The study focuses on ESF and ESF+ programme-specific indicators set during the 2014-2020 and the 2021-2027 programming periods. These output and result indicators are well established and focus on measurable and well-defined outcomes. However, recent research suggests that their use for assessing effectiveness and efficiency at funds level is potentially limited and not capturing all outcomes from a programme. Soft indicators define results of a programme that cannot be measured directly or tangibly, but could enable the potentially positive impact of a programme to be captured beyond the quantifiable or hard measures, and – in the case of the ESF/ESF+ by common result indicators.
The main aim of this study is to propose ways to enhance the use of programme-specific indicators by managing authorities and the Commission for target setting, reporting and evaluation purposes. IER is supporting FGB with identifying and defining soft indicators through a review of programmes results and the literature.
Project led by Costanza Pagnini, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini (FGB)
Sally-Anne Barnes (IER)