Purpose: The study concentrated on the process of evaluation of public programs currently implemented with the support of European Union funds in Poland. The aim was to show how the evaluation practice was adopted in the regional administration within programming and implementation of Regional Operational Programs 2007–2013 (ROP). The author analysed what types of decisions are primarily supported by evaluation and what
functions evaluation serves.
Methodology: The quantitative analysis was based on data drawn from documentation of the full population of ROP evaluations completed in 2007 to 2012, which was acquired from 16 ROP evaluation units.
Findings: The practice of evaluation was well adopted in regional administration and has grown rapidly in recent years. 236 studies, costing more than 16 million PLN, were completed by the end of 2012. However, most studies were of limited value as they concentrated on the implementation process, not on the effects and justification of intervention.
Implications: This study focused on quantitative aspects of the knowledge production process (evaluation reports). It omitted the question of actual evaluation use, which together with evaluation process quality and development of evaluation culture should be a subject of further investigation.
Originality: This study was the fi rst review of ROP evaluations in Poland. It went far beyond the scope of data collected previously by the Ministry of Regional Development and proposed novel categorizations of evaluation subjects that may be useful for other than ROP evaluations.