Building Evaluation Capacity in Croatia (2012)
As part of the Europe Aid project “Ex-ante evaluation of programming documents and strengthening evaluation capacity for EU funds post-accession”, we have created a number of training modules to strengthen evaluation capacity for EU Cohesion Policy funds management.
While being inspired by the mainstream approach to capacity building, the activities are tailored to the actual features of the Croatian institutions and to the evaluation experts. We pursue “sustainable evolution”, conscious that nurturing evaluation skills and capacity in individuals as well as in institutions is a process that cannot be predetermined or simply superimposed.
The training modules are based on a thorough training need assessments analysis, covering topics such as: interfacing the independent evaluator; evaluation plans, evaluation demands and evaluation mandate; tailoring evaluation; “ex-ante”, “on-going”, and “ex post” evaluation; key components; evaluation criteria; typical evaluation questions; main approaches; intertwining with the programming and re-programming process; reporting; main techniques and methods; and impact evaluation.
We study the following approaches, methods and techniques in depth, highlighting the situations where they can be put to better use: the counterfactual approach (experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research); the “scientific realist approach”; theory-driven evaluation; participatory evaluation; quantitative methods: macroeconomic models, input-output analysis (i/o), and the social accounting matrix (SAM).
We concluded this project with an event in Zagreb. See the event materials
The economic and social parameters of the national public administrations in the context of EU integration (2012)
We held a four-day professional training module for regional civil servants and managers from the West Balkans at the Regional School of Public Administration in Danilovgrad, Montenegro. The course provided insights on how EU integration has shaped change in public administrations, exploring the current and future challenges that they face.
Teachers and policy practitioners taught participants about the history of European integration and its key actors, treaties and policies. Sessions covered compliance monitoring in both member and candidate states, analysis of how EU economic governance has affected public administrations, and issues of multilevel governance, the partnership principle and stakeholder engagement.
Classroom discussions, interactive workshops, lectures and quizzes were used to combine theory with practice. Throughout, the focus was on ensuring that participants completed the module aware of how to use their knowledge to benefit their own administrations.
The training was delivered by Dr Simona Milio, Dr Andreas Staab (European integration expert) and Ms Ivana Novoselec (conditionality and enlargement expert).
Managing and implementing Cohesion Policy (2011)
Cohesion Policy has played a crucial role in developing and strengthening the institutional and administrative capacity of the Italian regions over the last 20 years. A critical success factor is civil servants’ expertise in programming, management, monitoring and evaluation of the Policy.
Our professional training course for regional civil servants and managers in Region Sicily, Italy, provided a comprehensive picture of the 2007-13 programming period, highlighting how to support the mid-term reprogramming phase of the Structural Funds in Sicily and exploring the next alignment of Cohesion Policy with EU2020. It used a problem-solving approach to give regional civil servants the analytical and practical tools, plus the perspectives from other EU regions’ experiences, to face the current and forthcoming challenges of the Cohesion Policy framework.
The eight themes covered were: the 2007-13 programming period; monitoring, control and audit of structural funds; analysis of state aid in crisis periods; evaluation and performance reserve based mechanisms; the Lisbonisation of Cohesion Policy and related investment; territorial cooperation, social development programmes and community initiatives; financial engineering mechanisms, JESSICA and JEREMIE; and the future of Cohesion Policy and alignment to EU / Regio 2020.
Cooperation and Structural Funds: how to maximise local involvement (2010)
Professional training for regional civil servants and managers, undertaken for Messina University and Professional Cooperation Network, Italy
Administering Structural Funds for economic development (2008)
Professional training for regional civil servants and managers in Region Apuglia, Italy
Theory and practices of evaluation (2007)
Professional training for a civil servant and manager of Bosnia Herzegovina at the Centre for International Development, University of Bologna, Italy
Managing local development within long term planning (2007)
Professional training for regional civil servants and managers in the Region Emilia Romagna, Italy