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Practical Handbook for Ongoing Evaluation

Annex 3 Ex ante and ex post evaluation

Ex ante evaluation

The European requirements for ex ante evaluation listed below can be found in Council Regulation 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 (chapter I, article 48).
"Member States shall carry out an ex ante evaluation for each Operational Programme separately under the Convergence objective.
For the European Territorial Cooperation objective, the Member States shall jointly carry out an ex ante evaluation covering either each Operational Programme or several Operational Programmes.
Ex ante evaluations shall be carried out under the responsibility of the authority responsible for the preparation of the programming documents."

Ex ante evaluations shall aim to:

  • Optimise the allocation of budgetary resources under Operational Programmes
  • Improve programming quality

Ex ante evaluations shall identify and appraise:

  • Disparities
  • Gaps
  • Potential for development
  • Goals to be achieved
  • Results expected
  • Quantified targets
  • Coherence of the strategy proposed for the region
  • The extent to which the Community's priorities have been taken into account
  • Lessons drawn from previous programming

Quality of the procedures for implementation, monitoring, evaluation and financial management.

Ex post evaluation

The European requirements for ex post evaluation listed below can be found in Council Regulation 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 (chapter I, article 49).

  • "The [European] Commission shall carry out an ex post evaluation for each objective in close cooperation with the Member State and Managing Authorities.
  • Ex post evaluation shall cover all the Operational Programmes under each objective and examine the extent to which resources were used, the effectiveness and efficiency of Fund programming.
  • Ex post evaluation shall be carried out for each of the objectives and shall aim to draw conclusions for the policy on economic and social cohesion.
  • Ex post evaluation shall identify the factors contributing to the success or failure of the implementation of Operational Programmes and identify good practice.
  • Ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2015."

As indicated in the regulations, it is not a requirement for each programme to perform an ex post evaluation. The European Commission is the only organisation that has to carry out an ex post evaluation. The programme can decide to do an ex post evaluation, e.g. to present the results of the programme and projects. The evaluation by the European Commission will focus on the general performance of the programmes and their contribution to social and economic cohesion.

Ex post evaluation practice 2000-2006:
The European Commission gathered data for ALL Territorial Cooperation programmes on their use of the resources and the effectiveness and efficiency of Fund programming. For a selection of programmes a deeper analysis will be performed, looking at failures, good practices and lessons.
Some individual programmes, such as North West Europe, have started an assessment of the results of the projects and how they actually contributed to the objectives of the programme.

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