Public policy analysis and impact assessment

The formation and implementation of evidence-based public policy requires the examination of policy alternatives, the analysis of the effectiveness of implementation and a comprehensive impact assessment. For the public sector, it is important to make sure that the most appropriate solution to a problem in a given area is chosen – legal obligations, taxes, investments or media measures – and that public funds which are limited are invested to achieve best results.

ESTEP’s public policy analysis and impact assessment services contribute to evidence-based policy making and more effective public finance planning. We have conducted more than 150 studies, evaluations and analysis related to the planning of public policy interventions, their effectiveness and impact assessment.

Below is the list of our recent projects:

Client: The Employment Services, 2018/10 – 2020/10

This project developed a system for monitoring and evaluating active labour market policy (ALMP) measures and the sustainability of employment mediation and recruitment. During the provision of the services, an analysis of the data available to the Employment Services was performed in order to assess the quality and sufficiency of the data stored in the Employment Services information system for monitoring and evaluation of ALMP measures and employment sustainability. The evaluation has also analysed the ALMP measures, labour market services and their combinations applied by the Employment Services. The project developed a concept for a monitoring and evaluation system for ALMPs and the sustainability of employment based on counterfactual impact assessment methods, and performed an impact assessment of ALMPs using counterfactual impact assessment methods (assessed the net impact of ALMPs applied in 2017 at micro and macro level). The evaluation led to the development of a methodology for the monitoring and evaluation system of the ALMP measures and the sustainability of employment, and delivered training for the staff of the Employment Services to enable them to apply this methodology independently.

Client: The Ministry of Finance, 2018/07 – 2019/06

The aim of this evaluation was to improve the interventions implemented by the state in separate areas of public policy and to find consensus on the possibilities to replace public funding with other types of interventions (regulatory, tax, communication). The scope of the evaluation was broad and covered 14 public policy areas: education, science, technology and innovation, business and tourism, energy, energy efficiency and housing renovation, environment, transport, digital economy, health, employment and social inclusion, demography and migration, culture, public governance and regional policy. More than 30 intervention laboratories and focused group discussions were organized during the evaluation, supplemented by in-depth interviews. The results of the evaluation were used in the preparation of the National Progress Plan for 2021 – 2030 and the EU funds investment documents for 2021-2027 programming period.

Client: The Ministry of Agriculture, 2018/01 – 2019/06; 2020/05 – 2021/06

The evaluation of the progress of the implementation of the 2014–2020 Lithuanian Rural Development Program 2014–2020 aimed at identifying the progress of the implementation of each priority, assessing the implementation of the performance plan, identifying problems and providing recommendations for improving the content and implementation of the RDP. During the evaluation, two evaluation reports on the implementation of the RDP were prepared.

Client: The Ministry of Finance, 2018/03 – 2019/03

The aim of this evaluation was to determine the extent to which the interventions of the 2014-2020 Operational Program are in line with Lithuania’s development needs and to analyse the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of EU funds investments. During the provision of services, three reports were prepared: 1) evaluation of the progress of the implementation of the Operational Program, 2) evaluation of the implementation of the Horizontal Principles and 3) evaluation of the system of indicators for monitoring the implementation of the Operational Program.

Clients: The Chancellery of the Government of Lithuania and the Ministry of Finance, 2018/05 – 2018/09

In 2018, responding to the constraints on Lithuania’s economic growth, the 17th Government initiated 6 structural reforms aimed at revising the education system, health care, the tax system, the innovation policy, the principles to reduce the shadow economy and the pension system. The aim of this evaluation was to quantify the impact of this structural reform package on the macroeconomic indicators of the Lithuanian economy and on the implementation of the Operational Program of the EU Funds Investment for 2014-2020. First, the impulses of individual reforms to the economy were identified and quantified. The quantification of the indicators of the impact of structural reforms was carried out on the basis of scientific research, experience of other countries and statistical analysis of Lithuania’s economic indicators. The analysis of the impact of the reforms on the country’s economy was performed using the econometric modelling method. It is estimated that the largest relative effect of the reforms implemented by the Government on GDP (in nominal terms) will be achieved around 2025-2027, when the reforms will lead to about 2% higher GDP growth or more than EUR 1.2 billion higher GDP than in the non-reform scenario.

Client: The Ministry of Finance, 2017/10 – 2018/04

The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the effectiveness and impact of the European Economic Area and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms of 2009-2014 and to provide conclusions and recommendations on how to ensure the continuity of their implementation (sustainability of results / impact) and strengthen cooperation between Lithuania and donor countries. The evaluation also contributed to investment planning for the period of 2014-2021 and more efficient implementation of the use of EEA and Norwegian financial instruments in Lithuania.

Client: The Ministry of Finance, 2017/02 – 2017/05

This evaluation was the first study not only to analyse the impact of the 2014-2020 EU funds investment on the growth of the country’s economy, but also evaluated the trends of Lithuania’s economic and social development until 2027 and provided recommendations on the investment directions of EU funds in Lithuania after 2020. The analysis confirmed that the investments of the EU funds significantly contribute to the growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the period of 2015-2020. The assessment estimated that GDP growth per year will be 0.9% higher that it would have been without EU interventions. In addition, it was estimated that by 2023 each euro invested during the period of 2014-2020 will bring a nominal return on GDP of EUR 1.88 and generate EUR 12.6 billion of additional GDP. The data of the assessment also show that EU investments will have a significant impact on the promotion of employment – the largest impact in Lithuania is expected in 2021, when it is estimated that more than 50 thousand of additional jobs will be created or preserved. This will lead to about 3.4% lower unemployment rate than would have been without EU investment. Most additional jobs will be created in industry, private services and construction. During the evaluation, the development trends of the Lithuanian economy after 2020 were analysed, long-term development priorities and possible areas of investment after 2020 were identified. In order for Lithuania to be competitive after 2020, it will be relevant to invest in economic infrastructure (especially in the connection with the EU energy, transport and information infrastructure networks) and in the quality of basic public services (health, basic education). However, infrastructure investments need to be kept under review in the light of development potential, the results of cost-benefit analyses and compatibility with similar projects. On the other hand, Lithuania’s transition from middle-income to higher-income country can be ensured only by the transition to a higher value-added economy. It will be vital to improve the indicators that determine the efficiency and innovation of the Lithuanian economy (teaching and lifelong learning, labour market efficiency, technological readiness, innovation).