In the last months, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) and experts from ARC Fund have collected and analysed good European and international practices for monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programs. On the basis of a developed list of strategic, programme and other related documents at national, regional and sectoral level, indicators and metrics have been identified against which research policy assessments have been established. As a result of the good practices, a new methodology was developed to evaluate the implementation of the Operational Plan for the first phase 2018-2022 of the National Strategy for Development of Scientific Research in the Republic of Bulgaria (2017-2030). The introduction of the methodology is expected to build a more transparent and result-oriented process for research evaluation and monitoring.
Effective use of public resources invested in science requires policies and mechanisms for evaluating impact that are evidence-based and reflect the needs of target groups in a balanced way and in line with programmes and measures in other related areas. The monitoring and evaluation phase is of increasing importance to achieve this.
The methodology for the evaluation of the implementation of the Operational Plan for the first stage (2018-2022) of the National Strategy for Development of Scientific Research in the Republic of Bulgaria (2017-2030) is not limited to solely tracking the progress of the quantitative indicators set in the Plan. The methodology provides a framework for a comprehensive assessment along the following:
- Vision, mission and strategic objectives of the Strategy and the Operational Plan – rationale and alignment with societal needs, on the one hand, and the capacity of the country’s science and research system on the other;
- Justification of impact areas – groups of indicators and interaction between them;
- Outcomes achieved by interventions in the context of impact assessment based on (primarily) qualitative indicators to address existing societal challenges in the context of global challenges;
- Conditions for achieving the objectives of the Strategy – administrative capacity, services to the scientific community, financial support, human resources, etc.
The project “Analysis of the implementation of the Operational Plan for the first stage 2018-2022 of the National Strategy for Development of Scientific Research in the Republic of Bulgaria 2017-2030 and a proposal for its update in view of new European policies and the impact achieved in addressing societal challenges” is implemented with the financial support of the Operational Programme “Good Governance”, co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund. The results, analyses and evaluations will have an impact both at national level by improving the effectiveness of the science policy implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science, and at regional level by applying more justified measures to support the development of research organisations and universities.