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Monitoring and Evaluation system for R&D programmes in Basque Country

Ex-ante, progress, completion and ex-post monitoring tool for improved R&D; programme management, Basque Country, Spain


Contact person: 

Cristina Oyon, Head of Strategic Initiatives
SPRI (Basque Business Development Agency)


URL: www.spri.es 

Link of the GP to the RIS3 steps:

Step 6. Integration of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms


Country:  Spain        Name of the region:  Basque Country      NUTS Level:    2


Description of the GP:

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is a key tool to meet the significant needs of the Basque system of innovation, as well as to improve the performance of SPRI’s functions with regard to the management of R&D programmes.

The contribution of M&E to the Basque innovation system is:

  • To measure the impact of R&D programmes on wealth and employment.
  • To identify the contribution of R&D programmes to sector strategies.
  • To find out the performance of the R&D activities carried out by different agents in the system.
  • To have an aggregated perspective at a Basque Country level.

Regarding SPRI (Basque Business Development Agency), considering that the R&D programmes managed by SPRI and the resources they mobilise represent a significant part (26%) of Basque R&D expenditure, the contribution of M&E to the performance of SPRI’s functions is to have accurate and structured knowledge of the resources, results and impact of projects and programmes.

M&E meets the SPRI’s own management needs and provides valuable knowledge and feedback to define Basque Science, Technology and Innovation policies, as it has been designed to cover and arrange data with numerous parameters that offer key information about the innovation system.

M&E makes possible to get an integral perspective, thanks to its scope as regards the programmes covered, the type of indicators and the levels of analysis considered, as M&E covers all the R&D programmes that SPRI manages as a whole, identifying the corresponding indicators from the nature, approach and objectives of each programme.

Regarding indicators, as far as possible, those should be in line with those set by the IUS (Innovation Union Scoreboard), as are internationally acknowledged to be key indicators of the innovation system and make possible a comparative analysis with other regions and countries.

The high volume of information gathered in the system provides a solid base on which to carry out the necessary analyses at different levels, which makes this integral scope to require a continual monitoring with different measurement points throughout the projects’ life (ex-ante, progress, completion and ex-post). So considering this scope, the global structure of M&E includes three basic levels: necessary information, information capture and analysis and reporting.

The system classifies all information based on the categorization of beneficiaries, projects and researchers, according to the pre-established parameters and compiles information in different areas, with specific indicators within each area (resources, results and impact).

As said, the information is captured at four points established through the supported projects’ life cycle (ex-ante, progress, completion and ex-post) such that parameters and assessments are gathered regarding certain indicators at each of these points.

At the stage of analysing and reporting, the M&E considers two types of reports,  the “Call monitoring reports” which provide significant information that is necessary to prepare the report for the EIB (European Investment Bank) with regard to the activity and impact of the specific calls and programmes that it finances and the “Annual overview report”, which uses the information collected in the call monitoring, classified into three activity groups (consolidated, completed and injected activity) that goes further into different aspects in each of the activity groups in question (resources, results and impact).


Challenges addressed by the GP:


Create a positive image of Monitoring and Evaluation

Establish a constructive Monitoring and Evaluation Culture

How to make Monitoring and Evaluation sustainable?

Impact and beneficiaries:

Regarding the success and impact of the GP, it could be said that M&E:

  • improves:

-       the allocation of resources

-       the evaluation of draft projects with a stricter application of expected impact and results criteria

  • justifies:

-       the resources allocated to R&D&i above other government priorities

  • facilitates:

-       the design of new, more results-based R&D support instruments

  • contribute:

-       to the design, monitoring and evaluation of the system, policies and STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) plans

-       to have an overview of the status and results of the Basque system of support to R&D and its progression over time, which backs their existence and strength

-       to enable a comparison to be made with other countries or regions of reference

-       the support decision-making regarding the design of new programmes and/or for the continuity, reorientation or finalisation of existing programmes

-       to the capacity to deal efficiently with requests for information related to the resources, results and impact of R&D support programmes such as, for example, reporting for the EIB (European Investment Bank)

The main beneficiary of the GP is the Basque Government, who finances the R&D programmes involved, i.e., programmes supporting Companies (Large, Medium and Small) and programmes supporting the RVCTI(Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network) agentssuch as:  Universities, Cooperative Research Centres (CRC), Basic and Excellence Research Centres (BERC), Technology corporations, Sectoral Centres, International Development and Technological Transfer Centres, Certification Entity and Laboratory, Public Research Bodies, Business R&D Units, Healthcare R&D Units, Technology Parks and Business & Innovation Centres and Intermediate Innovation Bodies.

Basque Government also is benefited by the already mentioned valuable knowledge and feedback received to define its science, technology and innovation policies.

The second beneficiary is SPRI as it may help it to improve its functions with regard to the    management of R&D programmes.

Requirements and limitations:

The M&E should mean a monitoring and evaluation effort in line with the volume of mobilised resources and their potential influence on the system.

The M&E should meet the specific region or organisations’ own management needs and provides valuable knowledge and feedback to define its science, technology and innovation policies.

The measurement of each programme must be coherent and enable emphasis to be placed on the added value  expected from each one.

As indicators are in line with those set by the IUS (Innovation Union Scoreboard), which are internationally acknowledged to be key indicators, make posible a comparative analysis to be made with other regions and countries.

The M&E has sufficient flexibility and potential to carry out other specific analyses on request, based on the systemaically collected information.


Funding source:

Regional funds