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Agenda (PDF 449 KB) of the event available.

English and Polish are official languages of the conference (a simultaneous translation into both languages will be provided).

The opening session will be a roundtable discussion on the challenges for evaluation in the upcoming years with the spotlight on methodology. The discussants will represent varied backgrounds and perspectives and will be advocates of different approaches: qualitative, quantitative, experimental and systemic.During the first day we will focus on broadly defined systems of evaluation encompassing both evaluation culture and evaluation methodology. Participants will be able to learn from four different panels: (1) Causal effects in evaluation, (2) Evaluation culture across the world, (3) Evaluation of development programmes, and (4) Application of serious games in evaluation.

Causal effects in evaluation

Methodological correctness is crucial for obtaining reliable results. At this panel we will look at the way of identifying causal effect in impact evaluation of the Cohesion Policy. During the session we will try to answer the question about applying the Bayesian network analysis to reconstruct the Theory of Change and how to effectively implement counterfactual methods to identify causal effects in evaluation studies.

Evaluation culture across Europe

One way to improve the quality of evaluation research is to develop an evaluation culture. Projects aimed at defining and analysing the various countries' solutions can be a valuable source of numerous good practices and the impulse to significant changes in the area of evaluation quality. Representatives of the evaluation environment will be invited to share their knowledge and experience and discuss the issue. Participants will include researchers currently carrying out studies on the subject and representatives of organisations involved in the development of evaluation culture.

Evaluation of development programmes

A number of international organization (UN, UNICEF, OECD, DAC, EU) promote the use of evaluation in assessing development activities around the world. The environment of conducting development evaluations is demanding and rapidly evolving. For this reason, researchers need to take into account the local context and apply flexible approaches towards its strategy while performing their duties. Evaluators of development programmes face many challenges and meet a lot of constraints associated with the availability of intervention spots and respondents (especially when it comes to humanitarian aid), or with quality and adequacy of secondary data. During the discussion, we will try to answer the question about methodological aspects of development programmes evaluation. We will focus on challenges faced by evaluators and methods of overcoming obstacles inevitable in such complex programmes. We will also try to identify good practices that apply to cohesion policy evaluation.

Application of serious games in evaluation

This panel explores an innovative and dynamically developing practice of gaming simulations. We argue that it can advance our evaluation practice by helping us address current challenges of our field including measuring effects of policy solutions, explaining change mechanism that underlies successful interventions, and facilitating learning of policy stakeholders. We start by providing a two-dimensional typology of games for evaluation, distinguishing between the level of complexity of policy issue, and intended primary learners. Then we present four exemplars of real-life application of gaming simulations. In the last part of the panel, we involve our audience to assess, using a real-time survey, the potential utility of games for advancing evaluation practice.

On the second day we will discuss the outcomes of policies implemented in the European Union over the last couple of years based on evaluation evidence. We will present global outcomes of the cohesion policy from Poland’s perspective. Then we change the direction and focus on the Commission’s approach and interpretation of expected and achieved results. Next we will present the results of studies that deal with interventions introduced under public policies, stressing especially those that reflect the outcomes of cohesion policy. The thematic scope of scheduled panels presenting evidence from evaluation covers strategic areas such as: entrepreneurship, innovation, infrastructure & environment and human capital. 


Public support for SMEs in the European Union is to among others enable them to develop products and extend business activities, access new markets and enhance visibility across foreign and domestic markets. During the session we will discuss the actual impact of implemented public schemes, presenting the impact from the European Commission’s perspective as well as country’s specific reports. We will investigate how different factors influence the SMEs performance, based on Poland’s and Romania’s case studies, and we will be exploring the results of the EC’s study.


During the session we will focus on innovations in business. To familiarise ourselves with the subject we will start with presenting how to measure innovation performance. Then we will move on to actual impact of public support schemes aiming at increasing the level of innovation across Europe. We will discuss the effects of 2007-2013 support recorded in Europe, presenting the outcomes of macroeconomic simulation dedicated to Poland and both results and structure of survey carried out by European Commission.


The session will be dedicated to outcomes in fields of transport, environment and energy. We will focus on the cohesion policy impact by presenting the results of studies carried out in the Visegrad Group Member States. Based on Hungary’s and Poland’s case study we will learn how to design public interventions in the transport area. Then we will review the ex post studies discussing the evaluation estimating the impact of interventions on environment sustainability in Slovakia, some key points from a Polish study dedicated to environment and energy sectors performance and key points of the EC’s study dedicated to environmental concerns under the previous and the current perspective.

Human Capital

The objective of the session is to present the social impact of cohesion policy investments in human capital in the Visegrad Group. The European Social Fund sets its priorities to improve workers and business adaptability, boost employment and support disadvantaged groups across Europe. At the session we will present the impact of interventions implemented under the ESF during the last perspective, with a particular focus on the employment area.