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NRN Self-Assessment Profiles

UK - Scotland

The UK has taken a unique approach to structuring its national rural network (NRN) in accordance with the requirements of the EU Rural Development Regulation. A two tier system has been implemented which consists of four regional rural networks which operate in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales under the umbrella of the UK National Rural Network. This set-up is aimed at enhancing the understanding of rural development issues among rural stakeholders at both national and regional level. Therefore, the Scottish National Rural Network (SNRN) has a vision to contribute to enabling rural development, principally through establishing connections between rural stakeholders and by providing a means of communications.

There are three main fields of activity of the SNRN, namely:

  • An annual programme of regional networking events;
  • An annual national rural networking event; and,
  • A rural networking website.

Monitoring and Reporting Procedures

The SNRN has not adopted a formal structure in assessing its activities; however, it does compile website usage statistics, together with completing and analysing participants’ event registration, attendance and feedback forms. Furthermore, a number of online surveys through the SNRN website have been undertaken, while the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO, subcontractors to the SNRN) delivers annual reports on the regional coordination service.

Website Statistics

Website statistics are collected on an on-going basis and reported in a spreadsheet that is updated every month. Information is collected on the following data sets:

  • The total number of visits
  • The average time spent on the site/visitor
  • The number of different countries or territories involved
  • The % of new visits as a proportion of the total
  • The number of unique visitors
  • The total number of page views
  • The % bounce rate, i.e. the % of visitors who only open a single page
  • The average number of pages viewed/visit
  • A listing of the top 10 countries by number of visits

Interestingly, among the countries most frequently visiting the SNRN website, the USA, Canada, India and Australia feature in the top ten, whereas visits from other EU Member States represent a relatively small proportion. Consequently, there is a scope to further networking with other Member States.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

The annual reports on the regional coordination service written by the SCVO comprise both a narrative overview and statistical data regarding KPIs. Such indicators include:

  • Number of regional events conducted
  • Number of people attending events in total, split by sector and by age group
  • Summary event evaluation feedback from delegates covering the organisation, venue and catering, the various presentations and the discussion session
  • Number of people attending events by event, split by number registered, number attending and the number of presenters and exhibitors
  • The number of new connections established by delegates and the number of these with whom further contact is sought
  • Numbers using or registered on the website or not and registration intention
  • A breakdown of the places where event delegates would be likely to meet

According to the evaluators, the cost of £230,000 of operation in the first year appeared low when considering the complexity of the tasks involved, the number and scale of the events concerned and the level of networking activity and engagement that had been achieved.

For more detailed analysis and results, please see the publication below.

  • Assessment Report for the Scottish National Rural Network – Annex to the 2010 Mid-Term Evaluation Report on the Scottish RDP [PDF ]

11698/2005 Article 68

The European Evaluation Network for Rural Development provides methodological support for the evaluation of National Rural Network Programmes and National Rural Networks in line with the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

 Contact the Evaluation Helpdesk


Update of the Working Paper on the Evaluation of National Rural Network Programmes, integrating experiences from the mid-term evaluation 2010. Activity to be launched in quarter 3/2011.


Working Paper on the Evaluation of National Rural Network Programme (July 2010) documents the state of play of the envisaged approaches of Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain for the mid-term-evaluation of their National Rural Network Programmes.

Full document [PDF ].

Working Paper on Capturing impacts of LEADER and of measures to improve Quality of Life in rural areas (July 2010) provides information on LEADER-type self-assessment methods.

Full document [PDF ].

Working Paper on Approaches for assessing the impacts of the Rural Development Programmes in the context of multiple intervening factors (March 2010).

Full document [PDF ].

Interactive version [PDF ]

Newsletter articles on above working papers [PDF ].

Last update: 26/06/2014 | Top