Evaluations of the Human Resource Development Operational Programme

Interim evaluation of HRDOP

The National Development Agency commissioned MEGAKOM Strategic
Consulting Ltd. to carry out the interim evaluation of HRDOP; the
evaluation was completed by the middle of 2008. The objective of the
evaluation was to screen the overall programme, primarily in terms of
results.  

Evaluators identified the following:

  • The programme was suitably prepared; the strategy defined in programme documents responded to real social needs.  
  • The
    objective of the projects characteristically targeted employment
    retention, improving employability, increasing employment, developing
    job search skills, as well as integration in the labour market.    
  • The
    indirect beneficiaries of the programmes positively evaluated the
    sponsored training opportunities by claiming that this type of
    assistance is most useful for finding employment. 
  • Combined
    forms of funding (the combination of complex development services,
    training and employment), mentor services, educational opportunities
    deviating from conventional forms of education and curriculum
    development were considered the most successful innovative components.
  • The
    assessment of the criterion of equal opportunity reinforced the
    assumption that mostly the integration of women, or persons with
    disabilities to a slighter extent, in the labour market was best
    facilitated; ensuring access to work and training for Roma, as a
    priority target group to be provided assistance, raised several
    problems; the biggest dilemma, among others, related to defining and
    identifying the target group, which, primarily due to problems
    pertaining to personality rights, could not be measured at an indicator
    level. Consequently, methodology needs to be further fine-tuned to be
    able to integrate these target groups in projects.

Evaluation of HRDOP 3.1 (Developing skills and abilities required for life-long learning)

The Evaluation and Methodology Department decided to carry out the
ex-post evaluation of measure 3.1 of the NDP I Human Resource
Development Operational Programme, since the measure will continue
within the framework of the Social Renewal Operational Programme of the
New Hungary Development Plan. The evaluation envisaged establishing the
grounds for the continuation of the activity. 

Main findings made by evaluations:

  • Even though it is possible to justify the activities
    (sub-measures) undertaken within the framework of HRDOP Measure 3.1 on
    the grounds of real needs, public consultations were not held during
    the planning of the measure, which lead to the accumulation of maximum
    professional and management risks.
  • With the exception of
    leaving out the strategically important measurement-evaluation
    component, the activities set out under the measure were implemented in
    their planned form and content. However, tasks were continuously
    re-scheduled due to time constraints persisting from the beginning.
  • Up
    to the end of 2007, the educational administration system only
    supported the implementation of the measure to an extent well below
    what was needed or expected: there was a complete lack of a supporting
    public education environment.
  • Sufficient resources were
    available for reaching the objectives defined. The cancellation of
    implementation of certain development tasks was not attributable to
    lack of funding, but instead coincided with the unexpected
    re-allocation of tasks. One of most critical components of measure
    implementation related to how serious delays were experienced in making
    the funding required available.
  • Financial instruments and
    conditions needed for maintaining the results of developments were not
    ensured up to the date of compiling the evaluation report (December
    2007).  
  • Players involved in the implementation of the
    measure and/or affected by its results (Regional School and
    Kindergarten Development Centres, public education institutions
    approved funding within the framework of sub-measures 3.1.3 and 3.1.4,
    public education institutions not submitting applications, teachers
    using the new programme packages for teaching, students learning on the
    basis of these new packages and their parents, etc.) are aware of and
    accept the objectives of the measure and results implemented.
    Participants view the measure as an initiative to renew teaching
    methods and develop teachers. Acceptance of the objectives and results
    of the measure decreases concurrently to the appearance of the
    performance principle, competition and factual knowledge: highest
    degree of acceptance in kindergartens, lower grades of primary schools
    and special vocational schools; lowest degree of acceptance in high
    schools preparing students for higher education entrance exams. The
    measure raised a series of problems specifically tying in with
    classroom work which can only be dealt with through educational policy
    (syllabus framework, text books, and baccalaureate requirements). Since
    this was not performed up to December 2007, the measure – approved both
    in theory and professionally - is currently only in an experimental
    status in the institutions integrated in the project.