Ex Post Evaluation of the ERDF in Objectives 1 & 2 (2000-2006)

Work Package 7: Demographic change, Gender

The seventh work package assesses the impact of the ERDF in supporting gender equality and enabling adaptation to demographic change. The scope of the evaluation is restricted to appraisal of ERDF interventions in 12 selected regions.

Main findings:

  • Demographic change and gender equality issues are considered in most regional context analysis of the programming but find little further development in the intervention design, implementation and evaluation systems
  • On average 23% of the total ERDF budget in the analysed regions were spent on measures addressing demographic change, while ERDF measures addressing gender equality account on average for 21%.
  • In terms of impacts, little or no quantitative evidence is available (no specific indicators were collected for the purpose).  However, the qualitative evidence shows that the ERDF interventions have had positive effects on demography (such as ageing, depopulation and rural/urban imbalances, migration) and on gender equality (more work life balance) issues

Measures with notable impact on both issues were:

  • ERDF support for care facilities for children and the elderly were more effective than specific measures both in creating employment opportunities for women and in improving women’s work-life balance
  • Interventions in social infrastructures and in regeneration projects in areas experiencing depopulation or deprived urban areas were indirectly beneficial for employment and quality of life of women, with potential positive effects on fertility rates

Main lessons learned:

  • There is little awareness of the potential of the ERDF to address demographic change and gender equality. Nevertheless ERDF can support regions to adapt to demographic change and foster gender equality
  • The local dimension is relevant to demographic change and gender equality… but while necessary, it is not sufficient. To address the multiple dimensions of demographic change and gender equality, it is necessary to adopt integrated and multi-level policy solutions.
  • To deliver positive effects on gender equality it is not enough to set this as horizontal principle but to complement it with sound implementing measures.
  • To improve the effectiveness and sustainability of ERDF interventions, appropriate management capacities are necessary at regional and local levels.


  • Executive Summary pdf de en fr
  • Final Report pdf en - Annexes pdf en
  • Regional case studies:
    Liguria, Italy pdf en
    Basilicata, Italy pdf en
    Salzburg, Austria pdf en
    Saxony, Germany pdf en
    Gelderland, The Netherlands pdf en
    Castilla y Leon, Spain pdf en
    Nord Pas de Calais, France pdf en
    Norra Norrland, Sweden pdf en
    East of Scotland, UK pdf en
    Southern and Eastern Ireland pdf en
    Malta pdf en
    Latvia pdf en
  • Mini case studies pdf en
  • Inception report pdf en
  • First Intermediate report pdf en Literature Review and Selection of Case Study Regions
  • Terms of Reference pdf en


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