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MEANS Collection: “Evaluation of socio-economic programmes”

This six-volume collection is intended to make available to a wider audience the fruits of the work carried out under the MEANS programme - an undertaking launched by the European Commission with the aim of improving and promoting evaluation methods. These books are a response to the increasingly pressing need for reliable reference sources to enable assessors to deal effectively with the problems they encounter when working on public-sector schemes in general and in particular measures under the Structural Funds.

In this sense, the MEANS collection is an original methodological guide, providing solutions to technical and organisational evaluation problems that are barely covered in the existing technical literature.

The MEANS Collection is aimed not only at professional evaluators (for whom it promises to be a valuable handbook), but also at non-specialists and in particular supervisory authorities and members of structural programme Monitoring Committees.

While each volume has been designed as a stand-alone publication, they are complementary to one another and together cover all aspects of evaluating socio-economic programmes.

1. Evaluation design and management
This volume enables readers to understand the implications of evaluation and to gain an idea of what they can and cannot expect from an evaluation at a given time and in a particular context. It covers all aspects of managing an evaluation project successfully from start to finish: allocating evaluation tasks, setting goals and a general methodological approach, laying down a timetable and a budget, assessing the quality of the work performed and, finally, directing how the results are used.

2. Selection and use of indicators for monitoring and evaluation
This volume shows how indicators can be used to support policy decisions, improve management practice and measure the overall performance of the programmes. It contains a methodological framework and a practical guide for the use of indicators in these different situations.

3. Principal evaluation techniques and tools
These tools are taken from the various scientific disciplines drawn on by the evaluations: economics, sociology, management, geography, etc. Each of the 23 tools is described in the form of a fact sheet, featuring a general description, basic instructions on its application, a list of its advantages and disadvantages as regards evaluating structural measures, an example of how the tool is applied and a list of reference works.

4. Technical solutions for evaluation within partnership
Running a series of trial evaluations under the MEANS programme enabled us to design and test out innovative methods of evaluation, such as impact mapping, cross-impact matrixes, score cards and multi-criteria analysis. This book describes in detail how to apply such methods.

5. Transversal evaluation of impacts on the environment, employment and other intervention priorities
Among the questions addressed by this book are the impact of structural measures in terms of employment, equality of opportunity between men and women and the competitiveness of SMEs. The book equips the reader with the tools necessary for analysing effects such as those not necessarily listed among the explicit objectives of the schemes evaluated.

6. Glossary of 300 concepts and technical terms
Writing this collection involved a meticulous process of standardising and defining the terminology used. The glossary is a compilation of hundreds of such definitions, taken from the index of terms at the back of each book, and grouped according to the same basic categories.
The MEANS collection comes as a boxed set and is available in English or French.

To order: The collection comes as a boxed set and can be ordered in French or English from all sales outlets of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

“MEANS Collection - Evaluation of socio-economic programmes”
Price (not including VAT and P&P) : EUR 120
1999 - 6 volumes - 14.8 x 21 cm

French ISBN 92-828-6627-0 CX-10-99-000-FR-C
English ISBN 92-828-6626-2 CX-10-99-000-EN-C

GUIDE to evaluating socio-economic development

This Guide has been developed for the European Commission by experts in evaluation in order to promote and improve the practice of evaluation in the enlarged European Union. It is freely available on the Internet and feedback on its content is welcome


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