Beneficiary: an operator, body or firm, whether public or private, responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations. In the context of aid schemes under Article 87 of the Treaty, beneficiaries are public or private firms carrying out an individual project and receiving public aid; (from the General Regulation Article 2 of 1083/2006 EC)
Coverage rate: Percentage of the eligible group which was actually affected by an intervention. The coverage rate is a result indicator which is important to quantify for monitoring purposes. The exposure rate is used to indicate the portion of the population targeted, which received information on the programme.
Effect: Socio-economic change resulting directly or indirectly from an implemented intervention. Effects include the results and impacts of an intervention, whether positive or negative, expected or not. The term should not be used to describe outputs.
Effectiveness: The fact that expected results or effects have been obtained and that objectives have been achieved. Effectiveness can be assessed by answering the following questions, for example: “Could more effects have been obtained by organising the implementation differently?” or “Which are the most successful operators or measures?”.
Efficiency: Effects obtained at a reasonable cost. Efficiency may be assessed by answering the following questions, for example: “Could more effects have been obtained with the same budget?” or “Have other interventions obtained the same effects at a lower cost?”.
Evaluation: Evaluation is the systematic collection and analysis of information about the characteristics and results of programmes and projects as a basis for judgments, to improve effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about current and future programming.
Impact: The cumulative results at a broader level (i.e. for society). (Note we are using Results to refer to both outcomes and impacts)
Indicator: A variable that provides quantitative or qualitative information on a phenomenon. It normally includes a value and a measurement unit.
Input: The resources required for an activity
Intervention: Any action or operation carried out by public authorities regardless of its nature (policy, programme, measure or project).
Intermediate body: any public or private body or service which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority vis-à-vis beneficiaries implementing operations; (from the General Regulation Article 2 of 1083/2006 EC)
Irregularity: any infringement of a provision of Community law resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the European Union by charging an unjustified item of expenditure to the general budget. (from the General Regulation Article 2 of 1083/2006 EC)
Leverage effect: Propensity for public intervention to induce private spending among recipients. In cases where public intervention subsidises private investments, leverage effects are proportional to the amount of private spending induced by the subsidy
Measure: Within the framework of European economic and social cohesion policy, the basic unit of programme management, consisting of a set of similar projects and disposing of a precisely defined budget. Each measure has a particular management apparatus. Measures generally consist of projects. Many measures are implemented through a process of Calls for Proposals and subsequent appraisal.
Monitoring: An exhaustive and regular examination of the resources, outputs and results of public interventions. Monitoring is based on a system of coherent information including reports, reviews, balance sheets, indicators, etc. Monitoring system information is obtained primarily from operators and is used essentially for steering public interventions.
Objective: clear, explicit and initial statement on the effects to be achieved by a public intervention.
Operational programme: Document submitted by a Member State and adopted by the Commission setting out a development strategy with a coherent set of priorities to be carried out with the aid of a Fund, or, in the case of the Convergence objective, with the aid of the Cohesion Fund and the ERDF; (from the General Regulation Article 2 of 1083/2006 EC)
Operation: A project or group of projects selected by the managing authority of the operational programme concerned or under its responsibility according to criteria laid down by the monitoring committee and implemented by one or more beneficiaries allowing achievement of the goals of the priority axis to which it relates (from the General Regulation Article 2 of 1083/2006 EC)
Outcomes: the changes, benefits, learning or other effects that happen as a result of the activities (we are using results to cover outcomes and impacts)
Output: the tangible products of an activity
Participatory evaluation: Evaluative approach that encourages the active participation of beneficiaries and other stakeholders in an evaluation. They may participate in the design and agenda setting of an evaluation, conduct self evaluations, help gather data or help interpret results. In socio-economic development participatory approaches are especially relevant because they support autonomy and self confidence rather than encourage dependency.
Partnership: Partnership can be defined as an arrangement whereby two or more parties co-operate and work together. Often the aim of the partnership is to co-ordinate the use of partners’ resources more economically, efficiently and effectively. Generally, partners have a shared aim/set of objectives and develop a commitment to an agenda for joint or co-ordinated action.
Policy: A set of different activities (programmes, strategies, procedures, laws, rules) directed towards a single goal or general objective. These activities are often accumulated incrementally through the years. European economic and social cohesion policy is scheduled according to a precise time-frame, with a multi-annual budget. This is not the case for the majority of policies, in the traditional sense of the term.
Priority axis: one of the priorities of the strategy in an operational programme comprising a group of operations which are related and have specific measurable goals; (from the General Regulation Article 2 of 1083/2006 EC)
Programme: Organised set of financial, organisational and human interventions mobilised to achieve an objective or set of objectives in a given period. A programme is delimited in terms of a timescale and budget. Programme objectives are defined beforehand; an effort is then made systematically to strive for coherence among these objectives. The three main steps in the life-cycle of a programme are design, implementation and review. A programme is always under the responsibility of a Managing authority or intermediary body. Within the framework of European social and economic cohesion, programmes are generally broken down into priority axes, measures and projects.
Public expenditure: any public contribution to the financing of operations whose origin is the budget of the State, of regional and local authorities, of the European Communities related to the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund and any similar expenditure. Any contribution to the financing of operations whose origin is the budget of public law bodies or associations of one or more regional or local authorities or public law bodies acting in accordance with Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts (from the General Regulation Article 2 of 1083/2006 EC)
Recipient: Person or organisation directly affected by the intervention whether intended or unintended. Recipients receive support, services and information, and use facilities created with the support of the intervention (e.g. a family which uses a telephone network that has been improved with public intervention support, or a firm which has received assistance or advice). Some people may be recipient without necessarily belonging to the group targeted by the intervention. Similarly, the entire eligible group does not necessarily consist of recipients. (note avoid using the more common ‘beneficiary’ as this has a specific meaning for the Structural Funds). For the ESF recipients are often referred to as ‘participants’.
Results: The specific dimension of the well-being of people that motivates policy action that is expected to be modified by the interventions designed and implemented by a policy.
Advantage (or disadvantage) which recipients obtain. Results can be observed when an operator completes an action and accounts for the way in which allocated funds were spent and managed.
Self-evaluation: Evaluation of a public intervention by groups, organisations or communities which participate directly in its implementation. Is usually complementary to other forms of expert or external evaluations. Self-valuation is especially suited to assist managers, promoters and immediate stakeholders improve their own performance and steer their programmes in the course of implementation.
Structural Funds: Structural Funds are the main financial instruments used by the European Union to reduce disparities and promote economic and social cohesion across European regions. Their combined efforts help to boost the EUs competitive position and, consequently, to improve the prospects of its citizens. In the 2007-13 period they were the ESF and ERDF
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