210034 competitividad empresa espanola
  Aitziber Elola and James R. Wilson
   Basque Institute of Competitiveness - Deusto Foundation



As in the rest of the public policies, in the case of the cluster policy there is also a general interest in developing and applying evaluation methods, with the aim of adapting the policy to the new challenges identified through those evaluation processes. In the specific case of the cluster policy, to evaluate the efficiency in the implementation and development of these policies, one of the aspects to be analysed is the activity of the Cluster Management Organizations (CMOs) and test its relationship with greater economic development.

SPRI (Basque Government) developed a questionnaire called “The Voice of the User” in order to: (1) better understand how cluster cooperation services and actions offered by the CMOs are perceived by users; and (2) the impact of those services and actions on the competitiveness parameters of companies. The users of the cooperation services and actions offered by the CMOs in the framework of the Cluster Support Program financed by the Basque Government completed the questionnaire.

This document establishes a guide to interpret the responses to the questionnaire and reveals the usefulness of these analysis and results for different groups of stakeholders, especially the directors of the CMO and policy makers. It should be noted that the individual members, the technical structure or the strategic plan of the CMO are not being evaluated, but rather the set of activities carried out within the cluster policy. The aim is to evaluate the cluster policy itself, with the ultimate objective of directly influencing the initiatives launched by the CMOs and the Basque Government in future editions of the Program. Therefore, here evaluation is not understood as control, but rather as a learning and improvement process, to guide the management of both the entire cluster policy and the implementation of said policy in the different CMOs through their action plans.