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Framework for the Evaluation of SME and Entrepreneurship Policies and Programmes 2023

image of Framework for the Evaluation of SME and Entrepreneurship Policies and Programmes 2023

Evaluation is the foundation of evidence-based policy. Yet there is a dearth of reliable impact evaluation in the area of SME and entrepreneurship policy. This publication issues OECD guidance on how governments can promote reliable SME and entrepreneurship policy evaluation. It emphasises practices including using control groups, setting clear policy objectives and targets and accounting for business survival and non-survival. It shows that reliable evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship policy is increasingly accessible given improvements in data and techniques in recent years and illustrates this with examples of 50 reliable evaluations across many SME and entrepreneurship policy areas and 28 OECD countries. Overall, the publication issues a call for more systematic and reliable evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship policies following the guidance offered.

The publication also examines the findings of reliable evaluations internationally, including meta evaluations. The evidence is mixed but generally more robust and consistent for policies to improve access to finance than in the provision of training and advisory services. Some policies have positive impacts on key measures whereas others do not. The reasons are explored, including variations in the targeting of policies and in policy delivery approaches.

English

The state of play in SME and entrepreneurship policy evaluation

This chapter reviews the state of play in SME and entrepreneurship policy evaluation. It begins by referring to the dearth of reliable evaluation evidence in SME and entrepreneurship policy. It then highlights how the evidence from reliable evaluations is offering mixed messages on the effectiveness of SME and entrepreneurship policies. The chapter goes on to discuss common broad problems in the generation of useful evaluation evidence for policy development. These are: failure to appropriately specify target groups when starting a programme; lack of reflection on the potential of alternative policies for achieving the same goals; lack of consideration of the impact of the timing of evaluations; and insufficient account taken of changes to the political context. Finally, the chapter draws out lessons and issues for evaluation practice.

English

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