Case Study

European Social Fund Impact Evaluation Study

Client: Department for Work and Pensions | Sectors: Social Policy

A report on the design of a planned impact evaluation of the European Social Fund (ESF) programme in England has been published. The report was commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and undertaken by Ecorys between July 2017 and February 2018. It is intended to help fulfil the European Commission’s requirements for monitoring and evaluation in respect of the ESF, specifically the need to undertake an impact evaluation of the fund.

The analysis recommended a mixed-method evaluation of ESF impacts through the combination of counterfactual impact evaluation, using propensity score matching and difference-in-differences techniques, with theory-driven impact evaluation. This is intended to enable the impact evaluation to assess the totality of the ESF’s potential impacts and examine questions relating to the programme’s effectiveness in generating these impacts. The report explains how this approach has the greatest chance of providing robust evidence in line with the requirements for an ESF impact evaluation set out by the European Commission (EC), in addition to providing evidence to inform any future related interventions.

The full report can be read here.


Key Experts

Ian Atkinson Director