3-year Evaluation (2015-2018) of the REA
The purpose of this evaluation was to undertake the periodical (tri-annual) evaluation of the operations of REA for the period 2015-2018. In line with the Commission’s better regulation principles, the evaluation covered the criteria of efficiency, effectiveness, coherence and relevance. The study combined a retrospective and prospective analysis. If the former analysis assessed changes in the operations of REA during the evaluation period, the latter analysis informed the development of recommendations for improving the performance of the Agency in the future. The evaluation extended to the 2014-2020 programmes delegated to the Agency and the legacy of the FP7 actions managed during the period 2015-2018.
The study followed a single organisational model linking the following three sets of factors: (1) regulatory and operational framework, (2) enablers of the Agency performance (strategy and planning, people, other resources, partnerships and processes of an Agency), and (3) (intended and unintended) results. It also measured the main aspects of REA’s performance based on quantitative or qualitative indicators on efficiency, cost-effectiveness, effectiveness and value for money. As part of the study, we gathered and analysed the evidence using qualitative and quantitative methods, including an extensive documentary review and desk research, semi-structured in-depth interviews with Commission officials and REA staff, surveys of the Agency’s beneficiaries, unsuccessful applicants, experts and of EC officials, an analysis of the survey and administrative data, and a retrospective cost–benefit analysis. Also, a focus group meeting was organised at the end of the project to validate the draft conclusions and recommendations of the study. The methodology applied in this assignment was consistent with the approaches employed during the evaluations of other Executive Agencies, including the latest evaluations of the ERCEA, EACEA, INEA and CHAFEA.
Over the course of the project, the evaluation team assessed the Agency’s regulatory framework, mission and governance, evaluated its performance in 2015-2018, conducted cost-benefit analysis as well as developed conclusions and policy recommendations. The results of the study were submitted to the Steering Committee of REA and other Commission services. The evaluation helped the Commission services to assess whether the functioning of the Agency has yielded the expected positive results as estimated in the ex-ante Cost-Benefit Analysis for the delegation of tasks to the Executive Agencies and identify potential areas of improvement.