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Setting and adjusting targets for the ESF


Background papers give methodological support for the preparation of new Operational Programmes

In preparation for the programming period 2014-2020 Member States are required to develop performance indicators and set targets for monitoring the implementation and performance of operational programmes (OPs). The Commission aims to provide methodological support to ESF Managing Authorities in setting and possibly adjusting  targets for output (numbers of participants, entities) and result indicators (numbers of participants finding employment, gaining a qualification etc.). Such indicators are essential to account for expenditures.

Following a learning seminar for ESF Managing Authorities, organised in March, two background papers have been prepared that summarise the main methodologies for ESF target setting and adjusting in the OPs. The background paper "Setting and adjusting targets for ESF Operational Programmes" discusses methodologies for setting and adjusting quantified cumulative employment targets. The paper "ESF performance target setting and adjusting in social inclusion" addresses this issue for OPs that involve social inclusion measures.

The aim of these papers is not to provide Member States with a unique method to set targets for indicators as these methods depend on the type of indicator and the availability of data. Rather the aim is to give an overview of principles, suitable methods and pitfalls for targeting.