ECES' SOP are an integrated document with all information, procedures and instructions governing our work.
These Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are the result of the collective years of experience of ECES in successfully implementing electoral assistance projects mainly funded by the EU and EU and EU and integrates the overall accumulated professional experiences of the Management Board and Management Unit of ECES, in the field of election observation and electoral assistance.
The SoP aims to gather in a single integrated document all information, procedures and instructions necessary to identify, formulate, and implement activities, as well as to address with project monitoring, evaluation, communication, visibility and audit of all ECES’ projects. The SoP further explain how to conduct the smooth daily running of ECES office and of its activities at HQ and field level, considering that the strategic direction and management of projects lies always with ECES HQ while the coordination and implementation of activities lies with the project coordination team, under the supervision and leadership of ECES HQ.
This approach is crucial to ensure coherent implementation of ECES’ activities and methodologies, as all the approaches used in our projects (such as EURECS, LEAD, EPEA, PEV etc.) were designed at HQ level by ECES experts, and thus need to be implemented in a harmonised manner throughout the different projects.
These SOPs were also conceived taking into consideration the lessons learned of all the external evaluation and monitoring exercises undergone by ECES, including verifications of expenditures, external financial and system audits. The SOPs have also been widely shared with a large number of ECES personnel in order to integrate feedback.
Providing practical guidance to all ECES experts that will implement activities fully in line with the SoP, this document has been designed along the lines of the project cycle form part of relevant reading for ECES experts, donors, evaluators and auditors. The EU project cycle management follows five phases: programming, identification, formulation, implementation, evaluation and audit.
In order to adapt the SoP to follow the natural cycle of ECES functioning, the SOPs are articulated around the following sections:
- Project identification and formulation
- Project inception
- Project implementation
- Project monitoring and evaluation
- Project closure
Each phase outlined above aims to cover as exhaustively as possible what needs to be known and done during the project’s cycle and encompasses the institutional, organisational, administrative, financial, operational and legal aspects linked to the EURECS implementation.
Besides providing guidance on these practical steps, the SOP also include all the templates and forms necessary to comply with the relevant procedures in annex – hence the SOPs are integrated meaning complete with all necessary documents needed to complete certain steps as stipulated in the SOPs.