Data collection and quality assessment - Final Report Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF) - Work Package Zero
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During the negotiations on the ERDF and Cohesion Fund operational programmes (OPs) for 2007-2013, the Commission recommended1 the use of 'core indicators' for the main intervention areas, including productive investment and infrastructure. Core indicators can be used to compare and aggregate data across similar programmes, priorities or measures. Reporting on core indicators was not a legal obligation in 2007-2013, as the Member States (MS) and the Commission were establishing reporting routines and detecting practical reporting issues. However, MS and the Commission undertook to make a particular effort to report against core indicators, so as to improve accountability in the use of the Funds.
Strategic reports were submitted by the MS twice in the course of the programming period (in 2009 and 2012), including core indicator data to communicate progress towards achieving policy objectives 2. Thanks to the use of core indicators, this is the first programme period in which indicator data can be aggregated and analysed across programmes. However, cleaning the data for strategic reporting highlighted weaknesses in the quality and reliability of some data reported by Managing Authorities (MAs).
Against this background, the tender for this study was launched by DG REGIO firstly to collect, quality assess and revise data on Cohesion Policy Programmes 2007-2013 reported by MAs. Secondly, it was launched to give useful input to the MS and MAs to help them develop their monitoring systems for the 2014-2020 programming period, when funding will partially depend on reliable and clear performance data.