The Strategy Implementation
How to measure and document the project results?
Proving LEADER legitimacy
LEADER practitioners often are so involved in the strategy and project implementation that very little time is left for the indicators and results documentation. However the European Court of Auditors Report on LEADER from the year 2010, for example, shows that this information is crucial in order to prove the LEADER legitimacy and added value.
Make it a routine!
Once the LEADER strategy has clear objectives and indicators that help following the projects' outcomes, measuring and documenting the results is easy and not very time-consuming. A good approach is to make this work a systemized part of the LAG's administrative routines. An opportune moment for this is at the end of the project when the LAG receives the final payment application and report.
Report and interview approach
Collection of the projects' results to the LAG's indicator table may simply be a desk exercise of the LAG staff based on the project's final reporting. If the information is not enough or contains inconsistencies it is worthwhile to call and interview the Project Manager. Another approach is to develop a LAG indicator form and ask the implementers to fill it in and attach to the final report. This information can also be completed by a phone interview.
Verification of the results
Phone calls and site visits are also needed to verify the project results. Sometimes the Project Managers tend to overestimate or misunderstand the impact indicators. It is not very convincing if a single LEADER project has produced half of a locality's jobs for example. The LAG staff is responsible for verifying and correcting the projects' indicator information before using it in any way.
Show your results!
LAGs should proudly publish the strategy implementation results annually, not only in their reports to the authorities who expect that but also to the public media and the wide audience. This increases the transparency of managing the public funds. Don't forget the social media, the importance of which is ever-growing!