Evaluation Methodologies > Assessing the RDP Impacts > Introduction
Assessing the Rural Development Programme Impacts
When assessing impacts independent evaluators need to refer to the benefits of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) both at the level of intervention, but also more generally in the programme area. During evaluations impacts, which are linked to the wider objectives of the programme, should be analysed and judged to help identify what change has occurred due to the programme measures.
Guidance on the assessment of impacts of RDPs is available in the Handbook on Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF) (Guidance note B – Evaluation Guidelines). However, the methodologies are not always sufficiently developed and need to be elaborated, as stated in Guidance note A of the Handbook on CMEF (Choice and use of indicators), which notes that methodologies for the estimation of impact will be developed further during the programme period by the Evaluation Expert Network. These needs have been confirmed by Member States through feedback loops with the network. The declared needs of MS include methodological support on assessing the socio-economic and environmental impacts of RDPs, and also support in relation to axes 3 and 4 to better define the assessment criteria and expected impacts of programme measures.
To address these needs, two thematic working groups (TWGs) were established by the Network during 2009 and 2010, comprising specialised experts , to prepare the methodological support on how to implement the requirements of the CMEF regarding assessment of impacts. In the working papers produced by these TWGs, practices considered as state-of-the-art are detailed, along with considerable current practice in Member States. Two feedback loops on draft versions of the guidance – one with evaluators and other practitioners from Member States and another with the members of the Evaluation Expert Committee – were included to enhance the practical usefulness of the documents.
The outcomes of these TWG processes are the following:
- Working paper on Approaches for assessing impacts of the Rural Development Programmes in the context of multiple intervening factors (<< Read more)
The guidance below is currently under development:
- Working paper: To streamline methodological approaches for capturing the impact of Leader and of the measures to improve the Quality of Life in rural areas
Further methodological support for assessing impacts of RDPs through thematic work are set up according to the needs expressed by Member States and will be available on this website.