Studies on Innovative Practices
Edited by Mattias Elg, Per- Erik Ellström, Magnus Klofsten and Malin Tillmar
Chapter 17: Theory-based evaluation – a range of approaches to assess impact
The Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy is responsible for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (the first is one of the two Structural Funds – the other being the European Social Fund) that aim to support regional policy and reduce economic, social and territorial disparities between Member States and regions. Structural and Cohesion Funds are delivered through ‘shared management’: Member States or regions draw up programs for the expenditure of the resources, which are negotiated and agreed with the European Commission. The Member States or regions are responsible then for implementing the programs including their monitoring and evaluation (Applica and ISMERI Europa, 2010–2013; European Commission, 2013a). The European Commission is accountable to the European Parliament, the Court of Auditors and citizens in general for the expenditure of the Funds. Increasingly, this concerns the performance of the policy as well as the legally correct expenditure of the resources involved. In this context, the potential role of evaluation is clear.
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