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2014-2020 EU Cohesion Fund Programmes, Wales

In 2013 the Welsh Government began negotiations with Westminster and the EU regarding the Structural and Rural Development funding for Wales for the following programming period. Part of the process includes an ex-ante evaluation of the proposed programme of intervention and a core element of the evaluation is an equality impact assessment (EqIA) of each programme.

We couldn’t have achieved this level of service to WEFO without your patience and professionalism!

Ex-Ante Evaluation Coordinator

The EqIAs were commissioned to comply with the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Equality Act 2010. The Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) wanted the EqIA to:

  • Assess whether, in implementing strategies and priorities, the programmes will have a differential impact for particular groups of people.
  • Inform how equality issues should be considered in any redesign of the programmes.
  • Inform how equality issues should be considered in the shaping of implementation arrangements.
  • Identify opportunities to promote equality in the programmes.
  • Propose solutions for elimination of any negative impacts which may be identified through the assessments.

The EqIA involved interconnected processes, including:

  • Desk research to determine the challenges facing different social groups around employment, skills, transport, business support and enterprise.
  • A review of the programme documents to determine the impact on these issues for different groups.
  • Socio-demographic analysis and mapping of different groups.
  • Extensive equality analysis combining the desk-based process to fully understand the potential impact of the programmes on different groups, and propose mitigations and recommendations where appropriate.
  • The production of a series of draft EqIA reports that were presented by the team across Wales, inviting stakeholder input into the impact assessment process.

Value and benefits

  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission commended WEFO on their commitment to equality, and noted that the EqIA process was fully compliant with their obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
  • WEFO has so far been delighted with Mott MacDonald’s work on the ex-ante evaluation, and we will look to provide further support as the programmes are implemented, monitored and evaluated.
  • We will follow up on this process with support to develop equality objectives and action planning.
  • The EU allocation for this programme is worth £2B overall to Wales.
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