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Making ESF a success in 2014-2020: challenges and best practice in programme management, monitoring and evaluation


22 Jun 2014 22:00 to 23 Jun 2014 22:00


Social Europe & Jobs

Event Location

23-24/Jun/2014 • Vienna • Fee: €1050

Event Description

Since the beginning of the economic crisis, unemployment rates across the EU have increased sharply whilst employment rates have fallen. As the EU economy struggles to create new jobs, millions more are living in hardship and facing the prospect of a bleak future. Vast resources have been made available by the European Union in 2014-2020 to help improve the functioning of labour markets and help the less advantaged through the European Social Fund. Yet despite the clear range of problems facing us, using ESF effectively continues to be an elusive goal in many places and in many ways. Several Member States have admitted to the difficulties of reforming labour markets and improving labour market mobility, of upgrading skills for the 21st century, and of reducing levels of social exclusion. We are still a long way from successfully helping all sections of the population to enjoy a share of our relatively affluent society.
In the light of these huge problems and the difficulties facing the European Social Fund, EIPA is organising a new two-day seminar on how to make ESF more effective on the ground – or, how to make it a success. We will focus on the key elements of managing, monitoring and evaluating programmes. The seminar will first consider the new priorities for ESF, within the EU objective of achieving the Europe 2020 goals, and assess the key challenges currently facing ESF authorities in Member States. These issues will be placed into the context of the evolution of ESF, highlighting more recent success stories from around the EU. We will then look in some detail at the new programming steps for the 2014-2020 programming period and highlight changes to the financial management, control and audit structure. The second day of the seminar examines the monitoring and evaluation needs for ESF. We look briefly at how programmes are being evaluated ex ante and what sort of evaluation is expected during the new programme period. An exercise is conducted on how to quantify programmes and priorities using indicators and targets. The seminar also considers the new emphasis on, and vehicles for, social partnerships being established and delivering effective projects, including Joint Action Plans. Lastly, the seminar will look in detail at the working of simplified cost options, with exercises on how this functions in practice.
Target group
This seminar is aimed at managers and practitioners from ESF managing authorities (managing, certifying and audit authorities), whether they are from the national or regional level. It is also designed to be relevant for project sponsors and other stakeholders associated with the Social Fund either at programme or project level, including local authorities, education bodies, chambers of commerce, NGOs, community associations and so on.
Learning methodology
The seminar will consist of a series of illustrated presentations by practitioners and expert consultants. We aim to make the seminar as interactive as possible. All presentations include question and answer sessions. Furthermore, participants are strongly encouraged to actively take part in discussions throughout the entire programme. They will have ample opportunity to exchange views informally on the seminar topics, both with the speakers and with each other. Workshops will be used to help participants get to grips with quantification and indicator sets, evaluation methodologies and some of the practical details of management rules.
The objective of this seminar is to ensure that participants have a good grasp of how ESF can be used to maximum effect. We will examine how to apply ESF rules, principles and procedures and how to develop good practice in implementation of ESF programmes and projects. Participants will also practise using useful tools for socio-economic development.
Project Leader
Marco Lopriore
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