Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

ESF+ monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation help to learn about the ESF+’s performance and provide solid evidence base for policymaking.

Monitoring

Monitoring is a systematic data collection to track progress in the implementation and generates information for evaluation.

The Commission helps Member States design their monitoring systems with the ESF+ Common Indicators’ Toolboxmethodological notes and FAQ with a view of collecting and reporting consistent, comparable and good quality data.

The Commission uses monitoring data from Member States to report on EU level achievements to the European Parliament and Council in annual summary or strategic reports (including ESF) and to feed visual tools on ESF+ achievements.

Evaluation

Evaluation allows to critically assess how the ESF+ is spent, whether it meets the citizens’ and businesses’ needs and if it delivers on its intended objectives at minimum cost (i.e. avoiding unnecessary costs or burdens). Evaluation’s findings help the stakeholders and general public to learn about the best practices, benefits, impacts and value added of EU spending. They also help policymakers to improve legislation and ensure that it remains fit for purpose.

Managing Authorities perform evaluations at the Member State or regional level, while the Commission does so at the EU level.

The Commission guidance on evaluation plans helps Member States prepare quality evaluations. The Commission provides also methodological support on counterfactual impact evaluations (CIE), such as guide on CIEs, on use of advanced methods, use of administrative data and practical examples.

The Better Regulation Guidelines and Toolbox provide further information on the European Commission’s approach to Monitoring and Evaluation.  

Studies commissioned by the Commission supporting ESF evaluations and methodological developments are available on this website under the related documents section.

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