Evaluation of the implementation of the Lithuanian-Swiss cooperation programme to reduce economic and social disparities within the enlarged European Union

Under an agreement with the European Commission, Swiss government contributed 1 billion Swiss francs to 12 EU Member States in exchange for access to the EU's single market, participation in Schengen, and other benefits. During the period 2009–2017, Swiss donors invested around 70.9 million CHF in four public policy areas in Lithuania: perinatal and neonatal health care, R&D, an NGO fund, and modernisation of the courts system. However, the funding available for public interventions was limited. To ensure the most efficient use was made of this limited funding for public interventions, the Republic of Lithuania’s Ministry of Finance commissioned PPMI to evaluate the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of interventions, and to analyse future investment needs.

The findings and recommendations of our evaluation of programme implementation were based on a multi-layered methodological framework. To answer 21 evaluation questions, PPMI deconstructed four intervention logics; performed an extensive analysis of monitoring and administrative data; and carried out 22 interviews with relevant authorities and beneficiaries, seven surveys of applicants, project promoters and beneficiaries, and seven case studies. While evaluating the impact of intervention in the field of NGOs, PPMI also performed a comparative statistical analysis, comparing a group that experienced the impact of the intervention against a control group. Its conclusions were then validated in a focus group discussion with representatives of the stakeholders.

The study identified policy areas in which planned outcomes had been achieved. In addition, it showed how the activities of organisations receiving NGO fund assistance compared to those of other organisations. PPMI also formulated specific recommendations on how to reduce the complexity of administrative procedures, e.g. to increase the use of simplified reimbursement options, and to ensure the proportionality of procedures and control measures, differentiating them according to a project’s characteristics and eliminating redundant requirements.

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