The Evaluation of Socio-Economic Development

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THE EVALUATION OF

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The GUIDE

December 2003

Tavistock Institute
in association with:
GHK
IRS

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION1
PART 1 THE CONTRIBUTION OF EVALUATION TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT5 1.1 THE BENEFITS OF EVALUATION5
1.2 INTRODUCING EVALUATION: HISTORY AND PURPOSE10
1.3 METHODS AND THEIR ROOTS17
1.4 EVALUATION TO STRENGTHEN SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT24 1.5 GOLDEN RULES35
PART 2 DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING EVALUATION FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT38 2.1 DESIGNING AND PLANNING YOUR EVALUATION38
2.2 IMPLEMENTING AND MANAGING EVALUATIONS56
2.4 GOLDEN RULES81
PART 3 DEVELOPING CAPACITY FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC EVALUATIONS84 3.1 DEVELOPING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY84
3.4 GOLDEN RULES100
PART 4 CHOOSING METHODS, TECHNIQUES AND INDICATORS AND USING EVIDENCE IN EVALUATION103 4.1 FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF METHOD, TECHNIQUES, DATA AND EVIDENCE103 4.2 METHODS AND TECHNIQUES FOR EVALUATING DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC INTERVENTIONS109 4.3 METHODS AND TECHNIQUES FOR DIFFERENT EVALUATION PURPOSES115 4.4 METHODS AND TECHNIQUES APPLICABLE AT DIFFERENT PROGRAMMES/POLICY STAGES117 4.5 METHODS AND TECHNIQUES APPLICABLE TO DIFFERENT STAGES IN THE EVALUATION PROCESS120 4.6 ACQUIRING AND USING DATA IN EVALUATION123

4.7 CREATING INDICATORS AND INDICATOR SYSTEMS127
4.8 USING INDICATORS TO IMPROVE MANAGEMENT140
4.9 GOLDEN RULES146

Annexes:
Annex AThe Main Stages of Evaluation
Annex BChanges in Structural Fund regulations

INTRODUCTION

This GUIDE, is intended for those involved in the evaluation of socio-economic development in Europe. It is a successor to the MEANS collection (methods for evaluating structural policies). Whilst the GUIDE has a specific focus on evaluation within European Structural Funds, it is not confined to the evaluation of these interventions. Socio economic development is, after all, strongly featured in many national and regional programmes that are not funded by the EU. In most countries in Europe, as elsewhere in the world, improving regional and local economies that have fallen behind, re-integrating marginalized groups, and adjusting to the challenges of global competition and technical change are priorities. Given the scarcity of resources and the often innovative strategies that socio-economic development requires, the demand for evaluation has expanded alongside the development of policies and complex interventions themselves.

Evaluating socio-economic development; policies, programmes, themes and projects

The GUIDE is concerned with the evaluation of socio economic development in Europe which gives it a particular focus on European Structural Funds. The funds are organised in programmes and evaluation takes place at ex ante, mid term and ex post stages. The programmes are one means of achieving wider policy goals and programme evaluation contributes to policy evaluation. The programmes comprise many interventions and projects. Evaluation at the level of the measure/intervention/project forms a part of programme evaluation. Many different programmes and their elements contribute to thematic objectives and thematic evaluation builds upon project and programme evaluation. The principles stressed in this GUIDE generally apply in socio economic programme, policy, project and thematic evaluation. Thus the GUIDE will be of use to those who have to plan, commission and manage thematic, policy and project evaluations as well as programme evaluation.

Who is this GUIDE for?

The readers of this GUIDE will come from many of the different communities active in the evaluation of socio-economic development programmes. These will include:

▪ Policy makers who have an interest in what evaluation can do for them including what are the strengths and limitations of evaluation and the resources and capacities they will need, ▪ Public sector managers and civil servants who may...
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