Last week PPMI completed Ex-Ante Evaluation of Potential Eligible Activities to Reduce Material Deprivation for the 2021-2027 Programming Period. The study has been commissioned by the Ministry of Social Security and Labor of Lithuania.
The main objective of ex-ante evaluation was to prepare for the implementation of support measures that would help to reduce material deprivation in Lithuania during the 2021-2027 programming period. Evaluation provides conclusions on the most effective ways of providing material support to end recipients and implementation of accompanying measures. Moreover, the evaluation includes analysis on reduction and elimination of stigmatisation of the target group. The study implemented between September 2020 and June 2021 assessed:
1) whether FEAD support used to purchase products and hygiene goods could be transferred to electronic cards in the new programming period;
2) accompanying measures carried out by the partner organisations between 2014 and 2020 in order to draw conclusions on the prospects to focus accompanying measures on activities of social innovation or social experiment type.
Our study concluded that even though there are certain risks to introducing e-vouchers, such as reduction of purchasing power and mobility challenges, e-vouchers would significantly improve the autonomy of beneficiaries, reduce administrative costs and would allow to allocate more funds to accompanying social inclusion measures.
The evaluation has shown that depending on the model chosen for the implementation of electronic cards, the administrative costs of FEAD support would decrease significantly. The card system would save transportation and storage costs and reduce the need for human resources to provide direct distribution of FEAD support at aid distribution points. All in all, as many as 73.2% of survey respondents identified the use of electronic cards as a better alternative comparedto direct material support with food and hygiene items.
Regarding accompanying measures, to implement them more effectively in 2021-2027, it is proposed to apply the logic of the project cycle and to implement pilot interventions - social experiments and / or social innovations. The implementation and organization of accompanying measures should preferably be based on a logic scheme of the project cycle.