the regional job market of Werl/Soest. On the supra-regional level of education and employment the project intents to develop solutions and guidelines which should then be integrated into efficient general schemes to provide jobs for disadvantaged groups.

TANDEM – Everything is Possible – Tandem-Partnerships in Science: The basic idea of the development partnership lies in improving the education, further education and employment opportunities for those disabled people working in the field of science and research who need workplace assistance. As people with impairments are not sufficiently supported in the field of research, new approaches to qualified work for physically disabled academics shall be developed.

TUEV – Improved Training and Job Chances for Hearing-impaired Young People: The project will intensively care for hearing-impaired juvenile pupils in the phase of vocational orientation.

Contact: Berthold Schobert