Planning, Spending and Evaluation of European Development Funds
Despite significant public resources devoted to EU structural policies, the available intermediate and ex-post evaluations of these interventions do not seem to offer proper assessment on “what works” and what doesn’t. This paper analy-ses one of the reasons behind this "evaluation deficit". It suggests that given the particularly complex decision making process - involving different decision levels and multiple objectives - the budget constraints defined at the higher levels of the programming process tend to produce sub-optimal results with serious conse-quences for public expenditure effectiveness. With a simple representation scheme, and with the aim of opening discussion of the potentials and limits of evaluation for the future, the paper points out the existence of an “implementation paradox”: how, and to what extent, is it possible to reinforce connections between the macro objectives defined at the higher levels and the individual poli-cies/projects downstream in the planning process?
Infrastructures, Regional Development Policy, European Union
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