The purpose of Operational Programme Evaluations, as set out in the Common Provision Regulations 2021/1060 (CPR), is to improve the quality of the design and implementation of programmes, as well as to assess their effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and Union added value. Evaluations may also cover other relevant criteria, such as inclusiveness, non-discrimination and visibility. In addition, an evaluation to assess the impact of the programme shall be carried out by 30 June 2029. The CPR also requires the Commission to carry out a mid-term assessment as well as a retrospective evaluation of the Fund.

Evaluation Plan

The Evaluation Plan for the ESF+ Employment, Inclusion, Skills and Training Programme (EIST) 2021 – 2027 was prepared by the ESF+ Managing Authority (MA) in accordance with the relevant regulatory requirements and has been approved by the Monitoring Committee. 

Evaluation Plan October 2023


Youth Diversion Projects 2023

Meta-Analysis of Evaluations

In November 2022, The European Commission published the first ever “Meta-analysis of the ESF counterfactual impact evaluations” which synthesizes around 100 ESF Counterfactual Impact Evaluations (CIEs) produced by 22 EU Member States and the UK covering the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programming periods.

While there have been several meta-analysis produced in the academic literature, this is the only meta-analysis focusing on the ESF interventions. The study provides a methodology to code the CIEs, and presents a set of recommendations to improve the quality and coverage of the ESF CIEs in the future.

The Report and Annexes are available here

Guidance Documents

The Commission have recently published the following updated guidance material  –

 Design and Commissioning of Counterfactual Impact Evaluations

Advanced Counterfactual Evaluation Methods