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This working document compiles a selection of evaluation-related queries raised by the Member States between 2016 and 2018. Answers were prepared by the European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development in collaboration with the responsible Commission services.  


This Working Document has been initiated on the basis of the existing glossary annexed to the European Commission – Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (2017) Technical Handbook on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014 – 2020, hereafter referred as ‘DG AGRI (2017) Technical Handbook for the CMEF 2014-2020’. Moreover, it contains key terms related to evaluation developed by, or used during the European Evaluation Helpdesk’s Thematic Working Groups (TWGs).  


These non-binding Guidelines aim to examine the challenges in relation to the evaluation activities for the AIR in 2019 by:

  • Presenting practical approaches to estimate the RDP’s net contributions to the common CAP impact indicators and assess the progress in achieving the EU level objectives; 
  • Providing support for answering the common evaluation questions (CEQs) 22-30 and for reporting on evaluation findings to the European Commission in the AIRs submitted in 2019.

The Guidelines are structured in four parts (presented in three documents):

  • PART I (primarily for Managing Authorities): informs about the legal requirements and outlines how to report in 2019 on the CEQs 22-30. Part I contains references to other existing guidance. 
  • PART II (primarily for evaluators): offers methodological support for assessing the common impact indicators of Pilar II (sectoral, environmental and socio-economic impacts). This part explains each intervention logic, the use of additional evaluation elements, explains the data requirements, the units of assessment and guides the reader through choosing the most appropriate evaluation approaches for netting out the RDP’s contributions to the values of the CAP impact indicators. Furthermore, Part II also suggests approaches to assess RDP contributions towards achieving the EU 2020 strategy and innovation. 
  • PART III: contains the fiches for answering the CEQs 22–30.
  • PART IV: contains the technical annex including more detailed information on the approaches to assess the CAP impact indicators and the glossary of terms.

Discover articles on:

  • Assessing RDP Impacts in 2019: How to Choose the Most Suitable Evaluation Approach?
  • Communicating on Rural Development Programmes
  • Seventh Good Practice Workshop: Showing the Added Value of Leader/CLLD Through Evaluation

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  • Assessing CAP Pillar II impacts on the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Climate Actions

This report summarises the majour outcomes of the Good Practice Workshop, 'Showing the added value of LEADER/CLLD through evaluation', which was co-hosted by the European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development and the Finnish Rural Network (NRN) and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The workshop aimed at shaping a common understanding and definition of added value and its links with the LEADER/CLLD delivery mechanism and method, exchanging experiences among Member States, and discussing challenges and recommendations on possible evaluation approaches on how to show the added value of LEADER/CLLD.



Discover articles on:

  • EvaluationWORKS! 2017
  • Sixth Good Practice Workshop: NRNs’ support to the evaluation of RDPs
  • A Network approach to measure the social capital in LEADER/CLLD

  Expand your knowledge of:

  • Assessing CAP Pillar II impacts on the competitiveness of agriculture

This report summarises the major outcomes of the Good Practice Workshop (GPW), “National Rural Networks’ (NRNs) support to the evaluation of RDPs”, which took place on 30 November – 1 December in Athens (Greece).

The aim of this workshop was to explore the possible activities of NRNs in supporting the evaluation of RDPs throughout the evaluation cycle. This workshop provided a space for the exchange of experiences on how NRNs can support building evaluation capacities and raising awareness on evaluation. Furthermore, participants discussed challenges and developed recommendations for the more efficient use of NRN resources in supporting RDP evaluations.

This workshop brought together evaluators, Managing Authorities, NRNs, EC representatives, researchers, evaluators, rural development stakeholders and members of the Evaluation Helpdesk team.

Practical examples from the Italian and Portugese NRNs as well as poster presentations from Germany, France, Latvia, Poland and Estonia were presented during this workshop and are summarised in this report.


The main objective of the Guidelines is to provide a non-binding complement to other guidelines and offer advice to RDP evaluation stakeholders on how to carry out the evaluation activities for answering the common evaluation questions related to innovation. Since the RDP’s effects on innovation in rural areas can be expected to take place, most likely, in the long-term, the guidelines focus in particular on those evaluation related activities, which will be reported in the AIR in 2019 and in the ex post evaluation. The Guidelines are structured in three parts:

  • Chapter 1: explains the innovation system in rural areas and the concept of the evaluation of innovation in rural development. The concept introduces the EU and RDP policy framework and how they interrelate with each other, as well as the overview of the common evaluation elements.
  • Chapter 2: informs Managing Authorities about specificities linked to managing the evaluation of innovation and reporting requirements. Chapter 2.2 explains the approaches to answering the innovation related evaluation questions and provides specific guidance for each of the common evaluation questions: numbers 1, 2, 21, 23 and 30 concerning those aspects which relate to innovation.
  • Chapter 3 (Annexes): includes the glossary and the steps for identifying the RDP innovation potential.