Evaluation of the environmental subsidies to local authorities in Flanders, Belgium

2012 EEEN Forum / Evaluation

Annick Gommers, TRITEL

In the context of the Flemish environmental policy, more than 15 different subsidies are being granted to local authorities (communities, provinces, …) by different and independent agencies of the Flemish environmental ad­ministration. The purpose of the ongoing research is to evaluate these subsidies from the regional to the local authorities on criteria such as effectiveness and efficiency. By evaluating all the subsidies in one research project, the regional authority wants to have insight in the most important global strengths and weaknesses, but also in the overlap or additional effects of different subsidies together in order to formulate recommendations both for opti­mising individual subsidies as for reorganising the entire subsidy landscape. The research is performed in three phases. In the first phase the subsidies have been examined on effectiveness based on quantitative data. Therefore, available databases and results of a wide-spread web-inquiry have been combined and effects have been identified by statistical analyses. As far as possible, the causal relation between the identified effects and the subsidies has been checked. In the second phase, hypotheses about the causal relation are being tested in a qualitative way (inter­views and focus groups with the local authorities) and other aspects (administrative charges, …) are being examined. In the third phase, conclusions are drawn and ‑ in a participative way ‑ recommendations are worked out. Different options to ameliorate the subsidies from the regional to the local authorities will be compared in a way that the results can be used for the regulatory impact assessment.

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