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This document discusses the role of evaluation questions (EQs) in the assessment of impacts and achievements of the rural development policy and outlines the set of common evaluation questions for rural development (CEQ-RD) in the 2014-2020 programming period.


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The evaluation plan (EP) is a new element within the rural development monitoring and evaluation system for the programming period 2014-2020, and is a formal requirement for Rural Development Programmes (RDP). In previous years programme authorities have used various planning tools to structure, manage and steer the evaluation of their Rural Development Programmes, to strategically build-up evaluation capacity, and to ensure that necessary prerequisites are in place for the assessment of the results and impacts of rural development interventions. The evaluation plan of 2014-2020 provides an opportunity to build up on existing experiences in planning of evaluation and sets the corner-stones for the Rural Development Programme’s evaluation system.


These guidelines focus on the mandatory elements which should be addressed in all the ex ante evaluations. However they should not be seen as exhaustive. There may well be additional issues linked to an individual programme or territory, which a Managing Authority may wish to include in order to gain the most from the ex ante exercise. Where this is the case, Managing Authorities are encouraged to expand the scope of the ex ante to meet their specific needs.