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Supporting study for the ex-post evaluation of the Structural Reform Support Programme (2017-2020)

The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the relevance, effectiveness, coherence, efficiency and EU value-added of the Structural Reform Support Programme (2017-2020). The findings of the evaluation will inform the European Parliament and the Council about the achievement of the programme’s objectives. The evaluation was also designed to provide information that would help to improve the performance of the Technical Support Instrument, the successor programme of the SRSP. PPMI implemented this contract in partnership with CSES and in cooperation with the network of country experts.

Our evaluation framework relied substantially on the theory of change. It was developed on the basis of desk research and was validated during the implementation of stakeholder consultations. The study team conducted desk research, an analysis of administrative/monitoring data, interviews with stakeholders, focus groups, an Open Public Consultation, a targeted survey of beneficiary authorities, coordinating authorities and providers of technical support, a case study programme, content analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. The scope of the ex post evaluation included a total of 826 technical support projects.

Overall, the 2017-2020 the SRSP successfully achieved its general objective, namely, to contribute to institutional, administrative and growth-sustaining structural reforms in the EU Member States. According to the results of the outcome questionnaires submitted by the beneficiary authorities, most of technical support projects achieved their expected results. In achieving its objectives, the programme was efficient in terms of the process duration (with somewhat weaker results in the timeliness of a project launch) and the budget execution from commitments to payments. The technical support provided by the SRSP was highly relevant to addressing the needs of beneficiary authorities and Member States by enabling them to access international expertise. The ex post evaluation provided a number of lessons learned and suggestions for improving the implementation of the Technical Support Instrument.