Progetti di ricerca

SINERGIA - The role of EU Structural funds IN Enhancing ReGional and local Institutional and Administrative capacity

Ambito disciplinare Macroarea 3

Area scientifica Area 16 - Scienze politiche e sociali

Tipologia finanziamento FONDAZIONE CASSA DI RISPARMIO DI PADOVA E ROVIGO (Finanziamenti da Fondazioni Casse di Risparmio)

Tipo di progetto Internazionale

Stato progetto Aperto

Ruolo nel progetto Capofila

Data avvio: 27 November 2018

Data termine: 26 November 2019

Durata: 12 mesi

Importo: 30.000€


European Policies Research Centre EPRC (University of Strathclyde, UK)
Directorate for Unitary Programming of the Veneto Region / Direzione Programmazione Unitaria, Regione Veneto


Administrative capacity and the quality of institutions have been widely recognised as key factors determining the success of social and economic development policies. A range of indicators have been developed by international organisations and academic institutions to measure, rank and compare the quality of government across countries (Charron & Lapuente 2018; Charron et al 2014) and an extensive academic research has been conducted to understand the relationship between the quality of institutions and levels of administrative capacity, and the performance of public policies at the regional and local levels. Over the past decade, these themes have been increasingly explored in the context of EU cohesion policy.
While many studies have provided convincing empirical evidence to show that institutions play a key role in the quality of implementation and outcomes of EU cohesion policy (Bachtler et al 2104, 2016; Mendez & Bachtler 2016; Metis & EPRC 2014; Milio 2007, 2011; Rodrigues Pose 2013; Terracciano & Graziano 2016; Smeriglio et al 2015; Surubaru 2017), several questions remain unanswered, especially concerning definitional and methodological challenges in conceptualising and measuring administrative capacity (as opposed to institutional quality), explaining its influence on administrative performance, and understanding whether and how administrative capacity can be developed.
This project aims to contribute to filling the aforementioned gaps by developing an original analytical framework for measuring administrative capacities in the implementation of EU structural funds, with particular regard to the field of sustainable urban development.


This research programme has the following objectives:

• First, it aims to consider the role of current ESI Funds programmes in enhancing administrative capacity in the Veneto Region, by evaluating the comprehensive impact of capacity-building activities that have been realised and that are planned to be realised by 2020 to support the regional administration and the six cities tasked with Urban Authorities functions;
• Second, the research intends to appraise the degree to which the above interventions are complementary and synergic with other administrative capacity building measures that may be implemented in this region with domestic resources and programmes (where applicable);
• Third, the project aims to appraise the degree to which administrative capacity activities realised under different funding streams tackle structural rather than contingent needs, and the administrative capacity building needs that remain unfulfilled, at both regional and local levels, with a view of identifying future investment needs in this area and their relative priority;
• And, lastly, the study aims to appraise the risks and opportunities entailed by the current proposals of taking institutional strengthening outside cohesion policy, and addressing institutional and administrative capacity needs via the new ‘Technical Support Instrument’.

Piano delle attività:

The project will entail four types of actions:

(i) research – setting analytical framework, realisation of desk and field research in Veneto; participation in research seminars organised by partner universities;
(ii) dissemination – framing of the research in the latest academic debates and publication in international journals; organisation of and participation in final project conference;
(iii) knowledge exchange and capacity building – organisation of a focus group for civil servants from the regional and local administrations and stakeholders in order to fine-tune project activities according to their need; semi-structures interviews for validating the results of enquiry;
(iv) lecturing: during her stay in Padua, Dr Polverari will also hold a series of seminars within the teaching modules ‘Public Management and Multilevel Governance’, chaired by prof. Graziano, and ‘Sustainable Development Policies’ chaired by prof. Domorenok at the MA degree programme in European and Global Studies, University of Padua.