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On June 22nd 2017, in Wroclaw (Poland), Andrea Gramillano and Andrea Floria (director of ACZ Consulting) presented the lessons learned from the impact evaluation of KAI (Key Area of Intervention) 4.3 “Support for the Development of microenterprises” of the Romanian 2007-2013 ERDF ROP. The presentation was held in Panel 5 “Effects of public support schemes on SME” of the International Evaluation Conference.

Whereas the previous Romanian conference on the impact of the Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 held on March 2016 at the presence of Commissioner Corina Cretu allowed to present the general evaluation findings, the International Evaluation Conference of Wroclaw was the occasion to share the methodological approach.

The evaluation presented was the first one conducted in Romania with counterfactual methods. It was the first study under the evaluation framework agreement, which included eight studies regarding 11 key areas of intervention. The evaluation used a varied set of desk research methods (literature review, SWOT /PEST analysis, logic model), qualitative techniques (semi-structured interviews, case studies, benchmarking and panel of experts, focus groups) as well as quantitative approach. In particular, counterfactual analyses used propensity score matching, difference in difference and regression discontinuity design to compare the overtime performance of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries (unsuccessful applicants) three years and four years after the project finalization, and estimate the net effect (in terms of jobs created – result indicator of the measure – but also in terms of turnover).

Moreover, other econometric estimates were conducted to identify the key factors explaining the high rescission rate (around 1/3 of beneficiaries) among Call 1 beneficiaries and measure the contribution of the financial size of the grant on the enterprise performance and compare the first and second call for projects. The evaluation constructed a database of about 900 microenterprises (beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries) with 25 variables and figures available over time (2007-2013).

Further details on the event and the presentation are provided on the conference website.