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.



The purpose of this book is to support and encourage policy makers to develop reliable evaluations of the impact of SME and entrepreneurship policies and to make use of impact evaluation results in policy design and implementation. The book argues that systematic and reliable evaluation is vital for justifying the use of public resources for SME and entrepreneurship support and for steering those resources to the policy measures that deliver the greatest benefits against government objectives. It offers government policy makers guidance in making the case for evaluation, commissioning evaluations that will be reliable and learning from existing and new evaluations.


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