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Our contribution: careful analysis, global perspective, feasible projects

Ex-post evaluation of investment projects co-financed by the European regional development fund (ERDF) and cohesion fund (CF) in the period 1994-1999

The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of 10 major projects implemented during the 1994-1999 programming period in five Member States (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland). The investment projects analysed were in the Transport (road, rail, seaports) and Environment (water supply, waste water treatment, waste management) sectors. An innovative methodology was developed to answer the evaluation questions consisting of a combination of quantitative (Cost Benefit Analysis) and qualitative (interviews, surveys, etc.) techniques. This approach was expected to enable an assessment of possible response mechanisms at project level to shocks along different impact dimensions (direct growth effect, shifts in the economic endogenous dynamics related for example to increased human capital, changes in institutional quality, social and territorial cohesion, environmental sustainability and social happiness). Example of the factors that may explain project performance include the project appropriateness to the context, the forecasting capacity of investors and promoters, the governance structure, the project design and behavioural response to unexpected events. For each case history, the main aspects behind the project’s long-term performance were isolated and depicted in a narrative way, supported by annexes with quantitative evidence. The core of the exercise was an attempt to assess if and how any change in the behaviour of the stakeholders, context, governance relationships, or others had an effect on social benefits and cost. A peculiarity of this evaluation was to assess the performance of projects that are in the middle of their life cycle. Accordingly, the CBA was not a pure ex-post analysis but it was also addressed to assess the performance of the project in the future. To this end, a mix of historical and forecasted data were used and performance indicators were calculated by discounting the future and by capitalising the past.


Client: European Commission, DG Regional and Urban Policy, 2010-2012

Case studies and Final report available here.


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