EPRC team specialising in the area of the territorial cooperation have been succesful in securing the 2014-20 Interact Impact Evaluation. The Impact Evaluation, which covers the different products and services of Interact, continues the success of recent Interact evaluations carried out by EPRC (e.g. case-based impact evaluation and operational evaluation of Interact).
The Interact Programme has a special place among the Interreg family of programmes as it specifically focuses on the cooperation capacity of the Interreg programmes by providing support on all aspects of programme management. Interact carries this out by providing a large range of free-of-charge products and services for its stakeholders. The products and services are designed to build and enhance stakeholders’ capacities in implementing and managing territorial cooperation programmes and strategies (e.g. Interreg programmes, ERDF programmes, Macro-regional strategies and others). The rationale is that enhanced capacities will lead to greater effectiveness and efficiency in the way the programmes and strategies are implemented and, hence, contribute to the effectiveness of EU Cohesion Policy.
The objective of the Impact Evaluation is to complement the previous evaluations carried out during Interact III and, as the programme approaches the end of its programme cycle, offer a comprehensive insight into how Interact products and services are used by target groups and what effect their use has on strengthening programme management capacities. The Evaluation will be particularly valuable as the new programme is operationalised, in what is still a complex and uncertain policy environment.
The evaluation team comprises Dr Irene McMaster and Heidi Vironen of EPRC and an independent consultant, Nathalie Wergles. The research team have long-standing and in-depth experience of territorial cooperation. This includes extensive experience of programme evaluations (Interact, Northern Periphery and Arctic and North Sea programmes), Interreg programme drafting support (PEACE PLUS), cross programme comparative analyses (ESPON and Arctic); and multinational projects.