FAQs > About impacts
What is the role of indicators for the assessment of impacts of Rural Development Programmes?
In general terms, indicators have to be considered as methodological tools supporting the assessment of an intervention in terms of its output, results or impacts.
The programme's impact should be assessed against their objectives, and related target levels. The common impact indicators need to be complemented by additional indicators specific to the programmes which take into account the full range of objectives and sub-objectives at programme level, as well as national priorities.
Is it necessary to quantify all impact indicators?
Article 85 of the Rural Development Regulation refers to "quantified targets, particularly in terms of impact in relation to the baseline situation". In line with this, evaluators have to make an effort to provide a quantitative assessment of the impact indicators to the extent possible.
If quantification of an impact indicator is not possible, the evaluators should provide an estimation or a qualitative assessment.
Do Member States have to measure regularly the evolution of impact indicators?
The assessment of impact of Rural Development Programmes, and within this framework the measurement of impact indicators, falls within the scope of evaluation. The responsibility for the estimation and quantification of impact indicators remains with the evaluators. The responsibility of the Managing Authority is to ensure that the evaluators have sufficient data on general trends, outputs and results to carry out such an assessment.
Is it possible to replace some common impact indicators with new ones or complement them with additional indicators?
The selection of common indicators corresponds to the priorities defined in the EU strategic guidelines.
All common impact indicators should be evaluated.
The common impact indicators should be complemented by additional indicators specific to the programmes which take into account the full range of objectives and sub-objectives at programme level, as well as national priorities.
Member States should ensure that, where the objectives of a measure are specifically identified in the Rural Development Community Strategic Guidelines or in their National Strategy, and such objectives are not covered by a common impact indicator, a corresponding additional impact indicator is defined.
Do the evaluators have to provide a specific intervention logic with specific indicators and objectives if a certain measure has an impact which is not included in the measure objectives (e.g. environmental effect of farm modernisation) or can this be dealt with as a "side-effect" which is not linked to a specific objective?
Evaluators have to identify specific intervention logics and to assess programme-specific additional indicators when a given measure corresponds to specific national/regional objectives that Member States have introduced to address particular needs of the rural areas covered by the programme. Unintended effects of implementing measures have to be dealt with and duly described under the evaluation process.
Some measures of one axis may have an impact on objectives of other axis. Shouldn't we evaluate the impact along with other objectives? (e.g.: measures of axis 1 have an impact on climate change; measures of axis 3 and axis 4 have an impact on labour productivity)
This is the approach adopted. The impact of the programme as a whole should be assessed against the 7 common impact indicators to take into account the full contribution of all axes of the programme.
How can the impacts of Community funded interventions be assessed with respect to broad parameters such as "labour productivity" and "sustainable land management"? How can the effects of Community interventions be isolated from other intervening factors?
Impacts will be identified as net-contributions of each single measure to achieving a programme's objectives. The focus should be on the bottom-up estimation of impact:
In a first step, impact should be estimated at the level of direct and indirect beneficiaries by programme evaluator on the basis of output and result indicators, survey data and experience and evaluations from last programming periods (for calculation of double counting, deadweight, displacement and multiplier effects). This should be cross-checked against the counterfactual situation and contextual trends in programme area.
In a second stage, the evaluator should make an estimation of the contribution to the general trend at programme area level (baseline trend), where feasible/statistically significant compared to other factors. Where this is not possible the evaluator should make a qualitative assessment in general terms.
Will the Commission provide further definitions for terms like ‘competitiveness’, ‘sustainable land management’ and ‘quality of life’?
No. These terms should be defined in the context of each single programme to be evaluated.
What is the difference between assessment of impacts of RDPs and impact assessment?
There is a requirement to assess the impacts of the RDPs in the mid-term and ex post evaluations, according to Article 86 of Council Regulation (EC) 1698/2005. The Handbook on CMEF (Guidance note N - Glossary of terms [PDF ]) defines impacts as “effects of an intervention lasting in medium or long term.
In contrast, impact assessment is a process aimed at structuring and supporting the development of policies by considering the likely impact on society at large. It is therefore a support to political decision-making.
In the case of evaluation of Rural Development programmes, impact assessment is not required.