Evidence of effectiveness
The impact and effectiveness are described in the ministerial order in the 2013 evaluation and in the 2015 final report in the following way:
- A positive impact on regional development, as better utilization of people's skills and knowledge enable them to reach and realise their maximum potential, thereby sustainable regional development is supported.
- A positive impact on the smart running of the country/state, as under the career guidance system, various studies and research are commissioned that support smart and sustainable decision-making. Also the Cooperation Council of career services (Koostöökogu) brings together relevant stakeholders who understand the importance of the career guidance system and support its development.
- The general impact of the instrument is considered as positive: the career services' methodology developments; the creation of support, guidance, study etc materials and a training system; the provision for career service providers (e.g. coordinators, counsellors); and the creation of a quality assurance system are all implemented systematically and based on actual needs.
- The assembled materials, leaflets are highly valued by regional partners and centres.
- Cooperation in the career guidance field has increased, although difficult to measure.
- The targets of most indicators were successfully achieved.
- In general, the use of programme resources was efficient, although there were not enough resources to target the whole youth population (aged 7-26), thus more emphasis was on graduates. The benefits/beneficiaries have been as was expected. On the positive side, this programme has successfully managed to guide most of the resources to the activities directly related to the youth target population, i.e. to the provision of career services in regional centres and educational institutions to make career services more accessible to youth (and not to the main implementers of the programme). On the other hand, as the preliminary aim and scope of the programme was greater than the actual funding, it was not possible to comprehensively target the whole youth population. Therefore, the emphasis was more on graduates and less on the entire youth population.
One weak result emphasised in the 2013 evaluation report is modest progress on enhancing accessibility to services and guaranteeing high awareness about the services among the general population (including adults). These expectations have not been met. But the main reason behind it is again lack of sufficient resources to cover large target groups. Nevertheless, the implementation of programme resources has been efficient according to the evaluation report. There have been no major unexpected benefits or costs. Although after the programme was finished, it was clear, that the preliminary scope and reach of the programme was greater than the actual funding.
Perhaps one potential unexpected benefit of the instrument may be the continuation, improvement and development of the programme activities and system in a follow-up programme. This was possible thanks to the development of the comprehensive future concept for career services in Estonia.
Engagement of stakeholders
The continuous engagement was guaranteed with the ministerial order that specified the roles (obligations and rights) of all relevant parties and partners. The continuous engagement was also guaranteed with regular meetings and action plans for every year for all involved stakeholders. Furthermore, there were many information sharing activities, seminars and awareness raising events.