PROJECT NUMBER: 1730208

Making ESF a Success in 2014-2020: Challenges and Best Practice in Programme Management, Monitoring and Evaluation

29-30/Jun/2017  •  Vienna

Introduction
Project Leader
Marco Lopriore
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What is this course about?seminar_confirmed_EIPA
Europe has a crisis in terms of economic and social inequality and opportunity. While the EU economy struggles to create new jobs, tens of millions live in hardship and face the prospect of a bleak future. Huge resources have been made available by the European Union in 2014-2020 through the European Social Fund to help improve skills, labour markets and less advantaged communities. 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.

This seminar examines how to make ESF more effective on the ground – how to make it a success. We will focus on the key elements of programme implementation – targeting, project selection, achieving results, financial management and control, monitoring, and evaluating priorities and actions. 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 operational programmes, with the emphasis on achieving results, developing a strong project pipeline, financial management, financial control and audit structures. The second day of the seminar examines how project selection contributes to the result-orientation of programmes as well as the new monitoring and evaluation needs for ESF programmes. We highlight new data collection and evaluation requirements. There will be exercises related to the new Performance Framework and project selection. The seminar will also examine ways to simplify programme implementation, using simplified cost options, with exercises in how this functions in practice. The seminar will finally consider the importance of successful partnerships, innovation and the role of publicity and information in making ESF a success.

How will it help you?
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 have examined how to apply ESF rules, principles and procedures and how to develop good practice in implementation of ESF programmes and projects. We will have practised using essential tools in socio-economic development. The seminar will consist of a series of illustrated presentations by practitioners and expert consultants, with a keynote intervention to be made by the European Commission. We aim to make the seminar as interactive as possible. All presentations have question and answer sessions. Participants 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 practical tools and methodologies.

Who will benefit most?
This seminar is aimed at managers and practitioners from ESF managing authorities (Managing, Certifying and Audit authorities), whether they are national or regional authorities. 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 and community associations and so on.