Lessons from the ENRD
Collection and dissemination of relevant ‘policy in action’ examples
The collection and dissemination of project examples that demonstrate the different ways that the EAFRD is being used across Europe was considered a critical function of the ENRD.
In the first year (2008-2009), discussions focused on finding an appropriate approach for collecting project examples. In the second year (2009-2010), the emphasis shifted to a consideration of ‘relevant experience’, thereby avoiding the need to make value judgments about individual projects. Subsequently, a pilot phase, involving a core group of National Rural Networks (NRNs), resulted in 50 examples being collected from eight different countries.
Information gathered during the pilot was used to guide the design of a database and enhanced template, which was rolled out in all EU countries in the third year (2010-2011). With NRN support, over 200 examples were then gathered. However, the quality and consistency of the examples collected varied considerably, so in the fourth year (2011-2012) refinements were made to the database structure and functionality which improved the quality and usability. This provided the platform to gradually expand the RDP Project Database which included over 400 examples, covering all 27 Member States, by the end of the fourth year.
This was considered to be a significant milestone, providing a critical mass of practical experience of the policy in action. The data set is sufficiently rich in detail to promote European knowledge sharing and exchange and to support other complementary objectives of ENRD stakeholders. Milestones for year five (2012-2013) were focused on expanding the type of projects, aimed at illustrating all RDP policy measures and a more balanced coverage of all Member States.