Ex post evaluation of the ESF ( ) Gender Equality. 10th meeting of the High Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming in Structural Funds

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1 Ex post evaluation of the ESF ( ) Gender Equality 10th meeting of the High Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming in Structural Funds Suvi Aarila DG EMPL Unit 03 Evaluation and Impact Assessment 1

2 Financial weight of gender equality Specific actions ESF: EQUAL: M (11,9% of total expenditure) 353 M (14,7% of EQUAL total exp.) Mainstreaming Estimation not possible because of absence of monitoring systems capturing gender mainstreaming 2

3 KEY FINDINGS - Results ESF gender oriented and gender supportive measures improved situation of in labour market Creation of employment opportunities at local level Creation of opportunities for reconciling family/work life, hence facilitating access in labour market Empowerment strengthened employability strong LT impact potential new work skills ability to better manage work and family responsibilities higher self confidence and motivation EQUAL successful in terms of generating relevant and useful innovations and promoting their take up in other contexts 141 out of 924 innovations linked to gender 71 cases of successful mainstreaming 3

4 KEY FINDINGS Success Factors Positive results mainly attributed to political commitment For EQUAL, success attributed to the programme design focus on innovation principles of partnership and empowerment mainstreaming (and to some extent transnationality) THE COMBINATION of the principles THE INTEGRATED APPROACH (not focusing on employment alone) THE HOLISTIC APPROACH (programming, implementing, validating, mainstreaming.) 4

5 KEY FINDINGS Success Factors Innovative ESF projects show best results Highest employment outcomes accessing labour market both as employed or self-employed employed Small projects, integrated ( holistic( holistic ) ) approach (as in EQUAL) Important link with EQUAL evaluation results: Success attributed to appropriateness of integrated approach ESF projects with high engagement of civil society and interaction with stakeholders also show more positive results Important link with EQUAL evaluation results: Partnership and Empowerment important success factors in EQUAL for innovation and impact 5

6 KEY FINDINGS Limiting factors Persistence on conventional approaches ( safe( strategy ) ) and very little experimentation in ESF Complexity of bureaucratic processes Lack of expertise: shortage of skills; inexperience with gender mainstreaming Inability to assess progress in absence of indicators, follow-up systems and integrated data bases Unexploited potential of good practices/innovation 6

7 KEY FINDINGS - Impact Overall modest employment impact of ESF Cautious conclusions, in absence of adequate monitoring systems Possible long term impact gender mainstreaming takes time to materialise empowerment outcomes create strong potential Mass of conventional activities generating very limited impact more training activities (positive output), more women trained (positive results) but no higher numbers securing employment (impact) child care vouchers as isolated activities, not addressing issue of beneficiaries finding work Innovative projects were the exception, showing high employment impact 7

8 KEY FINDINGS - Impact Policy impact of ESF and EQUAL Indirect/spill-over impact of ESF. More direct links, strong impact in case of EQUAL. Legislation (new initiatives, revisions, accelerated process) New policy frameworks (e.g. national action plan for gender equality) Sectoral policy decisions and adaptation of existing policy frameworks/instruments (e.g( OPs) New policy making processes Issue remains on top of political agenda 8

9 KEY FINDINGS - Impact Institutional impact of ESF and EQUAL Indirect/spill-over impact of ESF. More direct links, significant impact in case of EQUAL. Changes in education and training systems Changes in labour market intermediation structures Collective agreements New institutions New social partner networks 9

10 KEY FINDINGS - Impact Organisational impact of ESF and EQUAL Some evidence for ESF specific actions and EQUAL gender activities Awareness and capacity building for MAs and other stakeholders Increased commitment for future efforts Facilitation of different working methods, e.g. working from home (mainly EQUAL) Tools to enterprises, e.g. management and monitoring tools for gender mainstreaming (EQUAL) Changed employers attitudes (EQUAL) 10

11 CONCLUSIONS Community Added Value Focused resources (volume and scope effects) Influenced political and civil society spheres (process effects) New approach of addressing inequalities in the labour market in case of EQUAL (role effects) 11

12 Recommendations More resources into innovative projects Application of integrated approach and EQUAL principles Guidance on mainstreaming to feed innovation into policy development Utilisation of EQUAL results Incorporation of gender focused skills Comprehensive tracking of women employment paths and specific recommendations to managing authorities on programming, implementation, monitoring and dissemination 12

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