Evaluating EU regional policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article presents a challenge to the ways in which EU regional policy has been evaluated in the past. Given the complexity of the 'policy framework' and its objectives, it is argued that existing evaluation methodologies are not only inappropriate but create a real risk of misleading policy-makers in their search for identifying which programmes and initiatives are the most effective in tackling the scale of regional disparity that exists across the European Union. For example, the search for an 'average effect' of intervention, whether in terms of jobs created or GVA generated, does not adequately recognise the context within which policy operates. The article argues that only by attempting to adopt a realist evaluation framework can the discourse on effective regional policy be advanced. Examples are provided from a body of work on the evaluation of business support interventions in the UK as well as a broader study of the way in which regulations impacts upon firm performance and growth. This methodological approach provides an opportunity for the evaluator to identify the causal mechanisms which connect the range of policy interventions and their outcomes. In brief, it has greater potential to inform the policy-maker as to what works and, more importantly, in what contexts.
LanguageEnglish
Pages295-308
Number of pages14
JournalPolicy Studies
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

Fingerprint

regional policy
EU
evaluation
firm
regulation
discourse
methodology
performance

Keywords

  • EU regional policy
  • evaluation
  • evaluation methodologies
  • policy-makers
  • realist evaluation framework
  • regional policy

Cite this

Hart, Mark. / Evaluating EU regional policy. In: Policy Studies. 2007 ; Vol. 28, No. 4. pp. 295-308.
@article{9e20b5c71274437daefd2c9a2f756829,
title = "Evaluating EU regional policy",
abstract = "This article presents a challenge to the ways in which EU regional policy has been evaluated in the past. Given the complexity of the 'policy framework' and its objectives, it is argued that existing evaluation methodologies are not only inappropriate but create a real risk of misleading policy-makers in their search for identifying which programmes and initiatives are the most effective in tackling the scale of regional disparity that exists across the European Union. For example, the search for an 'average effect' of intervention, whether in terms of jobs created or GVA generated, does not adequately recognise the context within which policy operates. The article argues that only by attempting to adopt a realist evaluation framework can the discourse on effective regional policy be advanced. Examples are provided from a body of work on the evaluation of business support interventions in the UK as well as a broader study of the way in which regulations impacts upon firm performance and growth. This methodological approach provides an opportunity for the evaluator to identify the causal mechanisms which connect the range of policy interventions and their outcomes. In brief, it has greater potential to inform the policy-maker as to what works and, more importantly, in what contexts.",
keywords = "EU regional policy, evaluation, evaluation methodologies, policy-makers, realist evaluation framework, regional policy",
author = "Mark Hart",
year = "2007",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1080/01442870701640666",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "295--308",
journal = "Policy Studies",
issn = "0144-2872",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

Evaluating EU regional policy. / Hart, Mark.

In: Policy Studies, Vol. 28, No. 4, 12.2007, p. 295-308.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evaluating EU regional policy

AU - Hart, Mark

PY - 2007/12

Y1 - 2007/12

N2 - This article presents a challenge to the ways in which EU regional policy has been evaluated in the past. Given the complexity of the 'policy framework' and its objectives, it is argued that existing evaluation methodologies are not only inappropriate but create a real risk of misleading policy-makers in their search for identifying which programmes and initiatives are the most effective in tackling the scale of regional disparity that exists across the European Union. For example, the search for an 'average effect' of intervention, whether in terms of jobs created or GVA generated, does not adequately recognise the context within which policy operates. The article argues that only by attempting to adopt a realist evaluation framework can the discourse on effective regional policy be advanced. Examples are provided from a body of work on the evaluation of business support interventions in the UK as well as a broader study of the way in which regulations impacts upon firm performance and growth. This methodological approach provides an opportunity for the evaluator to identify the causal mechanisms which connect the range of policy interventions and their outcomes. In brief, it has greater potential to inform the policy-maker as to what works and, more importantly, in what contexts.

AB - This article presents a challenge to the ways in which EU regional policy has been evaluated in the past. Given the complexity of the 'policy framework' and its objectives, it is argued that existing evaluation methodologies are not only inappropriate but create a real risk of misleading policy-makers in their search for identifying which programmes and initiatives are the most effective in tackling the scale of regional disparity that exists across the European Union. For example, the search for an 'average effect' of intervention, whether in terms of jobs created or GVA generated, does not adequately recognise the context within which policy operates. The article argues that only by attempting to adopt a realist evaluation framework can the discourse on effective regional policy be advanced. Examples are provided from a body of work on the evaluation of business support interventions in the UK as well as a broader study of the way in which regulations impacts upon firm performance and growth. This methodological approach provides an opportunity for the evaluator to identify the causal mechanisms which connect the range of policy interventions and their outcomes. In brief, it has greater potential to inform the policy-maker as to what works and, more importantly, in what contexts.

KW - EU regional policy

KW - evaluation

KW - evaluation methodologies

KW - policy-makers

KW - realist evaluation framework

KW - regional policy

UR - http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0144-2872&volume=28&issue=4&spage=295

U2 - 10.1080/01442870701640666

DO - 10.1080/01442870701640666

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 295

EP - 308

JO - Policy Studies

T2 - Policy Studies

JF - Policy Studies

SN - 0144-2872

IS - 4

ER -