Study on ERDF and CF post 2020 common indicators

Written By Andrea Gramillano
Publishing 30 May 2018

t33, together with Sweco, Nordregio, Spatial Foresight, Berman Group and ÖIR is conducting a study on the ‘Development of a system of common indicators for European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund intervention’. The study, commissioned by the European Commission - DG Regio, comes under the Competitive Multiple Framework Service Contracts for the provision of Studies related to the future development of Cohesion Policy and the ESI Funds (Lot 3).

t33 internal team involved in the study is composed by Andrea Gramillano (Project manager), Giovanni Familiari, Alessandro Valenza, François Levarlet, Pietro Celotti, Michele Alessandrini, Nicola Brignani, Lorenzo Palego, Dea Hrelja, Roberto Palloni, Paul Negrila and Cristina Stronati. The European Commission officers responsible for the study are John Walsh and Violeta Piculescu (DG Regio – Unit Evaluation and European Semester).
The scope of the study is to assess the possibility of expanding the current list of common output indicators and the feasibility of developing a list of common direct result indicators for post 2020 ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and CF (Cohesion Fund) interventions.
In the ongoing programming period, according to the fund (ERDF and CF) specific regulation, authorities managing the programmes may use common output indicators and they can also introduce programme specific output indicators for monitoring and evaluation.
Output indicators measure the main deliverable of the projects. Instead, the regulation does not include a set of common direct result indicators.
Result indicators, which are programme specific, map the change in the well being sought in the programme area. The fact that result indicators, by definition, measure the change occurring in the programme area limits the OPs accountability. In fact, a positive change in the result indicator value can occur while the programme contribution is limited or absent, due to external factors.
The analysis of ERDF and CF programmes implemented in 2014-2020 allows identifying which are the possible areas of improvements for the common indicators in the next programming period. The main gap identified consists of the lack of common direct result indicators in the 2014-2020 programming period. Moreover, the use of programme specific indicators, both for outputs and results, makes it difficult to aggregate and compare indicator information at EU level.
In this regard, the study will propose an improved list of common output indicators and new common direct result indicators, that could enable:

  • Simplification and streamlining,

  • Higher programme accountability,

  • Greater comparability at EU level,

  • Easier data collection for evaluations, 

  • Greater harmonisation with other ESI funds.
The final report of the study is available here (part 1 and part 2).