Evaluation Helpdesk 2023-2027

The Evaluation Helpdesk has the central objective of increasing the quality of evaluations carried out on Cohesion policy across the EU by strengthening evaluation capacity in Managing Authorities as well as in DG REGIO and DG EMPL. This goal is in line with Art. 35(2)(h) of Cohesion policy regulations to consolidate the strategic value of evaluations in the policy cycle. To this end the activities of the Helpdesk are to:

  • collect and review all evaluations of programmes funded by the ERDF, Cohesion Fund, JTF and ESF+, carried out by the EU Member States, whether they relate to the current 2021-2027 programming period, to the previous 2014-2020 one or to periods before that;
  • collect and review evaluations of Cohesion policy published in the academic literature;
  • provide structured information and reports based on the reviews of evaluations to support the Commission’s own reports on evaluation findings and also make available selected information via dedicated tools, which are published on Commission websites.
  • provide on-site support to Member States on specific issues relating to evaluation of measures or programmes financed by the ERDF, Cohesion Fund, JTF and ESF+, through advice, continued support during the evaluation process, guidance and training on specific issues or other activities agreed with the Commission;
  • provide methodological support on evaluation activities carried out by the Commission including reviews of specific texts, advice and training on particular issues;
  • organise each year a training course for participants from MAs and others involved in the evaluation of ERDF and Cohesion Fund programmes on a topic agreed with the Commission.

Ex post Evaluation of Cohesion Policy Programmes 2014-2020 financed by the ERDF and CF: WP1

The ex post evaluation is aimed at assessing the achievements and effects of all programmes co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF) in the 2014-2020 period, including territorial cooperation programmes.

Work Package 1 will synthesise the findings of the various WPs and integrate them with those of the analysis carried out under WP1 itself. The aim is to present these findings in a coherent way so that the overall results of the ex post evaluation and the implications for policy which can be drawn from them can be clearly seen.

Evaluation Helpdesk 2019-2023

The aim of the contract is to provide the European Commission (DG Regional Policy and DG Employment) with an “Evaluation Helpdesk” that identifies and reviews the evaluations completed in Member States over the 2014-2020 period, the ex-post evaluations of the 2007-2013 programmes and the ex-ante evaluations relating to the 2021-2027 period; and provides support to Managing Authorities in designing and managing evaluations of Operational Programmes co-financed by the ERDF, Cohesion Fund and ESF (including the YEI – Youth Employment Initiative). In addition, the Helpdesk provides structured information on the outcome of the reviews of evaluations to support the European Commission’s syntheses of evaluation findings.

Study supporting the 2019 evaluation of support to Employment and Mobility

The purpose of the study is to provide the Commission with evidence and analysis that will allow building up its evaluation of the ESF support to employment and mobility (i.e. TO8 excluding support to youth employment). The report aims at taking stock of the results of ESF related support for the period 2014-2018, building in particular on the relevant ESF evaluations carried out by the Member States. The results of the report should also feed into the next programming period by providing lessons and supporting the negotiations of the OP for the ESF+.

The study is a part of the multiple framework contracts for the provision of services related to the implementation of Better Regulation Guidelines.

ESF Synthesis of Annual Implementation Reports submitted in 2018 and 2019 and ad-hoc reports

A part of the multiple framework contracts for the provision of services related to the implementation of Better Regulation Guidelines, the objective of the contract is to collect, analyse, synthesise and aggregate monitoring and evaluation information provided by Member States through Annual Implementation Reports (AIR) and, where relevant, progress reports12 in order to provide evidence on the performance of the ESF over the 2014-2020 programming period, for the AIR 2017 submitted in 2018, the AIR 2018 submitted in 2019 and the Progress Reports submitted in 2019. The information is presented in a standard and easy-to-read manner. The aim is also to collect additional information from Member States through interviews and surveys for the ad hoc reports. These reports are used to communicate results to stakeholders and other institutions.

International Jury – competition for the best evaluations of EU Cohesion Policy

The objective of the contract was to assist DG Regional and Urban Policy and DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in identifying the best submissions to the competition for best evaluations of EU Cohesion Policy. The submitted evaluations had to assess the effectiveness of operations co-financed by Structural or Cohesion Funds and use at least one of the following three methods: Ex-post cost benefit analysis (CBA), Theory-based evaluations (TBE), Counterfactual evaluation (CIE). The winning evaluations were presented at the 7thevaluation conference on “Effectiveness of EU Cohesion Policy” on 16-17 June 2016 in Sofia (Bulgaria).

Review of evaluations of Cohesion policy 2007-13 and of structured approach to the review of the 2014-20 evaluation plans

The central aim of the contract is to develop an approach which will support a future ‘Evaluation Helpdesk on Cohesion policy’, i.e. to compile a list of the evaluations undertaken by the Managing Authorities and other research produced within the Member States in 2013 and 2014; to review a sample of evaluations, and to develop a structured approach to the quality review of the 2014-2020 evaluation plans.

DG Regional and Urban Policy, 2015 (with Ismeri Europa).

Expert Evaluation Network delivering Policy Analysis on the Performance of Cohesion Policy 2007-2013

The general purpose of the contract is to coordinate an expert evaluation network. The network has the objective to deliver policy analysis and evidence on the performance of Cohesion Policy, based on the monitoring and evaluation work underway in the Member States and the analysis of these results in the context of statistical and policy research available.

DG Regional Policy, 2010 and 2011-2013 (with Ismeri Europa, IT).

Ex post evaluation of cohesion policy programmes 2000-2006 co-financed by the European Fund for Regional Development (Objective 1 and 2); Work Package 1: coordination, analysis and synthesis

The overall aim of the project is to coordinate the various studies being undertaken to assess the effects of cohesion policy over the period 2000-2006, to produce summary analyses of regional developments in all the Member States and to provide support to DG Regional Policy in carrying out the evaluation.