A Look at the Evaluation Framework for Smart Growth Programmes

Liliana Olivia Lucaciu


The research is focused on the methodology for the evaluation of the programmes supporting smart growth based on knowledge and innovation drivers. The paper offers a synthetic view of the smart growth concept, its evolution in the last decades and the way it is transposed into the public interventions. The pressure for a better understanding of the interventions outcomes is increasing, and the quantitative methods are expected to improve robustness and credibility of the evidences. However, the complex environment, data availability and accessibility are some of the constraints for extensive use of quantitative methods. Tailored evaluation frameworks with clear and strong links between the programmes implemented and the evidences produced and analysed are expected to ensure evaluations are useful and lead to policies improvements. 

The paper analyses the specific features of the evaluation framework of smart growth programmes with a focus on European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020, Smart cities strategies and their interactions.

The research methodology is based on an extensive literature review, combining principles from theory and research with practical experience, testing the models on the specific case of current ESIF programmes and adapting them to the features of the smart growth – smart cities interventions.

The paper outlines key elements of an evaluation framework, the programmes’ elements and their causal links, potential evaluation questions from the perspective of smart cities stakeholders or ESIF stakeholders or both, an inventory of suitable variables with examples from the competitiveness and regional development programmes 2014-2020 in Romania.  


impact evaluation; smart growth; smart cities; quantitative methods; competitiveness policies.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18662/rrem/63


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