Library of Project Documents

Library of Project Documents

This section of our website presents the outputs of the collective efforts of the consortium and the regions that participated in the project. We are including a collection of background documents, factsheets, reports and presentations that you might find interesting for reviewing or using.

Literature review

The aim of the literature review was to provide a comprehensive and insightful review of existing literature and state of the knowledge in social progress related aspects and the active coordination efforts that go with it. The review also provides policy recommendations from published research and case studies and analyses  policy documents to understand the policy design and implementation in the area of social progress (with a focus on cohesion policy).

Key sources in the area of social progress include:

  • OECD studies on social progress
  • Studies on measurement of social progress
  • European Commission studies and other regional statistics
  • United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
  • EUROSTAT Work on SDGs
  • World Development indicators
  • Better Life Index

The desk research phase has allowed for a review of the other measurement frameworks, such as the SDGs. The objective of the review was not to find ways of streamlining the measurement frameworks, since each framework has its specificities and monitors different policy goals. The objective was to assess how these frameworks are designed and to analyse possible improvements for the EU-SPI on the basis of good practices.

The project team has also reviewed relevant literature on the controversies of indicators frameworks and policy monitoring, based on the belief that Indicators should inform policy, but only rarely they should become policy target. When ‘chasing indicators’ becomes a policy, it can present positive, as well as negative implications.

“Positives” of using indicators and direct policy target can generate:

  • A reflection of genuine wish to improve region’s performance by taking easily understood benchmark.
  • Indicators as ‘motivating device’ which can mobilise energies of a larger number of stakeholders.
  • An international perspective on the position of the region.
  • If used in a smart way it can provide critical and unbiased view of region’s strengths and weaknesses.

On the other hand, comparisons at face value or without understanding of the underlying conceptual approach, and regional differences in terms of levels of income and institutional differences may lead to quite misleading or irrelevant policy conclusions.

The literature review report is availalbe here.

Case studies

As part of the activities of the Pilot project, 10 case studies in the regions that were selected to participate in the project were conducted. The case studies have two main objectives:

  1. to collect evidence of the usefulness of the EU-SPI for regional policy-making in the field of social progress
  2. to identify potential proposals for improving the next edition of the index.

Each case study report is divided into four sections, to include:

  1. The profile of the region and definition of the selected thematic focus: this first section is descriptive and presents the socio-economic profile of the region along with the selected thematic area that is covered in more depth in the next sessions.
  2. Policies and initiatives related to the thematic area: This section describes the key policy initiatives around the selected thematic area. It also presentsthe specific implications for the thematic area of the regional governance structure and the regional competencies. The key stakeholders of the thematic area and their roles are also presented.
  3. The usefulness of the EU-SPI in terms of improving policy-making: the main objective of this section is to provide an understanding of how the EU-SPI is used for what purpose (in the specific thematic area), what are the outcomes of using it and, to provide an assessment of what are the intinsinc qualities and limitations of the index. The section also covers other frameworks that could overlap or create synergies with the EU-SPI. This section is considered to be key and is expected that it will be slightly different depending on whether the regions have used or not the EU-SPI; still, in both cases, both policy officials and other stakeholders were interviewed. Most inputs come from these interviews as well as from various documents provided by the interviewees.
  4. Suggested improvements of the EU-SPI: This section is focused on identifying potential ways of improvement for the next editions of the EU SPI index.

The case studies are listed below and are available for download:

Workshops' background papers

Workshops' factsheets