Ex ante Evaluation of the Structural Funds Programme for Mainland Finland 2014-2020

The Ex ante Evaluation of the Structural Funds Programme for Mainland Finland 2014-2020 aims to ensure that the programme includes clear intervention logic and contributes to the Europe 2020 strategy. The evaluators are engaged from an early stage in the programming process to analyse the territorial challenges and needs and to facilitate the design of intervention logic and the establishment of programme's targets.

Cohesion policy for the programming period 2014-2020 has a strong emphasis on results with the aim of contributing to the Union strategy of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The new regulation underlines the importance of well-designed programmes, clear intervention logic and contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy. Therefore, especial weight has been laid on the ex-ante evaluation process in the programming period.

The evaluation project focuses on using a mix of methods to address the different dimensions of the programming design process. The project will in the first place study the policy challenges and needs in order to assess the programme strategy and strategic choices. Focus group interviews and targeted questionnaires will support the participative approaches and design of the programme. The project will also contribute to preparation of the two regional programmes through analysis of their consistency and separate coaching sessions. Key issue in the ex-ante evaluation is close participation in the programme design and an iterative and interactive process with stakeholders and managing authority.

The Structural Funds Programme for Mainland Finland 2014-2020 is so called "multifund" programme, in which the ERDF and the ESF are combined. This sets further challenges to evaluate the appropriate coordination and complementarity mechanism to ensure effective delivery of results.