The National Development Agency commissioned EUROPE Ltd. to carry out the ex-post evaluation of the Phare projects providing support for the Roma population and running during the 1999-2006-period; the evaluation was carried out from autumn 2007 through to May 2008.
The general aim of the evaluation was to determine the extent to which the assessed 7 projects reached the targets set and the results of these proved maintainable, as well as the type of impact they generated subsequently.
The specific objective of the evaluation was to provide assistance for project planners and implementing bodies in the planning of new projects and to contribute to improving the quality of future interventions.
Evaluators identified the following:
- Projects in many cases handled the education and employment status of the Roma target group separately from the scope of tasks of regional economic development by disregarding the economic background. This approach significantly influenced the success of projects.
- Several programmes with a similar objective were running concurrently: programmes announced by the National Employment Foundation (NEF) and the programmes of the employment centres of the National Employment Service (NES) targeting Roma persons were running parallel to the evaluated Phare Roma employment projects. This raises questions in connection with efficiency.
- The priority relating to the integration of disadvantaged settlements was in part enforced in employment projects.
- In overall terms, the results of the educational-training projects were favourable and financial maintainability was better enforced in the case of these.
- The indirect objective of the Phare projects by and large operated well, namely, providing training in connection with project planning and implementation techniques, partnership cooperation, as well as the operation of financial management system underlying the use of funding to the local governments and civil organisations representing the scope of beneficiaries.
Evaluators recommended the following:
- To ensure the success of the projects, it is necessary to provide information and expertise for Roma interest representation organisations, in order for these organisations to be able to efficiently take part in tendering and the implementation of projects.
- The continuation of training programmes is definitely recommended to prevent the reproduction of unqualified labour.
- Making e.g. financial maintainability calculations, i.e. a cash-flow plan, compulsory in the context of tendering was recommended to improve the maintainability of projects.
- Granting normative funding for disadvantaged micro-regions was recommended, since funding granted through tendering fails to reach regions most desperate for funding.
- It is necessary to present the relevant experiences and good methods of projects to potential applicants and organise workshops, professional forums and conferences for professionals operating in the field in collaboration with the wider field of professionals to disseminate good practices and conduct experience exchanges.
Strengthening social cohesion and fighting discrimination should be presented as a central government task to prevent the marginalisation of the Roma population.