The evaluation was conducted on behalf of the King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels. The project started in May, 2005 and was completed in October, 2006. The major objective of the external evaluation was to review the methodological concept and design of the European Citizen’s Deliberation on Brain Science (ECD) project. The investigation focused on the conditions, the promoting and impeding factors and the structural constraints for initiating, conducting and sustaining a constructive dialogue among citizens from different EU members countries. In addition, the process of deriving at a common statement of European citizens on brain science was a major topic for this external evaluation. The major methods used for data input and processing included observations and interviews with key actors in the project.
The observations took place during the two European Citizens Conventions in June, 2005 and January, 2006. The team members used a pre-structured observation tool and documented general and specific features of the dialogue process. In addition, the team members conducted personal interviews with coordinators, facilitators, stakeholders and involved citizens during different phases of the project. The interviews mainly consisted of semi-structured questions. Finally, the evaluation team investigated the comments and responses on the project’s website and other related websites. The results of these different research methods and instruments were compared and mutually validated in a triangulation process.